I was sitting in her office, the New Hampshire afternoon light streaming in through the small window on my right, illuminating her face, her graying hair, her weathered face. And she had my words in her hand, with pencil marks instead of red ink – for some reason that stuck with me. Maybe because it was less harsh, more a comfort, or a little push in the right direction, instead of a big, glaring “NO” on my margins.
But what she wrote was not what I was used to – and what she said took my breath away.
“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. And 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, I should write. And I told her I wasn’t sure, that I didn’t think I could produce a book, make money, build a career. But she was adamant about it. Get a job as a waitress, she said. Write everyday.
She believed in me. And after two 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.