An Open Letter to Amanda (Fucking) Palmer

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I’m sitting on my bed, munching contentedly on a line of dark chocolate and thinking about your book, which I have just finished. It made me laugh aloud. It made me cry. It made me feel, not like I was reading a memoir, but like I was reading a long letter from a dear friend.

I met you last week. I waited in line for a while and approached the signing table with slightly shaking hands. You asked me about my name, and told me that your husband had just written a poem about the myth. Then, when I expressed that Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, you stood, took my book and went off to find him. I thought that was a magnificent gesture, and even when you returned sans Neil and apologised for having been unable to find him, I loved you for your time and your kindness. You signed my book, and smiled at me and it was awesome.

It was wonderful, seeing you perform and hearing you talk about your experiences. And, after reading your book, I have a newfound appreciation for the benefits of asking. There was nothing pretentious about your writing, and your honesty is refreshing. You are a role model, in the purest sense. After reading your book, and seeing you on stage, (and at the risk of sounding like an overzealous fan) I feel like I know you. You are an inspiration to me, as a woman, a performer, a creator.

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I consider myself a writer, and hope eventually to be a published one. For the longest time, asking people to read my writing has been a problem. What if they don’t like it? What if they tell me I suck? What I never thought about was, what if they tell me I’m good, and to keep going? Perhaps that encouragement is what I need to stay motivated. I’d never considered it before reading your book, but asking isn’t easy. The fear of rejection is strong, almost crippling. Sometimes asking seems like too much, easier to avoid. But the resounding theme of your book is that asking is ok. And I think I’m getting better at it.

Amanda Palmer, though you may never read this, you are my hero, and I hope one day to meet you as a friend, as well as a fan. Thank you for your music, your words and your story.

P.S. I did end up meeting Neil, and he signed some things for me. It was glorious.

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