Today was truly one of those moments for me, but it all started last week. A first grade student named Eli brought my book, No Sweets For Santa, into his class and asked the teacher if she might be able to read it in the near future since he enjoyed the story so much. His teacher contacted me and asked me if I would be willing to come to her class and read the story for Eli and his classmates. What could I say? I was incredibly honored as a writer and publisher that a child was a big enough fan of my work to bring my book in and want to share it with others. The answer was a great big yes, and I asked the teacher for all the students’ first names so I could bring personalized books for everyone.
We kept my appearance a secret until this morning when I showed up at class with two wrapped boxes of books and my special Santa reading outfit. I felt like quite a celebrity with the kids all excited to hear the story and Eli coming up to me immediately and saying hello. I sat and read the book, followed with a discussion on writing and creating stories so the kids could understand that things they write now may one day become a book also.
Near the end of my visit, they opened the presents and I watched as each child received a copy of the book. Just seeing the kids so overjoyed at receiving a special book with their name in it was the best reminder of why I do the things I do. Shortly after, their teacher mentioned that she felt this experience could truly be a turning point for many of the kids to develop a passion for reading and it warmed my heart.
I left the class after thanking Eli for being a fan of my work and helping to make this experience for his classmates. As I walked the halls back to the front office, it really struck me as a creator that these moments can truly have impactful ripple effects. Sure it affected me in a positive way because I felt great after sharing my story and book with kids, but I hadn’t thought about what impact it could have on the kids receiving the books. What if this moment was one that helped a child love to read or gave them the confidence to write their first story. Who truly knows the positive potential something like this can create?
When you think of these things as someone who creates a book, some art, or anything else, you quickly realize the responsibility we have to help the wave of creators become inspired. I hope I inspired someone today and I hope you find your “moment” to inspire someone too.