LETTER ON A TRAIN
Danie Gooch tells us how she found her inspiration to write that first letter:
Writing a letter to a complete stranger sounds absolutely barmy, but it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
Last week I wrote my first letter to someone who is fighting cancer; they don’t know me and I don’t know them. Despite the lack of knowledge I had about the recipient, I hoped it would brighten their day and could make a real difference.
I’d had the urge to write a letter after first meeting Alison and Brian at From Me to You. The idea of making somebody smile and laugh in a time of struggle was enough to convince me that I needed to write. And write a letter I did.
It took me a long time to find a topic I felt I could write about. I’m a huge fan of writing, being a journalism student, but I must have attempted to start my letter five times. I don’t know what it was or why I was struggling; I just couldn’t get started. I tried different approaches to the letter, different topics and different introductions but none of them seemed right.
A week after my first attempt at a letter, the From Me to You team took me to Brighton to film promotional videos for social media. We walked miles, and of course had a few stops for tea along the way. I’d never been to Brighton before so the day was exciting…and that’s when it came to me; I decided to write my letter about my first trip to Brighton.
As I sat gazing out of the window on the train home, bright pink pen in hand, new notebook open (thank you Brian), I wrote my letter. I was reminded of actors in films being inspired on train journeys. Who knew I’d find the same inspiration!
With all the excitement of the day, my thoughts exploded onto the pages and I found myself unable to stop. I told my tale of wandering around the multi-coloured streets, looking for post boxes, being filmed and finally coming to rest for a glass of orange juice in a cute, independent coffee shop.
It seems strange that after having struggled for two weeks to even start a letter, I then managed to write and finish one in a matter of hours. With a good topic, a different environment and the determination to write, I now know that you are guaranteed to make a difference to somebody who needs support and a smile.