I came to learn about Michael Hastings from Jack Gray, a writer/producer for Anderson Cooper 360, years ago. On Jack’s recommendation, I followed Michael on Twitter, especially enjoying his tweets from a writer’s workshop he attended in New England. Commenting on one of Michael’s tweets from the workshop, he responded and we ended up having a spirited chat about writing. I had recently been brave enough to put some of my writing out there and Michael was incredibly kind and encouraging during our exchange. It was thanks to his encouragement, along with that of family, friends and other writers that I eventually made writing my full-time career.
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Michael face-to-face, he had an enormous impact on my writing endeavors and our exchanges are something I shall never forget. He took the time to answer and reach out to a veritable stranger because he loved writing and writers. It was who he is. It is who he was.
To all Michael’s family, friends and colleagues, my deepest sympathy. I have no other words at this time. They all seem incredibly hollow. I suppose we all have a guardian writer angel up there rooting for us. Much as he did here on earth. You will be missed, but you will live on in your writing and in our fond memories. Godspeed.