Hearing Your Work Matters: Priceless

March 23, 2016

Excerpt from my 2010 sketchbook; this image is from the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Excerpt from my 2010 sketchbook; this image is from the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

My 7th grade English teacher, who lives in Florida, was visiting New York and decided to look up some of my work at The Sketchbook Library. This is very touching on its own, but it turns out the Library has recently relocated. My teacher hiked around Brooklyn and finally found the new Library. Except their new location wasn’t quite open for business yet. Undeterred, she sweet-talked them into letting her in so that she could check out my sketchbook.

All this effort to see my book! I’m so very humbled.

She wrote to me about these adventures, and told me she had tears in her eyes when she was finally able to examine my book. Then, she actually quoted a line from the book to me. I’ve heard authors talk about seeing someone on the subway reading the book they wrote (or maybe fantasizing this scenario), and this is what it felt like:

I’m grateful for our friendship. I’m happy that something she read and saw in my work moved her. I’m moved that she worked so hard to see it, and wanted to tell me about it.

Sometimes you need to know that your work matters. This was one of those times. I really needed to hear this right now.

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