This newsletter was originally sent in December of 2017. To receive Kristen’s newsletter right when it’s released, and be the first to know about contests, giveaways, and extra content, sign up HERE.
Well, we did it. We made it through 2017. Maybe it was a good year for you—if it was, I’m glad. If it was difficult, I am genuinely sorry, and I hope the next is better. Which is kind of the point of this email.
I’m sitting here at my laptop, listening to my not-so-tiny puppy chew god-knows-what, while my husband grades papers for college students, and my kid is sleeping upstairs. I should probably be writing about current giveaways (which I will later), and writing updates, and all the bookly things, but instead I’m having a moment, and feeling truly grateful for the life I have.
I write books for a living. Some of you might have read them. That’s a thing that at one time I never thought would happen.
Some of my books are taught in schools. If you’re reading this, maybe I spoke to your class this year. Some of my books are in other languages. If you’re translating this, well, I’m impressed.
I’m telling long stories in a world where social media and character count rules. And I’m able to do that, because of readers.
When the day is done, I hope that my books touch someone, mean something to someone, give them strength or help them process the world like I do. But the truth is, you have touched me. You believing in the power of stories has made my dream possible, and that is no small feat.
Here’s what I hope for you when the day ends.
I hope you are safe, healthy, and happy. I hope you know you’re valued, and that even if you’ve dipped into the dark thoughts that you don’t matter, you remember that these thoughts are wrong—at the very least, you’ve made a difference to me.
I hope you love yourself and someone else. I hope if your heart is broken, it mends, and you find peace.
I hope you find a place in this world where you are not afraid, and that you know you are wanted and important. I hope your parents/kids/siblings/friends make you laugh so hard you cry, and cry so hard you laugh again.
I hope you know kindness matters. And equality matters. And freedom, of all kinds, is important. I hope you know your stories, the building blocks of your life, have worth. That it doesn’t make a difference who you love, as long as you love. That you are not alone in joy or pain, and there is an other side to all the ugly things that threaten to dim your shine.
I hope you take care of your beautiful brain, and if you feel anxious or depressed, manic or suicidal, lost, afraid, or even if you hear and see things other people don’t, you feel no shame in talking about it, or asking for help. I talk about it. I ask for help. It works.
I hope you know that if you respect me, I will respect you.
I hope this world is ready for all the wonderful things you will do.
Taking a page from my friend Aya in Glass Arrow: You are worth more than all the stars in the night sky.