Dustin Hoffman once told a reporter a wonderful story:
When Midnight Cowboy was filming, an especially emotional and demanding scene was scheduled for shooting in the late afternoon. By then, Dustin was tired and felt too drained and tapped out to do his best work. Dustin was a meticulous and methodical actor. He complained about his situation to his costar, Jon Voight.
Voight touched Dustin’s arm and and told him, “You’re great, you can do it. Now do it!”
Dustin did and went on to win an Oscar for his role. Recalling his costar’s kind gesture, he said, “Voight gave me a love tap. He unleashed my potential.”
Wonderful story isn’t it? It reminds us of the great power of kindness is a rough-and-tumble world.
Writing can be magical and exciting. It can also be lonely and tough.
So, let’s be grateful for love taps we’ve been given—gestures of encouragement we received that gave our words wings.
And let’s pay it forward. Today, right now, let’s think of someone we know among our writing tribe—or outside it!— who might need a boost and let’s give them a love tap.
What love tap could you pass on? A friendly email to check in to see how a friend’s project is coming. A funny card you send via snail mail that’s sure to arrive just when someone needs a smile or a laugh. A phone call—remember those?—just to catch up for a few minutes.
Love taps are small, but mighty! As Dustin says so well, they can unleash our potential. So let’s be grateful for the love taps we receive and let’s give them to someone else whenever we can. Write on!
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