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The Power of a Thank You

Yesterday, a royalty statement arrived in the mail. It was accompanied by something I’ve never before received – a “thank you” letter from the CEO of the publishing company. I’ve been receiving royalty statements for more than 30 years now – from eight or ten different publishers –  and this was a first. The letter thoughtfully acknowledged that the entire music cycle – a cycle that ends with (hopefully good) music being sung in churches – begins with a writer putting pencil to paper. Without the writer – there is no music to sing.

Now – I’m not so self-involved to believe the letter was sent to only me. I imagine each of the publisher’s writers received the same letter. But that’s not the point. If the thought really does count – then this letter counts for something.

For the record – my various publishers have all been gracious and appreciative folks. Over the years, I have been thanked in person for my contributions to their catalogs. Besides, writing music for publication is a business. The ultimate compliment a publisher can offer any writer is continued activity in the publisher’s catalog.

But – writers are notoriously insecure creatures. (Rejection fosters insecurity – and there is much rejection for just about every writer.)  A kind word of thanks can go a long way to encouraging the writer to summon the nerve to write something new. So, it matters all the more when that word of thanks comes from a publisher. And for a publisher to put that appreciation down in words – in a letter – well, I’m just saying  – that was a very cool thing to do.

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