I don’t know about you, but I can still tell you the names of a couple of teachers who had the most profound influence on my life.  One said I would be a teacher someday, and sure enough, she was right.  One said I would never make it as a writer, and I believed her far too long into my adult life before I proved her wrong.

As a teacher, I can tell you I shuddered on more than one occasion, usually after a bad day when I regretted having said or done something that could possibly have negative lasting effects on a student.  And there were some days when I knew deep down inside that a student and I had connected in a very special way.

The truth is, teachers can do that.  They can have the power to change people’s lives one way or the other.

This week I got my first fan letter, from an 8th grade girl, and she (gulp) gave me that power as a writer.

            I will forever remember this book for the rest of my life. I hope you know you have the power of changing people’s lives.

To be honest, this is a dream come true, an answer to prayer, and the desire of my heart, and it scares me to death!  For one thing, the written word, my written words, are there forever, and I can’t change them or take them back or modify them or make them come out sounding any different.  They are what they are, and if they do, indeed carry any kind of power, I hope the results will always be positive:  better quality of life, better communication, better understanding, better mental health, better whatever needs to be better.

            When I read this book it spoke to me.  In so many ways it inspired me to keep going and told me how to get through some difficult life situations.

Someone asked me the other day how my “numbers” are and how my sales are going.  I told them I have no desire to watch numbers or wonder how many books I’ve sold.  Just knowing that my book “spoke” to a young person, and that it “inspired” her to keep going through tough times is enough payment for me.

Teachers and writers beware.  You hold more power than you might realize, and with that comes the responsibility to be accountable and available, and the best that you can be within your craft. Of course, this being my first such letter, I took great pains to answer it to the best of my ability.  I hope I won’t ever become too busy or distracted to stop and acknowledge the heartfelt communications from readers. 



Hey READERS, I would love to hear from you.

Is your MIND FULL of old thoughts or new?





  1. Well, this was the perfect Christmas gift, wasn’t it! And I totally agree with you- we’re not in this for the numbers; touching just one heart and making a difference to an individual is the real reason we’re on this journey.

    Merry Christmas, Linda!

  2. Hi Miriam,

    Indeed it was! And I know you will be gathering your own fan letters soon enough, and you will see how it is the best payment of all. I hope you and your family have a joyous holiday season, too! Just think, when the calendar turns over it will be your debut year. Whootwhoot!

  3. Such a gift! So happy you got this feedback.I understand about shuddering at things we’ve said to kids.I’ve been there – on the teacher end of things. Fortunately, I am a writer because a teacher told me I would be. She inspires me to be that kind of encouragement to students and readers.

    • Joyce, thank you for this comment. How neat that your writing career was also influenced by a teacher, and so you pass it on to students. It’s a wonderful cycle of life to be a part of, isn’t it?

  4. I would say, Linda, that in this ‘season of giving’ you have given well. And a reader has given back to you; what more could you want! God bless you and your life- changing/giving book.

    • Hi Lynn,

      Thank you for your kind words, and I know from having read your story that it, too, will be life-changing to readers when it enters the world. I can’t wait, and in the meantime, I wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas.

  5. Wow! You are so right! Giving our work to God is what we need to do! I know Your work will continue to help exactly who it needs to help.

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