When I was in college, my esteemed English professor read an essay written by one of her students aloud to the
class. Though she did not mention the author's name, I immediately recognized my words.
Panic set in.
As the minutes ticked by like hours, I slouched in my seat, with pounding heart and sweating palms. Finally,
she finished. I let out a sigh of relief and waited for her words of criticism.
Surprisingly, she began by saying, "This writer has the potential to be a great author."
What? I couldn't believe my ears.
I was shy.
Preferred nature to people.
Who would want to read my words? And so, I filed her praise in my memory and moved forward along the
expected path. It took three decades, but finally, at the age of fifty, I stepped off the expected path and began to pursue
my passion -- writing for children.
Armed with my mantra: "Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground," and Oprah's wise words
"Do what you love, the rest will come," I battled raised eyebrows, rejections, and my own crippling doubts.
This week, four-plus years later, a manuscript I wrote won FIRST PLACE in Rate Your Story's writing
And so, I say to you: You will never know what you can give to the world until you try.