Fan Mail and the Law of Coincidence

I woke yesterday morning to find an unusual email message in my work inbox. The message was from someone in my department with whom I have never worked. In her message, she told me she was “an admirer of my work,” referring to a requirements document that I recently produced, and praising its clarity. I replied with a thank you, and jokingly said that while I’d received fan mail for my fiction and nonfiction writing, this was the first piece of fan mail I’d ever received for a technical requirements document.

In truth, it had been quite a while since I received fan email of any kind (not counting comments I get here on the blog) mainly because I haven’t written much outside the blog lately. So it was delightful to awaken to such a message and read that first thing in the morning, instead of some kind of emergency related to a pending rollout I’m working on this weekend.

Then, in an odd coincidence, I received two more emails from various work colleagues yesterday, praising various documents I’d written for this recent project. One person told me how nice it was to have someone on a project that could write. Another called a different document I wrote “fantastic.” Keep in mind that writing documentation is an ancillary part of what I do, almost an afterthought. But it is still nice to hear that people find the documentation useful, and to hear from three different people in the same day–well, in more than a quarter of a century at the company, I think it is the first time that has happened.

It was more than enough to make for a happy day, and lift my spirits from the stress of the current rollout effort. As it happened, it didn’t stop there. Just before heading to bed last night, I received another fan email. This time, it was from someone who had just read my story, “Gemma Barrows Comes to Cooperstown” (now freely available on InterGalactic Medicine Show’s website). It was a sweet message, and it meant a lot, considering that “Gemma Barrows” is my favorite of all of the stories I’ve sold to date.

It amuses me that my day began with fan email–and by purest coincidence, such mail seemed to sprinkle throughout my day. It brought a smile to my face when I woke up, and put a smile on my face just before I went to bed. That’s what I call a pretty good day.

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