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I was sitting in her office, the New Hampshire afternoon light streaming in through the window to my right, illuminating one side of her face, her graying hair. She had my words in her hand, with pencil marks instead of red ink – maybe because it was less harsh, more of a gentle little push in the right direction instead of a big, glaring “NO” bleeding on my margins.

But what she wrote was not what I was used to – and what she said made me rethink my passion.

“This is what a writer sounds like, Lisa,” her eye contact was serious behind her glasses, and she leaned into me, a small upturn of the right side of her mouth. Meredith Hall, a New York Times bestselling author, was telling me that I was good. I was good at the same thing she was good at. She asked me what I wanted to do after graduation, only a few months away, and asked if I wanted to write, would I want to write, that I should write. And I told her I wasn’t sure, that I didn’t think I could produce anything substantial, make money, build a career. But she was adamant about it. “Get a part-time job,” she said, “write everyday.” Write everyday.She believed in me. And after five years setting my writing aside, after barely reading, barely writing, focusing on travel, on experience, on adrenaline, I think I need to start again. I think I need to turn this into something.