Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dear Jennifer Weiner

Dear Jennifer Weiner,

First things first, is it OK if I call you Jen? Or BFF? Which do you prefer?

I have reached out to you before (I am not a stalker!) but never formally. I wanted to take a moment to write you a quick letter and let you know how you changed my life.

I read your first book when it came out. I bought the hardcover and I still have it to this day. I am not sure who turned me onto it, but I was working in Center City at the time and the characters and the places that you put on paper were so real to me. I would commute to work on Septa and read your pages and I felt like you were right there with me. I felt like I knew you.

Fast forward to many years and here I am, still reading your words. I have followed your career and been proud that we have managed to stay in touch. It gets hard once there are spouses and kids, but we have managed to make it work.

Earlier this year, you challenged your readers to #weartheswimsuit. As someone who has battled my weight my entire life, I loved the message that you were sending and jumped on board. I wrote a blog, shared it with you, you quoted it, and within a week, my usual readership of about 100, jumped to 3500. Wow!

Believe it or not, it was that boost I needed to believe that I was a real writer. You see, my first daughter was born still after 37 weeks and I left the hospital with a memory box and a hole in my heart. I did not know what to do. A friend of mine, a friend since the 3rd grade, suggested I start a blog. She had heard other bereaved moms had used writing as an outlet for their grief and suggested I give it a try. It was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received.

Five years later, I was still writing. I have written about my grief, struggle to conceive, and eventual adoption of my rainbow baby. I have written about my family and my health and my battles with depression and body images and whatever else seemed pertinent to me.

Since I used your topic and ran with it, I am now writing for others. I have had two pieces published in the last few weeks and have one more coming out tomorrow. I am currently waiting to hear from several other sites.

I am also writing my own book. It's a memoir. It's part blog, part novel, part awesome (I hope!).

So you see, you have changed my life. You have opened up a new world for me. You have made me believe the possible is possible.

I will be attending one of your book signings in October. Do me a favor? When I come to the table, book in hand, tears in my eyes, please don't laugh at me. It will mean the world to me. I can't wait to meet my long lost friend at last.

Yours in friendship, admiration and respect,

So that you will recognize me...

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