Sometimes when I dance, especially from my seat, my husband asks – with a lot of laughter in his voice – if I’m okay. Apparently, I look unwell when I dance. I’ve never been the the most graceful person in the world. 🙂 (But when I get to heaven, I will dance like this.)
But still, this morning, I am dancing away in my desk chair because a descendant of one of the people enslaved at Bremo – Champion Morse – just contacted me. She found my pages for The Slaves Have Names and and wrote to see if I might be willing to talk with her more about her 4x great-grandfather.
If she’s nearby, she probably heard me scream “YES!!!”
Every time someone reaches out to me about this book and the people in it, I get giddy – the kind of natural high that I also get when our goats run – something profound and deep zips down my spine and swells my heart. It’s an antidote to the bad reviews, discouragement over publishing and Amazon, self-criticism that makes me doubt the value of my work. All that dissipates in the light of one, short email.
Because here’s the thing – every single time someone finds their relative in these pages, every single time someone takes energy to research their family history, every single time someone feels their family stories are important and valuable – I know I have done good work, the work I wanted to do when I started the book.
As a writer, there is no better feeling than to know that the words I put on paper have made a difference to someone. And for those words to be about people who have largely gone overlooked by many, well, the joy is even greater.
So right now, Florence and the Machine is giving me the background to my desk chair dance. It’s a good, good morning.
What feedback about your writing means the most to you?