At a writing retreat I attended in February this year, Canadian author Sarah Selecky suggested that if we truly loved a book, we could write a letter to the author.
This was not about flicking off a quick email – oh no! Nor was it a quick rummage through the junk drawer to find a crumpled writing sheet. This was to be a thoughtful act, worthy of a beautiful card.
A few months ago, I read an Australian book that I loved so much, I wanted to tell the author exactly why I loved it. So I spent five minutes at our local newsagency choosing a gorgeous card with an image that kinda matched the book. I even made practice notes on what I wanted to say, lest I mess up that gorgeous card! Then I wrote a letter in smallish writing on both sides of the card.
I did not mention I was an aspiring writer. I did not write my email address or my blog address. I did not want this author to think that I needed a response from her.
It was a small gesture to say thank you for writing a book that took my breath away. Thank you for giving up late nights out and Netflix and weekend coffees with friends. Thanks for writing before work or after work. Thanks for writing through periods of self-doubt. Thanks for writing all the drafts. Thanks for editing and editing and editing it. Thanks for writing your book so I could have the pleasure of reading it.
I posted the card to her publisher during the first Melbourne lockdown. I hope it found its way to her!
Perhaps there’s an author out there who needs to hear from you!