A few weeks ago, I received a touching email from someone who had found my "True Life" memoir web project (http://truelife.ejohnlove.com). This person's words really touched me...
In essence, the reader wanted to let me know that the themes and experiences they read about in True Life echoed their own life experiences: parental alcoholism and depression, and personally having to take on a lot of responsibility for the family as a result.
They told me that they had spent a great deal of time feeling like they were alone in their feelings, and that it was a comfort and an inspiration to encounter someone else who'd been through similar experiences.
Back in 1998, I began my True Life web memoir as a way to organize and purge my personal experiences in a format that I could control and continue to develop on an adhoc basis, for as long as it took.
I wish my new reader all the best in their future, and I have encouraged them to write their experiences as well.
Over the years, I've only received a few messages from readers of True Life, but this person's message meant a lot to me, and made me feel like the act of writing and sharing must automatically have an element of compassion in it - it's not just a selfish activity - it's a sharing, connecting activity.