Our lives are all made up of a series of very small things, with a few gigantic events tossed in every now and then to make us pay attention. It is always the big things we remember, but, I think, it is the small things that really matter, because they link the big things together. They are the miles of blacktop in between the “worlds largest ball of tin-foil”, and without them, we would not get anywhere.
A couple weeks ago, I was in an IHOP with my wife, waiting for pancakes to arrive (pancakes are one of those small things that make life worth living). As is my habit, I check this blog every once in a while to see if anyone is reading it. One of the cool things about WordPress is it shows you, on your stats page, if anyone has referred others to your blog. If I see that someone has sent others to read my ramblings, I always stop by to see what they have to say.
On that sunny day, in a pancake house, I saw that someone had referred to my blog, and I looked to see what they were all about. What I found was a small thing that had a huge impact on me. A man, I believe his name is Brock, wrote a brief, but glowing, review of my book, and sent his own readers in my direction. It was probably a small thing, just a blip on the radar of his life, to write out that review of my book, but it was no small thing to me.
For me it was the best of rewards, a validation of my work and effort. It was proof that, first of all, someone had read my story, and second, that they had really liked it. I don’t think that any writer, no matter how successful they are, ever gets tired of hearing that someone really enjoyed their work, and it made my day. In fact, it made my week – which sucked otherwise – and gave me a new motivation that I had been lacking in recent days.
For Brock, that little review of a guy he’d never met was only a section of blacktop in the roadmap of his life, but for me it was like seeing a road-side monument proclaiming my awesomeness and granting me free admission.
So, as you go through your day, and your writing life especially, think about the little things. What starts out as a tiny blip on your radar – a short story you write for shits and giggles; a simple compliment you pay someone; a momentary gesture of kindness that you forget about three heart-beats later – could turn out to be a really big deal of someone else.
And those kinds of little things, are very much worth your time.
As always, thanks for reading.