I had planned to write about something more business related this week. But when I saw Kathi's Monday Challenge, I knew I had to put it on the shelf to post this instead.
Back in February, I wrote on my own blog about this very subject and thought it was quite pertinent to Kathi's message. I wanted to share this in keeping with her theme. I've altered it a little to remove the parts that aren't pertinent, but here is the bulk of my post back in February:
Imagine my surprise when I received this message in my inbox yesterday morning.
Dear Sylvie! I have not been inspired by anything in such a long time! Your work is truly magical! Your life sounds like a fairy tale although raising three boys has many challenges. I know because I have three boys of my own, 11, 9, and 4. They are wonderful but have usurped so much of my time that I have put aside my true desires to create for too long. I have a degree in fine arts, my true love, and jewelry making was always one of my favorites. I have ideas for pieces all the time but never act on them! After getting lost in your work, I think that will change! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. It is truly appreciated and inspiring!Sincerely,
I have never met this person either in real life or online. She signed up the same day she wrote her message, on a venue I sell from. I cannot tell you how much this touched my heart. And made me think.
How often have I sent an unsolicited message to someone simply to tell them I love their work, their writings inspired me or their photography was moving. A few times, but maybe not nearly enough. Her message particularly means a lot to me as I have been experiencing a difficult time, and this was the perfect pick me up right now. A totally random act of kindness. Or was it? I think often the 'angels' in our lives or 'good karma' come at just the right times when we need them most.
And that brings me back to this message. How this negative experience makes me appreciate her message so much more. Why wait for someone to 'need' your support to give it? Why not let someone know when you find their work beautiful? I am here to tell you what a difference you can make.
You have no way of knowing when a stranger is going through a difficult time in their life and how big an impact a few kind words can have. How reaching out to them, can pick them up when they're feeling low. When I read or hear words like this message, I know I am headed in the right direction with my work and to know I touched someone in a positive way is absolutely the best part of that and one of the big reasons why I keep going.
So don't hesitate! When you see something you like, tell the artist. When you read someone's words that inspire you, write to the writer. If a photograph moves you, let the photographer know.
Reach out and touch their heart. You may be giving them encouragement when they need it most. Or maybe just reaffirming for them they are doing good work.
In any case, it will make you feel even better than them. I promise!