Have You Ever Written Fan Mail? If Not, Would You?

As I was scrolling though the student opinions, this one caught my eye and as I was reading, I definitely knew where the author was coming from.

Have you ever written fan mail — whether an email, a letter or a direct message — to an artist whose work you loved? Why did you want to tell the person what the work meant to you?

I have always wanted to write fan mail, whether that be commenting on a YouTube video or sending a P.O package. However, the one time I ever wrote fan mail was about 7-8 years ago, when I was about 11 and I was introduced to the world of fanfiction. I had stumbled across a certain story and became deeply captured by it. After reading the whole day, I finished the story only to be taught what the word angst was. It was so impactful that I hurriedly made an account with my mom’s email, and commented on the piece. I was so nervous and I kept rereading it to make sure it didn’t look like it came from an 11-year-old. The next day, I got a response back and although it wasn’t the answer I was hoping (I wrote about the possibility of a character coming back to life after a fatal gun shot, I know, I was asking for a lot), the author was so kind about it, I’ve never regretted commenting on her piece.

If you’ve never written fan mail, what do you think has held you back from doing so? Has Dr. Bedard’s essay persuaded you to reach out more often to the artists and creators whose work you consume — even knowing you might not get a response back? Why or why not?

It’s definitely scary to reach out, especially towards big creators. Despite not me being active in writing fan mails, I do my best in supporting the author the best way I know, such as liking a piece, sharing it, or giving it 5 stars. But seeing that someone else has felt the same way as I do and has sent fan mail despite knowing they won’t get a response, I feel more motivated to do my part, because I really have been moved by some works and it’s still a nice feeling to say it out loud than keeping it to yourself.

Dr. Bedard says that writing fan mail is a cathartic way for her to build intimacy and connection, and “an opportunity to take pleasure” in her passions. What does writing fan mail do for you? Or, if you’ve never written it, what do you imagine it might do for you?

It’s so nerve wracking! I don’t think there’s a possible way to explain it. It’s like hoping, praying, and just wishing that this person, who you suddenly consider to be the greatest person alive, that they are this genius, to notice you. But also not notice you because you don’t feel like you deserve it. And you want to relay your emotions but you don’t want to seem super obsessed or like a creep because fan mail does have its bad rep. But you don’t want to restrict yourself in fear of them not fully understanding how they have impacted you.

What is a book, movie, show, poem, photograph, podcast, song or other piece of art that has had an effect on you? If you were to write fan mail to the creator of that work, what would you say?

I always tell myself to remember the pieces that inspire me for this exact moment but then I just blank out. But recently I’ve come across this author who writes their own version of a tv show called Merlin. And the way they just write is simple utterly and beautifully perfect, and their upload schedule is amazing! Because of their work, I’ve appreciated more life in a sense (I know, it’s crazy). But it does just make me happy thinking of it and it’s something good to pass the time. I haven’t written them a fan mail yet, but I am planning to write on one of their next chapters about how simply wonderful they are for creating those pieces. I could write more here but still kind of want to save face here!

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  1. YINELDI DIAZ says:

    I can imagine how you felt hearing back from the author, sometimes it is good to take the risk for sure lol.

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