An Unbelievable and Inspiring Letter from a Reader in Japan

January 23, 2020

As writers, we often wonder who reads our book — did they like it? Did it make an impact on their lives? It’s this kind of feedback that we long for. Some stories are just too incredible to believe. How far can a book go and what is its impact?

There are stories of books ending up in some pretty strange places. The Guardian has an article in which users share some of these places they’ve discovered a new read. You might even recall a hospital stay in which there was a library of books to choose from. You might even recall back in 2017, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson hiding books across New York City subway, as reported by Vanity Fair. 

One day we received an unexpected yet exciting letter, one no author ever expects. It’s always humbling to be contacted by readers and hear their stories. The letter was addressed from Japan, which in and of itself sparked an interest. It wasn’t until we read the words of this man did we realize that not only did Melanie Johnson’s book make it to Japan, but it made it to a Japanese Prison. 

“I am writing to you from my cell in Japan. My sister sent me your book, “Life Legacy Challenge”. After [reading it], I shared with her my desire to write a book about my experience.”

In the pages of this letter, he detailed his shocking journey and how he ended up in a prison in Japan. All of which started with a simple email — you know the kind that promises money? However, unlike many of us who receive these emails, this man was not asked to wire money over first. In fact, it all seemed to be legitimate. That is until his journey ended in an eleven-year sentence in prison. Yet throughout his experience, Melanie’s book reached him. He explains how this book reached him – a gift from his sister back in the United States. Imagine your words journeying overseas to a struggling man in prison, giving him hope and the knowledge that his story is worth telling. And what a story it is!

Often times, authors may doubt if their story is worth telling — whether it is their life story or another story, a creative fictional world in their minds. At times authors may even experience negative feedback and reviews that lead to doubts and fears, but imagine if Melanie had not published this book. It would not have made such an epic journey and sparked such a desire!

“I hope to share my story with the world.”

The book the man received is titled Life Legacy Challenge, which asks the question If you were dying next week, what wisdom would you want to leave your children, family, the next generation, and the world? With the Life Legacy Challenge, you can learn to write your story and share your wisdom, ideas, and stories to mentor and help the future generations with all the information, questions, and step-by-step guides to writing your legacy. It’s a book that applies to all of us and inspires everyone to tell their story. And it can help you along the way. It would be exciting to see exactly what this man in Japan has come up with and the experiences he had. We hope to hear back from him soon.

While we wait to learn more about this one man’s journey, we hope this story helps you realize that every author can make an impact. If you’re holding off telling your story or writing a book, think of how it may influence someone else. It may just be the words they need to hear to inspire and uplift them. You never know where your story might end up!

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