Happy 2017!
As writers, we can often feel frustrated, and even overwhelmed, by our perceived smallness.
We look at bestselling authors and marvel at their success, but also beat ourselves up for not having the reach and impact that they do.  We wonder whether our efforts truly matter, and whether the world really needs our contributions.
If we can give you one gift to begin 2017, it would be to erase that sort of thinking from your mind.
Because you matter.
Because your work matters.
Because it only takes one reader to be changed and moved by your words for you to set in motion a massive impact on this planet.
We like to think that big changes in the world happen only by big people doing big things. But that’s not true at all.  The history of the planet is really the history of the “butterfly effect”.  Of people with vision inspiring others, who then inspire others.
You are a critical part of this cycle, and you absolutely cannot give up and break this chain.  Your butterfly wings can create a hurricane of humanity, decency and hope.
But only if you are willing to fly.
We’d like to share this poem with you.  It’s by Victor Ratner and Moshe Davis, and it so beautifully represents your potential to transform the world.

A candle is a small thing.

But one candle can light another.

And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other.

You are such a light.

This is your year.  This is our year.   Let’s flap our butterfly wings.  Let’s fly, and make things better.
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    1. Avatar

      Thank you for your inspiration. This is the first place I went when starting to write and I love the monthly newsletter especially the section with current requests.

    2. Avatar
      January 3rd

      Thank you for this great reminder. It was the very best gift anyone could have given me to start off this new year.

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      Mary York
      January 3rd

      Thanks for the affirmation!

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      I recently saw a great challenge on a writer’s blog. I have decided to take it up. She wanted to get one thousand rejection notices. Of course, you can’t get them if you don’t submit your material.

      I will try for my one thousand this year. The day I began, I got a nibble on one of my books. So, I will keep writing despite feeling like I am often writing for myself.

      It is a labor of love if not money.

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      Ann Harth
      January 3rd

      Thank you! Exactly what some of us need. You nailed it!

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      I’ve printed this and posted it on ‘my board’ where I can see it every day. Thanks for the push.

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      January 3rd

      Thank you for this lovely message. In sending it, you have had your own butterfly effect on me. I’ll send it on to others in the hope of starting more wings flapping.

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      January 3rd

      A lit candle has a flame. We learn that flames are dangerous and they can hurt us.
      We need to see the beauty in the flame and share it.
      You highlight this need in your article.
      Thank you for reminding me not to fear the candle’s flame, but to embrace it, make it grow, and share it.

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      January 3rd

      Thank you. I will keep this in mind and maybe, who knows, try again.

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      Mark L. Redmond
      January 3rd

      Thank you for your consistent encouragement and guidance. I haven’t written much for the past two or three years, but I decided that 2017 would be my return to writing year. Your email reminded me of the reasons I need to keep writing.

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      Rachel Anderson
      January 4th

      Frustrated, I was. Gave up writing for 2 months, I did. But by doing that, it liberated me to think about my characters and my plot and to write down ideas about the story without having the pressure of writing the story. The thinking was fun, and the note taking was fun, and letting my mind go wild was – yep, fun! So the next time I sit at the keyboard and pull up my manuscript, I expect the writing to be fun again. That is my hope. Your post encouraged me to do so sooner vs. later.

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      January 4th

      Simply beautiful. So true for any endeavor we think ourselves too small for. Thank you!

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      January 4th

      Thank you. This is very needed right now! It’s easy to feel insignificant in the face of hugely successful authors and artists. Thanks for your support and the hope it gives.

    14. Avatar
      January 4th

      Thank you for the encouragement. I had made up my mind that this would be my year. I decided to concentrate on my children’s writing. I had lost my inspiration for writing, when my husband passed two years ago. I am feeling the surge of creativity welling up again. I am looking forward to a productive year. Thanks for all you do to spur us on. 🙂

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      January 4th

      Thank you. It truly does help to read these inspiring words. Although I have so much to focus on in 2017 i must get back to writing, writing, writing.

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      January 4th

      What an inspirational email!! And so full of truth. Thank you! Thank you!
      I’m sure your candle lit many others in just that one gesture!

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      Mary Rudzinski
      January 4th

      Thanks for the inspiration- I needed that. I am in the process of trying to sell my house, and cleaning out old file cabinets, shelves, boxes, etc. I found an old story I had started and never finished, hidden among some papers. It made me realize that I have been chasing the writing dream for a long time- 2017 is the year to make the dream a reality!

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      Antony Tilt
      January 4th

      I enjoyed getting the inspiration. I also like reading poetry and currently receive I poem per day by email

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      D. G. Driver
      January 4th

      Thank you! Exactly what I needed today.

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      Diane Garratt
      January 5th

      Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. And I finally feel like I’m on the right track with Chapter Book Blueprint. It is a priceless gift for me because I have so much to learn, and the light bulbs in my head are beginning to shine brightly.

    21. Avatar
      Barbara Parker
      January 5th

      What a lovely thought to start our new year. Let’s let our lights shine for ourselves and for others
      Thanks Jon and Laura o

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      Denise Vega
      January 5th

      This came at just the right time. Thank you! And thank you for being such a wonderful support for so many writers. You have been a part of my career for many, many years and I appreciate you both so much!

    23. Avatar

      Thank you for this nudge and reminder. Every now and then we need it.

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      Beautiful. I have written a picture book about a “Whirlwind of Butterflies.” Together that’s what we writers for children are. We can change the world.

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      K.L. Pickett
      January 6th

      I could not stop writing any more than I could stop breathing. My hope is that my work will touch others and thus, enhance their lives in some way (even if only to entertain them). Thank you for the poem and for all that you do to help writers be the best they can be.

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      Fatuma Abdullah
      January 6th

      Very powerful message and a great way to start the year. I love the phrase “Because you matter”. Thank you for sharing… awesome work.

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      Ricki Ristuccia
      January 8th

      Thank you for your inspiring encouragement. Your message will be a keepsake to look at on those days when encouragement is greatly needed.

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      Pam Harris
      January 8th

      I appreciate the reminder that the reason I write is not for fame or money, but because I love to write., especially for kids (ages eight through high school age). My two books have not been best-sellers or even great sellers, but I know for a fact I have a small fan following, and if my books have enriched their lives in any way, it is worth it.

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