This past week, I’ve read some really excellent articles from a ton of writers. Truly wonderful pieces.
But two specific writers and what they wrote simply stunned me into speechlessness.
And since one of my nicknames is Gabby McGabby, you can certainly appreciate the magnitude of this happenstance.
In these posts, both writers mentioned that something I’d written gave them inspiration to either provide their unique perspective on the same subject I’d written about or that I had provided them the catalyst for an idea.
Like, wow, I had no clue. Light bulb? Illuminate!
Over the past nine months, I’ve really leaned in on my writing, leaned in hard. It was kind of like, P.G., you’re either going to do this or your not. Go big dude, or go home.
And since most of the time I write from home, it seemed only logical to go big.
The thing is I’ve received complimentary comments (no trolls yet — I’m still a small fry writer — not worth their time) on a bunch of my pieces from my writing friends.
And I simply love to read them and try to respond to each.
But yesterday and again this morning, I was given honorable mention in a couple of really excellent stories, and I began to think.
Actually, I began to realize.
Something I’d written made an impact on these two. Thoughts from my pea brain transferred to the written word resonated with these readers/writers.
I’m here to tell you, folks it never really occurred to me my work was even capable of doing that. For so long I’ve just been focusing on the work, pouring out pieces each and every day. I’ve been writing what I wanted to write, whether fiction or heartfelt. I was just letting the words flow.
This morning, when I read the second piece, the thought struck me that if my work resonates with these two wonderfully talented writers, maybe it does with others as well.
For me , humble pie time to be sure.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve received validation that people were at least reading some of my work, but I’m pretty sure up to now I never let myself think about the impact my pieces had on others.
No need to stroke that ego of mine in such a fashion.
As far as my family’s concerned my ego’s already overinflated. Old P.G. He thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips.
And knowing me as I do, I’m forced to send myself to the penalty box, the one steeped in humility, especially where my writing efforts are concerned. Entertaining the idea my writing could possibly have a significant effect on someone else was something I just wasn’t going to do.
And then that just happened.
In two days, writers who I love to read mentioned me. One, thanking me for inspiration, the other offering a link to a story of mine which evidently resonated with him, and even highlighting snippets of my words in his story.
And I thought, “How in the heck did this happen? My pieces made this kind of impact? Oh, my Lord, what have I done?”
It’s one thing to write about schstuff running around in your head, in the hope it helps your get-along, get along.
For a lot of other writers and me, the very act of transferring our thoughts to the blank page is a catharsis.
It’s how we heal.
But then there’s that one day, there comes that one moment in a writer’s life when we realize not only are we making an impact on ourselves, but we’re impacting others as well.
Each of us comes to this realization in our own way and timing. Some much quicker than others.
As me now, just speaking on this topic demonstrates. I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed, remember?
For me, it was like that last puzzle piece snapping into place, and my perspective on my writing just shifted again.
My perspective has been shifting a lot lately.
It’s strange how much my thought process and the way I look at things now have changed so much over this last year.
In the beginning, it never occurred to me that my words matter.
Again, dear Lord, what have I done?
It’s one thing to receive feedback on a story. Yeah, I liked it. No, I hated it. What the heck were you thinking when you wrote that danged atrocity P.G.?
It’s an entirely different thought process when you realize your story has resonated with someone and made an impact on them.
Now, when I write, even if it’s some of that silly Henry James fiction I love so much, I’m going to keep in the back of my mind that the message I’m laying down may not just matter only to me.
When I craft a piece about writing, whether it’s a how-to or a what happens when you do, someone else may be reading it and possibly thinking, “maybe I should give this a go.”
Wow, like heavy folks. Speaking of heavy, this is not, nor should it ever be, a weight of the world on your shoulders kind of feeling folks.
I’m not telling you when (if) you suddenly come eyeball to eyeball with proof your words have actually resonated with a reader; you should start screaming, “game over, game over.” and crumple up into a quivering mass of jelly on the floor.
This moment of validation of yours, whether you’ve already had it or have yet to experience it should be a joyous moment. People are not only reading your work, but they’re listening to your words.
So Keep writing.
Continue to speak what’s on your mind and in your heart. We’re out here, and we’re waiting for the next opportunity to read what you have to say. We’re going to read it in anticipation of how your writing will resonate with us this time.
We’ll be sure to let you know when it does.
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