Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Real Writer

My senior year in college I got a new roommate who asked what I wanted to be when I graduated. I'd given up the idea of writing (cf previous post) but didn't know what else to do, so I told her I wanted to be a writer. "Do you have any rejection slips?" she asked. "All writers have rejection slips." 
I had none and she wouldn't let me alone. For months she kept asking me to show her my rejection slips and I got sick of her nagging. Finally I sent something I'd written as a little kid to a publication I knew couldn't possibly accept it. Sure enough, I got a rejection slip, showed it to her, and she let me alone.
Years later after getting the first thing I'd ever submitted published right away I began sending out other manuscripts and getting - you guessed it - rejection slips. That was a bit disappointing, but also exciting because they showed I was a real writer.
I've been grateful to that roommate, Sheila Walsh, ever since and wish I could get back in touch with her to express my gratitude.

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