I'm sure, like me, many of you will have received lovely comments about your writing, even if only from friends and family or fellow writers. If we're lucky, we might gain some good reviews for published novels, while editors or publishers continue to take our work.
And, yes, we all have the rejections too! For every six short stories we submit in hope, we're doing well if half are accepted - and evidently that also goes for the most well-published short story writers. I always find that a comforting thought as it's reassuring to know we can't expect everything to hit the right mark, every time. Writing is such a joy and a priviledge that I couldn't imagine ever giving up, no matter what each day brings.
Then, occasionally, along comes a day when a completely 'out-of-the-blue' comment arrives and reminds us why we continue to follow this career choice. I received just such an email yesterday and I had a huge grin on my face for the rest of the evening. It was so unexpected, completely unsolicited, and came from a prolific young reader whom I do not personally know (I only know her grandmother).
I'm just going to reproduce three sentences of her lovely comment here so as not to give away part of the plot of Mischief at Mulberry Manor (which she calls 'Mystery' - as it does have a mystery!). Her grandmother had bought her a print copy of the book:
I just finished your book called mystery at mulberry manor and I loved it soooooo much!!! I had such a clear image of what Mulberry manor would look like, and the snowman and all the gardens and stuff.
I'm starting to read summer of the eagles now. Mystery at mulberry manor is one of my absolute favourite books ever. Natasha xx
I'm sure I don't have to tell any other writer what it means to receive such a heartfelt comment from a young reader who the novella wasn't even aimed at! So keep writing, everyone - your words are being read and enjoyed somewhere.
Meanwhile, I'm featuring one of my Scottish writing colleagues, Jack Hastie, over on the Flights of Imagination blog, with his debut children's novel, Fraser's Voices.