The title of today's blog entry is "Dear Sara" because I've been in touch with a student named ... you guessed it ... Sara and she asked me such a good question I thought I'd turn it into a blog entry.
Sara is in Mrs. Murphy's English class at St. Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire. We met a couple of weeks ago when I spoke at St. Thomas. Sara kindly gave me her permission to tell you about her and to quote her question... so here it is:
"However,I do have a question for you: why didn't you give up after your first couple of manuscripts got rejected the first time? What made you want to keep going?"
The tough part, of course, is trying to come up with an honest answer.
Why didn't I give up after my first couple of manuscripts (actually, Sara, there were more than a couple! it might have been three, or possibly even FOUR!) were rejected?.... I didn't give up because, well, BECAUSE I COULDN'T. I wanted so badly, so desperately, to be a published author that to be quite frank, giving up was never a real possibility for me. Sure, I sometimes toyed with the idea of giving up on my dream, but never in a serious way. Meaning... sometimes I FELT LIKE GIVING UP, but I didn't act on that feeling.
A wise acquaintance once told me, "It's not how you feel that counts; it's how you behave." I behaved in the not-giving-up fashion and eventually... though it took a long time... and I sometimes felt discouraged... I sold my first manuscript.
And you know what else, Sara and anyone else who is reading this entry? Don't you give up either! Not if your dream is to be an author or a clinical geneticist or a fireman! If you want it, I can already predict there will be obstacles in your way, but you've got to go for it, too!
That act of going for it ... for me, it's what makes me feel most alive. And grateful to be alive.
So Dear Sara, Thanks for asking me this difficult question. I hope you'll stay in touch and keep me posted on how the pursuit of your own dream is coming.