Two weeks ago, I confessed to a friend over Voxer that I am usually afraid people won’t like the things I make. There’s a muddle of reasons: I wasn’t popular growing up, though I had friends. Nothing I’ve done has really taken off, though it lands a decent response. Just last week, I clicked on a woman’s Substack post and saw how many likes and comments she had and just logged back off my computer.1 I also don’t care to take the time to convince people to like me or my work.2 Like it or don’t, it’s up to you.
I loved two books in particular in middle school. They sit in a prized spot on the living room bookcase today. One was Emily of New Moon, the first of a trilogy that tells the story of an out-of-place orphan who is taken in by two aunts and eventually becomes a writer to the horror of everyone in her life except an old teacher who was often drunk.3 The second was A Ring of Endless Light, the fourth in the series by Madeleine L’Engle that featured Vicky Austin, a writer in a family of scientific masterminds. The stories are different but it’s easy now to see the same themes. The protagonist was a girl and that girl was a writer who felt out of place.4
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