20 years ago, I was finishing up my first summer out of college. I was teaching summer school (a miserable experience for both the students and me) and I had much to look forward to. I had finished writing my first novel and my agent at the time was sending it out to publishers. I had a handful of stories upon which my creative writing professor had written, “If you keep writing, you will get published. I promise.” I had a double degree in Secondary Education and English and I was on my way to grad school. I had a plan. Things were happening.

Then: Things happened. I left grad school degreeless. I stopped writing for a while. I went within. People loved me. People fell out of love with me. I fell out of love with people. I fell in love with people. I moved in. I moved out. I worked at this job. I left that job. People told me secrets. People stopped talking to me. I stopped talking to people. People moved away. People stayed close. People got sick. People died.

I pulled myself back up. I kept writing. I got published once and twice and a bunch of times. People believed in me and kept believing in me. I began to believe in myself. I took a chance. I put my work out there. Some people liked it. Some didn’t. There was much rejection and some success. Those who would have broken me, did not break me. I kept writing and people who mattered to me said yes to me and to my words.

Now: in less than a month I begin back at grad school. I will not leave again until I have my Master’s degree.

Now: in March 2012 a novel of mine will be published. Thank you for saying yes to my words, Engine Books!

Now: In August 2012 my short fiction collection will be published. Thank you for saying yes to my words, PANK Little Books!

As for you: don’t you ever give up on yourself. Keep going. You, keep going. Don’t stop. Do not stop.

12 Comments on “20 years ago and today

  1. “nobody puts baby in the corner!”

    Thanks for writing this, Myfanwy. It's hugely inspiring.

    Kath

  2. Myfanwy, this is wonderful news! I am so glad you never stopped believing. Your words are always beautiful and inspiring. I look forward to holding both of these books in my hand!

  3. Heartfelt congratulations, Myf. I look forward to reading both your books and I thank you for this inspiring and motivational post. I needed this.

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