Making Use of Criticism
Many years ago, a woman, about my age at the time, early 40s, ran toward me in a busy Southern California bank, newspaper in hand, and asked for my autograph. Stunned, I began to cry. Her friend, also holding a newspaper, stood nearby pointing to the weekly column I had written that carried my picture. The first woman patted my shoulder in comfort.
I was married at 17, three children by 23, and began writing in earnest after returning to college in my early 30s. I had ended up in a creative writing class because the English composition class I needed was full. Students couldn’t get a grade unless we submitted a manuscript to a magazine. Heart pounding, I submitted a fiction story to a teen magazine, certain that anyone who read it would think me stupid. It sold, and it was like the Red Sea parting. I still cannot describe how warm it made me feel.