I almost did not become a writer. Almost. Why? Someone didn't believe I could.
When I was in high school, an English teacher told me, "You have no business being a writer." I knew I had a lot to learn about writing, but I was crushed. In a single moment, my dreams went up in a puff of smoke.
When I was a child, the first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a teacher. I had always loved writing, especially poetry and stories, but I didn't see it as a career -- that is, until high school. When I got involved with the yearbook and literary magazine staffs, I saw a future in more than just writing. Design captured me. It was another art form, another place where I could be creative.
But after that conversation, I doubted myself. I changed my college major on all my applications to "Education." Maybe my teacher was right. Maybe, I could not write.
Obviously, something else happened. During my second semester in college, another English teacher approached me. "You write well for a sophomore."
When I answered, "But I'm a freshman," she was floored. I explained that I had changed my major to "Education," because I was told that I could not write. She took me by the hand and marched me over to the Registrar's Office, where I officially changed my major back to English. I never looked back.
Was that the last rejection I ever received? Absolutely, not. Writing is full of challenges and rejections. I get turned down multiple times every year by editors, publishers, and agents. I receive more emails that say, "No, thank you" than I receive, "Yes, we want to publish this." It's simply a part of writing to publish. Do I doubt myself from time to time? YES. Do I keep writing? YES.
The biggest hurdle you will face in any career is believing in yourself. But you can achieve any dream if you believe it's possible and are willing to do the work to make it happen.
Keep dreaming. Keep believing. Keep writing.
Photo Source: Samuel Zeller on Unsplash.com