You are going to have rough days. I know I sure do.
Today, for example. The time has changed (thanks, Daylight Saving's Time). I'm tired from traveling back from Canada all day Friday and then doing five hours of driving on Saturday so I could attend the funeral of my uncle—one of the best men I know, and a big influence in my life. I have the usual anxieties over my career, wondering what I'm not doing, not doing right, or not aware that I shouldn't be doing at all. And two minutes ago I had to pry a couple of gel dishwasher tabs apart and ended up squirting blue goo all over my brand new shirt.
All that happens, and I think, "I still have to sit down and write today's journal entry and blog post, and then get back to my book."
And I'm going to be honest with you here—I'm not feeling it.
I'm not terribly inspired at the moment, and I'm not all that enthusiastic about putting words on the page. I'm not excited about writing anything, much less recounting the crappy day I'm having (at a whopping 7 AM—about three hours after I'd normally start my day). It's not fun.
But then I checked email.
I try not to check or respond to email too much in the mornings. It's a bad habit. I try to keep all of that in the afternoons, during times when I'm not in creative mode. I don't want to get sidetracked during productive time, and end up doing "busy work" instead of doing actual work. But on days when my energy is low and my enthusiasm is waning, sometimes I just give in to bad habits. I check email, I hop on Facebook, I eat a chilly dog for breakfast. Not good.
Today, though, there were a handful of messages in my inbox that I hadn't gotten to yet, because of travel. And every one of them was from someone like you. Someone who reads this blog and/or my books and/or my social media posts. Someone who pays attention, and appreciates what I've built and what I'm continuing to build. Someone who took the time to say a kind word to me, to thank me, to encourage me.
Commenting on this blog, pinging me on social media, writing me an email—these things mean so much to me, you have no idea. On days like today, when I don't even know why I'm doing this stuff, you tell me why. And that's ...
Well, I'm going to continue to be honest with you: That's amazing. That's probably the most amazing thing in my life. Knowing that I'm not shouting into the void, that I'm not here alone doing something people don't even care about—I'll never write enough words to tell you how much that means to me.
So thank you. I needed that.
This is something I sort of started by accident last week, but I want to continue it. You can answer here in comments, or you can ping me wherever you encounter this post (social media, email, or whatever). But I'd like to make this something of a tradition. So here goes—
Your answer might help someone else, so I hope you'll take a few minutes. And I hope you'll share the question with people you know. It's amazing how much we can learn from each other.