As a writer, I don’t always get a lot of feedback on my work. Occasionally an editor will tell me he or she thinks I have done a great job on something; those words, when they trickle in, get tacked up on the wall in my writing space.
Every so often I hear from a reader. The fifth article I had published was on elevator safety. A few months after it hit store shelves, I got a phone call from a woman who had read my article and then a month later was stuck for three hours in the elevator in her apartment building. She said thinking back on what I had written helped her to keep calm during those torturous hours. The warm fuzzies from that phone call kept me motivated for months.
Of course not all contact from readers is encouraging. As one of my editors and I discussed an article I was doing on the recent trend to have sex at open houses (us Canadians are wild people!), we knew there would be some fallout. I wrote the article knowing there would be repercussions and wasn’t surprised when I got some nasty mail.
This morning as I was flipping through the most recent issue of Cottage magazine (which ran an article of mine on geocaching in January), I noticed one of the letters to the editor was regarding that article. Emily from Vancouver wrote, “I am writing to say thank you to Toby Welch for writing a story on geocaching. Geocaching is my favourite thing to do with my brother and mom and dad in the summer. It is a great way to spend time together and have fun outside. My parents have a subscription to Cottage magazine, and my mom read the story to me the day it came in the mail. I hope you will write more stories like this soon.”
As a writer, it is an indescribable feeling to know that people read what we are writing and some are even touched by it.
P.S. To those of you who inquired how my speech went that I mentioned in my previous blog entry, it went splendidly. I stumbled in a few places but it was a great experience and I look forward to more public speaking in the future.