I know the polite thing to say when someone pays me a compliment about my writing is “Thank you,” but I always find myself going into a lengthy explanation as to why the poem, song or story got written and what inspired me.
I should just say “Thank you.”
The problem is, I find it hard to say thank you—to take credit—for something I don’t feel I did . . . even though I did. Sort of.
Unless you’re a writer, it’s difficult to explain. But I’ll try.
Yesterday, I wrote a poem for a friend. I say “wrote” because “dictated” is not proper lingo in the world of original works. I sat down at my computer to work on “Terrebonne Parish”—a book that has gotten little of my attention lately, what with the progress of my children’s book and a few out-of-town trips recently—and instead of the book’s characters presenting their stories, I felt inspired to write a poem for a good friend of mine. He’s been going through a rough time (and I use the term “rough” loosely). I wanted to do something to make him feel better, and since words have always done that for me, I thought they might help him as well.
Within 15 minutes, the 10 stanza/40 line poem was staring at me from the screen. Complete.
I did not write it. How could I have? That quickly and that accurately? So accurate that I cried when I read it.
I couldn’t have. I didn’t. Someone whispered those words to me; forgive my cursing, but someone “dictated” those words to me, and I simply typed them onto the page.
There is no other explanation. There simply isn’t.
So, the next time you pay me a compliment—tell me how much you admire my work—forgive me for not saying “Thank you” right away . . . or at all, sometimes. I truly am grateful. I truly am appreciative that you find as much comfort or inspiration in the words as I do.
I truly am grateful that we were both able to receive them.
Grateful to the One who whispers.
Oh, and before I forget, “Thank you.”