That one person you want, more than any other, to know you published a book. The person who comes to mind when you get the news that after years and years of writing and submitting, writing and submitting, you’ve been offered a contract and your novel will be in bookstores everywhere.
It’s the day you’ve dreamed of.
It’s kind of like that guy in college you crushed on and went on five dates with who eventually told you he just didn’t see you “that way” so you made out with his good friend on the floor—and I mean, on the floor—of the dining hall at the next dance in the hopes of showing him what you looked like “that way” only to wake up with dried oatmeal in your hair.
Er…where was I?
Right. Well, when you write a book, I think it’s sort of the opposite. There are those people in your life you can’t wait to hear the news that you’re finally publishing your first novel. Not because you want them to think, hmm, maybe I blew that one, but because you know they’ve been in your corner from day one.
No, I’m not talking about your parents. (Though they deserve copious praise and love for doing just that.)
I’m not talking about your beloved. (Though the look of pride on his or her face when he or she hears the news puts you under the table begging for a box of Klennex.)
I’m talking about your writing teacher.
Maybe he or she was your teacher in high school, maybe college, or maybe even the leader of a week-long writing course you took one summer.
For me, it was my high school writing teacher. Keep in mind that we hadn’t stayed in touch since graduation—that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I knew she’d appreciated my love of writing earlier than many people had. I knew that she understood the winding and bumpy road to publication. I knew she’d be thrilled. And even though I hadn’t spoken with her in twenty-two years, I couldn’t wait to share my news.
So I did. I sent her an email and she got right back to me. Wrote me the sweetest note. It was just perfect. What we all like to call “coming full circle.”
My husband is a teacher and I swoon when I watch his dedication to his students. To me there is no greater gift you can give a young person than the confidence and the enthusiasm to follow their dreams.
I had that in high school.
Thank you, Mrs. Maiman.
(Of course, there is another blog post out there on how you feel when your writing teacher reads your book—but for now, I’ll stick to the warm fuzzies of pure, red-pen-less congratulations.)
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What about you all? What teacher do you hope reads YOUR novel?