It’s amazing how just a few simple words can have such a big impact.
I was thinking about this the other day after someone I didn’t know made a few very nice remarks about my writing. It probably was just a small comment to her and she didn’t think anything about it, but for me it was monumental.
“You read that? And you liked it? Wow,” I thought to myself. “Is this a trick? No, it’s just awesome. This is one of the best moments ever.”
I can vividly remember a few moments in my life when someone I didn’t know previously commented to me about my writing, and I think of those comments fairly often. And when I replay those moments in my mind, I use them to motivate myself and to feed my already inflated ego.
Of course, there were also a few negative comments over the years, and I use them to motivate myself, too. They are also good for bringing my ego back to a somewhat reasonable level.
The funny thing is, though, I doubt most of those people even remember talking to me or writing a comment. It was probably a small moment in a day when they were just saying something nice (or not as nice but hopefully constructive at least), and then they forgot about it.
For me, though, those moments were big.
A week ago, for example, I was having a rather stressful few days, and a friend of mine told me that he and his family got into a discussion about Billy Ocean because of something I wrote. I was stunned and extremely thankful.
Isn’t that what all of us want, really, to inspire our readers to discuss Billy Ocean?
I am not sure if my friend now properly appreciates the genius of Mr. Ocean or not, but I know for sure that I appreciated him reading the blog and then telling me about it. Instead of being worried about stressful items in life, my anxiety melted away and I was instead able to focus for a time on how amazing I am.
Just kidding, but it really did help my mood a great deal. And all throughout that day and the next, I thought even more about the conversation and how it made me feel.
This also happens in other ways in life, too.
If someone mentions a restaurant or a movie in passing, I often try out the food or show. And sometimes, I end up going to the restaurant more and more, and I’ll recommend the movie to other people.
When I was growing up, there was a coach/teacher who used to talk about where he went to college. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I ended up going to that school and I no doubt was influenced by the comments he made.
I am positive he does not remember them, but his words changed my life and led me to where I am today. And if I ever see him again, I’d like to talk to him about that so that he can apologize to me.
Just kidding again of course. I am lucky and thankful to be where I am, and I’m grateful for the words I heard over the years that have helped me to find my way here.
And just the other day, someone told me how I reminded her of my father. My dad knew people everywhere (and could tell you whom they were related to and where those people lived too), and every once in a while I hear from someone about him. It has been several years now since he passed, and it always sticks with me when someone mentions him or suggests that I might look or sound like him.
While it’s likely a simple comment to them, it is always greatly appreciated.
Of course, whenever anyone says something to me about my writing, my dad, or other items in life, I usually have no idea how to respond and just stammer and say something like:
“Oh, you read that? Sorry. I mean, Oh, yeah. Thanks. Wait, were you talking to me? Oh, yeah. Thanks again then. I should have done better. Thanks a lot.”
What I mean to say, and what I’d like to say you today, is something much more like this:
“Thank you for reading something I wrote! And thank you so much, too, if you said a few words to me online, in person, by liking a post or even just through giving me a friendly smile. Your actions have changed my mood, changed my writing and changed my life. I’m honored and grateful, and I’ll try to pass kind words and compliments on to other people now, too. Not just because I’m so amazing, but because I want to make others feel amazing and happy, just like you made me feel. Thanks.”