So two posts today. Mostly because something happened that made me evaluate what I do for others.
Prequel: I write stories and post them online for others. I'd like to think they're pretty popular since one has over 1100 reviews, one has 800+, and the other is just hitting 700. It keeps me writing just about every day and it's not stressful. I also do it because people love it. Therefore, it makes me feel good.
So yesterday a new chapter was posted and today I was leafing through reviews to read favorite quotes and theories and mashing up of my protag's names. I found one review, number 698, and it rendered me speechless.
hii! i really love your story and so did my best friend Amy. she was like INLOVE with this story and sadly... she passed away a couple of days ago from cancer )': ... i was just wondering if maybe you could make up a character named amy ...? i know she would've LOVED that! but if you cant then i completely understand, but i just wanted to ask in case you were able to do it. thank you
So needless to say, I sat staring in awe at my screen. My immediate thought was--OF COURSE. It's an honor, really. And it made me realize that we touch peoples lives in ways we don't even know unless it is brought to our attention. In the past I have gotten reviews telling me about readers having close family members dying and my story getting them through that difficult time. Another reader talked about depression and how the humor helped her. Some people are just stressed from classes and need a break.
It struck me so hard because I can relate to a lot of those situations. I used to read to escape everything that was going on around me and to be able to do that for someone else is one of the biggest honors. To me, that's better than getting something published and having glory--that's changing lives. Helping people.
And if Amy loved my story, then a character will certainly be named after her. I told the reader to contact me so maybe I could find out a little more about Amy, but I already have the perfect character in mind that enters a little later into the story and doesn't yet have a name.
My thoughts are with this reader and all of Amy's family. This is the very least I could do.