Writing can be a lonely business. You spend hours in your head, talking to yourself, hanging out with imaginary people.
You sit at a desk trying to spin chaos into order.
Some days, the jumble of words magically align, like a string of pearls to polish and present.
But where these words land, who sees them, and how they are received is not always apparent.
That’s why it is so gratifying to hear from a reader–whether in-person, through email, or online comment. (I occasionally get a phone call but only from those I know personally.)
Many of you prefer communicating via the Contact Evelyn page rather than leaving a public comment. Some readers ask for writing advice.
Through my website, I’ve heard from men I once dated and friends from years back. Occasionally, I get a creepy letter or comment. That’s when the BLOCK option comes in handy.
My blog stats range far and near: Israel, India, Denmark, New Zealand, Romania. I hear from kindred spirits across the country. I feel fortunate to have met, in Real Life, two of my blog readers and was enriched by the experience.
My July 2022 post Is It Ever Too Late To Find Love? generated a lot of mail. (Including one marriage proposal!) You had lots to say on this topic and wanted to share your tales of both woe and joy in love.
Because I write frequently about grief, I receive letters from readers sharing their personal loss. These are the hardest letters to read, but also the ones that most touch my heart.
A distraught woman who had just lost a close family member in a fiery car crash wrote to me a couple months ago. She read an essay I’d recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her letter was detailed, heartfelt, and, I admit, triggering for me.
Still, I took the time to answer the best I could, knowing that she was in the hardest part of her grief journey.
Ten years ago, I published an essay in Tablet Magazine about feeling ambivalent toward my 20 year old daughter’s impending marriage. This story continues to circulate, probably around wedding season, and I receive emails from mothers and fathers in a similar predicament. Fortunately, I have gained wisdom since then to share, along with a happy ending.
I receive fewer letters about my short fiction, though some readers have questioned whether I was writing about them. Answer: No.
One of the most memorable letters came from a Montana reader of my YA novel, One Is Not A Lonely Number.
“I’m the only Jewish girl in my school. Reading your book made me feel less alone. Getting to know Talia and her friends meant so much to me. I loved the way you showed how they were religious but also regular girls who get into fights and mess up like everyone else...”
Whether a debut or seasoned author, such personal letters often mean more to the writer than a book review or promotional tweet (which, of course, are also appreciated!)
I like to pay the kudos forward.
After reading a book or story that impacted me, I will take a moment to find the author’s contact info and let him/her know. This practice has led to enjoyable correspondence for me as well.
We creative souls write for many reasons: to make sense of the world, understand ourselves, explore obsessions, persuade, provoke, illuminate, entertain, and inspire.
Many of us write to connect with others.
So, thank you dear reader for writing!