This morning I had a gratitude moment big enough to break my current too-busy-doing-stuff-to-blog streak.
I got this absolutely lovely piece of fan mail, from a listener/reader in Australia. Stuff like this blows me away, for a few reasons.
Way back when the podcast first got going we got an awesome piece of fan mail from a listener in South Africa, telling us how when she listened to the podcast, she felt, ever so briefly, like she was home again. That's about 13,000 miles away. It boggles my mind that something we did could affect someone so strongly, from so far away.
I knew then that the work we were doing was important work, work that not only could make a difference in people's lives, potentially, but that was actually doing it.
So, cut to the email I get this morning. It's from M., a listener/reader somewhere in Australia (16,000 miles away roughly, this time, not that I'm counting, although I just did.). I was humbled by what he had to say to me, and asked his permission to reprint his mail here, which he happily agreed to.
This warms my heart. And, it's just what brother, Mae and I were after when we started the podcast. I'm a huge believer in the idea that if you want the world to be a better place, you do the work to help make it so. This is particularly meaningful to me just now, too, because my life is both really busy and really different from when we started the podcast. I'm very busy working on a side project in my vanilla life, that, if things go well, will dramatically change my professional life.
It's eating into my time for almost every other aspect of my life. I haven't written a word of new fiction in months. My 3rd book is sitting in a sort of limbo, waiting for me to have time to work on it again. And the podcast is still going, but we're recording once a month (and sometimes not even that much!). Yet, the body of work we have done is still out there and still making a difference. That's huge for me. I feel like the investment of effort I put forth five years ago is still paying dividends.
This too warms my heart. It's exactly what I want to happen when someone reads my work. I want to take them out of their head and bring them into the vast fictional world inside my own. I want to entertain them, arouse them, educate them, and when they're done, have them bring back to the real world things to make their own life better. Which, as M. tells me, is exactly what happened.
Warning, some of this is slightly spoiler-ish, for Concerning Littleton
Wow. He just compared my work to Tolkien. When I first read that I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Thank you!
Then that teaching thing happened.
This whole thing made me feel so good. I've been struggling a bit lately, because I want to do all the things, and there just isn't enough time, and enough, well, me. I've had to say a whole lot of no to people and activities, while I focus my attention on just a few very important people and things. But it feels so damn good to know that my work with the podcast, and my books are out there, still improving lives, still entertaining, still helping, while I focus.
My friend Moliére taught me the concept of passive income, things you do which can't help but make you money without any further action on your part later. This is similar. It feels good to know that my efforts in the past are still bearing fruit today.
I'm so grateful for that.