“And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.”
“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”
“A kind word is like a Spring day.”
Just recently, a friend who was feeling discouraged about her writing sent me a note telling me how much some of the things I said about her writing meant to her. My words had given her a lift at a moment when she was feeling low. And she’s done the same for me.
And for some reason, just recently, I remembered what a friend told me long ago about something that happened to her at a very young age. When she was about four or so, a family member she was close to passed away. Instead of telling her what had happened, even in simple terms she could understand, no one in her family talked about it around her. She grew up thinking other family members were keeping things from her.
Words spoken and unspoken make such a difference in life, don’t they? And I’ve found that this is especially true for writers. Kind words of praise and encouragement can make all the difference to someone who is struggling with their work or worried that no one will care about it.
In my office, I have what I think of as my bulletin board of inspiration. On it, I’ve tacked up inspirational quotes and printouts of emails that friends have sent with kind words about my novel. Whenever I feel low, I can take a look at this bulletin board and it gives me a shot of adrenalin. Reading the notes that friends have sent me makes me feel as if they are right in my tiny little office with me, giving me a hug and telling me, “Keep going, Karin! What you’re doing is worth doing. I believe in you.” What a boost this gives me!
Right now, today, there may be a writer you know who’s having a hard time for some reason. It could be a thorny plot problem or a tough rejection or just a feeling that they’re lost and don’t know how to write themselves back on the right path. Why not take a few moments to give that person a call to see how they’re doing — or send them an email with an encouraging quote or a few sentences on something you enjoy about their work? You never know how much a kind word at the right moment can mean to someone who’s struggling — it can make all the difference in the world. Words matter. And kind words matter most. Write on.