Ww: Write, Write a fan letter

During April, I will be blogging about how creative people can practice their craft every day and what rewards will come from the daily effort.

Ww: Write
Write a fan letter

At any time during your creative practice, but especially when you’re abiding a slump, writing a fan letter to another artist can serve as your creative effort for the day and will reignite your own joy and faith in the creative path.

Think of one artist you admire, whether they do work similar to yours or totally different, whether you perceive them as uber successful or just a few steps ahead of you on this journey. Review some of their work. Study what it is that makes their craftsmanship so compelling to you. What do they do that makes you see them as successful? What’s the “X factor”? (See X.)

Then, write them a fan letter—the kind of letter you would love to receive from an admirer of your work. Go ahead and gush. Tell them what you love about their work and about them. Be specific.

Taking the time to study another’s work and discern what makes it so great, helps you further define what “success” means to you. Is it the artist’s unique vision or voice? Is it their remarkable skill? Is it the risks they take by not following convention?

As you write this out in your fan letter, you spell out for yourself what success looks like–successful art and a successful artisan. Praising someone else reveals to you what your creative goals are, and it shows you that this kind of success is possible.

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About TRISTA

I write and illustrate stationery, cards, customized snail mail (yes, you can receive handwritten and illustrated letters in your mail!!), coloring books, and more. My business name is "Carrot Condo." After teaching English for 15 years (gasp!), I am now a full-time parent and part-time artist slowly, but steadily, building a creative business and life. You can read more at carrotcondo.com or see my products at etsy.com/shop/CarrotCondo. Thanks for your interest and support!!
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10 Responses to Ww: Write, Write a fan letter

  1. Solveig says:

    What a fun piece of advice 🙂 it makes us focus on others, takes our mind of ourselves for a moment and can give someone else an encouraging tap on the back.

    • TRISTA says:

      Exactly! Plus, sometimes when I’ve had students study others’ work, they end up feeling envious and hyper-critical of themselves. Writing a fan letter alleviates those feelings and shifts it back to the constructive and positive.

  2. We all like to know when we are doing something right. I think the fan letter idea is a really inspirational one. To let others know they are appreciated in turn makes us feel good.

    • TRISTA says:

      Right! When I wrote my last fan letter, I felt a little self-conscious because the writer seems so accomplished and intellectual. But then I thought that’s no reason why she wouldn’t appreciate a reader gushing enthusiastically about her work. So, I sent it, and she even replied with a nice thank you note.

  3. Donna says:

    Love this idea! I was thinking of doing this with my character (The Menopause Fairy). I LLLOOOOOVVVVEEEEEE getting mail-I call it old fashion mail. Everyday I check the mailbox to see if something came 🙂

  4. Rose L. says:

    I wrote to Billy Collins long ago. In a poetry class we were to try to write a poem in the style of a favorite poet, and I chose him. Thy we were challenged to write to the poet and send the poem (if living). I did and was so surprised when I could weeks later I received a response letter from him! I plan to frame it!

  5. Alex Hurst says:

    I’ve actually never written a fan letter…. Part of it stems from always being disappointed when I finally meet/learn about an artist I admire. I guess it’s one of those things I like the “social” wall for!

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