A letter of acceptance

The letter delivered news she had been waiting on for several months and now that it was finally in her hands, the words to describe how she felt eluded her. In fact, all manner of feeling eluded her. She was numb, which was not what she anticipated. Elation is what she knew she should be feeling but, any hint of it was overshadowed by the question of what was to come next. 


Over the past twelve months she had escaped an abusive marriage, dredged herself out of homelessness, and with this letter she would have a stable source of income once more. She could start to build a life for herself again. However, upon reflection all her old hopes and dreams now lay dead. She didn’t really want to be a nurse as she had told people of her plans to go back to school. Her maternal instincts now lay dormant after the death of her children. And the connections she had to her old journalism career had turned stale after years of absence from the field. 

Setting the letter aside, she spent the rest of the day scrolling through social media and alternately searching the web for “what to do with the rest of your life” and variations of those words. In all the articles she read, one thing came across clearly – follow your strengths. She’d always been a good writer and knew it through and through. Even when her neuropsychologist delivered the news her cognition was in decline, her verbal-linguistic skills remained in the ninety-eighth percentile. She knew objectively, subjectively, and historically – writing was her proven strength. 

But she was also intimately familiar with her weakness. Motivation, dedication, and follow-through were not in her wheelhouse. When she worked in a newsroom, it was much easier to stay on task being surrounded by colleagues and faced with looming deadlines. Without those key elements, she experienced severe doubt in her ability to succeed. 

That’s when I remembered my greatest strength as a reporter. I may not have the information I need to write a story, but I know how to get it. You start by asking someone and whether they know the answer or not is of little consequence because I’ve found that most people, despite their many shortcomings, like to be helpful – or at least consider themselves to be. So if they don’t have the information you seek, you ask if they might know someone who does. Then you follow the trail until you have what you need. I might not have colleagues or deadlines, but surely I can find some.

I started by sending a message to my favorite living author, but won’t be holding my breath for a response. Secondly, I went to Reddit – again won’t be holding my breath for a constructive response, but at least it’s a place to start. I know there are writer’s groups in this town, but I’ve looked into them before and after reading what comes out, it’s not something I care to be a part of. There’s a great deal of re-hashed Tolkein imitators writing tales of fantasy that would be more fitting to an inspired game of Dungeons & Dragons. This is not intended as an insult as I do enjoy the game. However, that’s not the sort of writer I wish to be unless I could manage to be the next Terry Pratchett. He possessed such a brilliant sense of humor.

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