Every once in a while you’ll see the occasional nudge to write a letter to a favorite author of yours. (I saw an old post on First Second Books’ site today). Like me, you may nod, “of course, I should!” but don’t. I have yet to send that letter to David Almond after reading My Name is Mina.
Our ‘Summer Writing Program’ has included “write (and send) a fan letter” as an option. In our three-part set-up (Collaboration, Read, Write), we placed the prompt under Collaboration with the idea that writing letters of appreciation to other artists contributes to a sense of community. The prompt isn’t a writing exercise, but a good practice.
As a writer, you yourself are going to want to learn you’ve made a positive impact in the life of a reader. And maybe you’ll strike up a good conversation. Even if you are not a writer or artist of another medium, you want the artist to continue making good art. Few have the ability to create art as a full-time job; many who do, struggled to get to that point. In short, it can be a vulnerable and disheartening business. My friend Sal shared this on facebook: seems apt:
Write that letter of brevity, or length, for the time the artist is feeling a bit blue, and even a bit red.