I’ve been a fan my whole life. From sports (Atlanta Braves, Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning) to music (Backstreet Boys and Kelly Clarkson have been consistent loves) to writers (Aaron Sorkin, Joss Whedon) to animals (TURTLES!!), I’ve always really liked things. And I’m sure you have too. Maybe you have a college allegiance or maybe you’re just a big fan of a specific film director. Whatever it is, most of us have been fans. But have you ever gone so far as to write a fan letter? No? Me neither. Not really at least. Even when I was a teenager with no shame about my love of Nick Carter I never wrote to him. I held my fangirling relatively close to my chest or at least to my immediate circle.
Ever since I joined Twitter, I’ve thought of it as a very simple way to express to someone that you enjoy their work. When I watch a movie or read an article I like, I take a quick moment to mention it on Twitter. It takes very little time but can mean A LOT. As someone who has been told in a small way that someone appreciates something I put time and effort into, I get it. Knowing someone enjoys your work is never a bad thing. Usually, I get really nice responses. People just like to hear that someone enjoyed what they did.
— Heather Mason (@NerdHeather) January 8, 2015
@Sam_Jaeger Nice surprise to see you in Inherent Vice! 👍
— Heather Mason (@NerdHeather) December 24, 2014
— Heather Mason (@NerdHeather) November 21, 2014
In July 2014, my friend Emily was on our podcast (plzRT podcast) and she mentioned that when she was going through a rough career time, she emailed a few people whose trajectory she admired to ask their advice. I re-listened to this episode when I was going through a particularly stressful time and thought it sounded like a nice idea. At the end of 2014, I decided to write an email to Aisha Tyler saying “Thank You” for what her podcast (Girl on Guy) has done for me and tell her how it’s impacted my life. I never anticipated a response. She receives a ton of emails and while she claims to read them all, simply putting it down and sending it into the abyss made me feel better.
At the end of each year, Aisha does an episode of her podcast where she reads some emails she received throughout the year and this year she chose mine. She spent about 3 minutes reading my email and responding to me, which is more than I ever could’ve hoped for. That wasn’t my reason for writing but the simple acknowledgement that she knew how much of an impact her podcast has on my life made me feel nice.
In 2015, I plan to write another email to someone I admire. I’m not sure who yet, but I think it’s nice to put positive things into the world and letting people know you admire them is a great way to do it. I challenge you to write a nice note to someone who you admire and/or appreciate. Even if you don’t send it, it might just make your day a little better.