It was a personal essay really, a story about a food writer who got to judge a show on the Food Network and ended up having to eat her most dreaded food -- eggs. The article was funny, and the writer's voice drew me in right away. (Click here if you want to read it yourself.)
I got to the end of the article, and I noticed that the reporter's e-mail address was there. I had a thought: I could e-mail her to tell her that I enjoyed her article. The old, negative me would've frowned at that idea. Remember I mentioned my hesitation to make new friends? This would also include me e-mailing people I don't know just for the purpose, of, well, being nice. Honestly, last week I would've read the article and not even have considered e-mailing the writer.
But I thought about it. One of my favorite things as a writer is hearing from readers who like my books. Just a simple e-mail from someone telling me how my books affected them, changed them, influenced them, or even just to say they enjoyed it -- is always enough to brighten my day. I think, as writers, we mostly find ourselves in a solitary profession where it's hard to imagine that there are actual readers somewhere on the other end of that. Hearing that there are, and that these people are enjoying my words, is one of the most positive experiences I get to have on a daily basis.
So I decided it might be nice to be on the other end of that for once, to respond positively as a reader, and that maybe, also, part of being positive is to say nice things when they occur to me, even if it is to a stranger. After all, how many strangers had brightened my days with their nice e-mails about my writing? So I sent her an e-mail. A simple e-mail, just saying how much I enjoyed the article and her voice. It took me two minutes. And then I moved on with my day, feeling pretty good about things.
What about you? Have you ever taken a few minutes to say something nice to a stranger? Do you think this makes you feel more positive about yourself?