Letter from Andy

Dear Friends,

Small talk is a necessary and welcomed part of what I do as an author and speaker. I love meeting people and hearing their stories—it's why I do what I do. People who have read my novels or heard me speak will approach me in various places and share experiences they feel might be relevant to my writing. I've heard stories about the good times and bad; about family losses, lessons learned and friendships found—and I love them all. Listening to the experiences of others helps me to be not only a better writer, but a better person.

Unfortunately, one aspect of many stories I hear always stands out: People rarely let others know how much they have impacted their lives and how grateful they are! In almost every story, there's a "shoulda, woulda, coulda ... " nostalgic attitude of which I have begun to take notice—now more than ever! And believe me, I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else.

As children we are all encouraged to say "thank you" to someone who has done something nice for us, but how often, as we grow older, do we continue this virtue? More importantly, how often do we sit down with the people who have helped us the most, even in the smallest ways, and notice them for their impact on our lives? For most people, it's a rare occurrence.

My new book, The Noticer, is rooted in the belief that our time on this earth is a gift to be used wisely and one of the best ways to use that gift is by noticing those who have made an impact on our lives.

For that reason, I am excited to announce the start of The Noticer Project, a worldwide movement to "notice" the 5 most influential people in your life. I am really excited about this idea. It is a movement to encourage us to step outside our busy schedules and avoid waiting until a wedding, graduation or even a funeral to take notice of the special, influential people in our lives. By noticing those who have made a difference for you, you not only acknowledge their contribution, but will gain a new perspective on your own journey.

This is a grassroots initiative that I hope will have a positive impact—however small—on our country in this uncertain time. I know that when I sat down to think about the five people who have made the biggest impact on my journey, it brought to mind so many gifts that I have been given along the way and reminded me how lucky I am.

Some of you may be wondering how you can take part in The Noticer Project and begin "noticing" those influential people in your life. There is no right answer to that question. For some it may be taking their high school English teacher out for a cup of coffee to say thanks. For others it may be writing a letter or email to a friend they haven't connected with in years. For those of you who are looking for a more public way to notice your five friends, it may be as public as posting a Facebook note, joining The Noticer Project Facebook group or posting a few words about the five most influential people in your life on TheNoticerProject.com.

I can't tell you how excited I am about The Noticer Project and I look forward to reading soon the stories you have about those you've noticed! Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help me spread the word about The Noticer Project.

Your friend,