As soon as my book “Your Story Your Way” released, a lady who knew a friend of mine wanted to catch up with me. I was, of course, thrilled at the prospect of meeting her. The only thought that came to my mind was that she had read my book and wanted to share her thoughts with me.
Pleasantries out of the way, the first thing she told me was that she also wanted to publish her short stories. My heart sank. You haven’t read my book? You don’t want to talk about my book? Did you even go through some bits of my book? Of course, these questions were swimming in my mind when I was jolted out of the despair by her next question – will you read my short stories and tell me whether you like them?
I took a few seconds to collect my thoughts before blurting out – really? You want me to read your short stories and tell you whether they are good? What if I don’t like them and tell you exactly how I feel, I asked her. Now it was her turn to get shocked. I could see that she was speechless. A long pause ensued which I decided to break with another question – if I told you that your stories aren’t good, you won’t go ahead and publish them?
The movie buff that I am, Chris Gardner’s words in The Pursuit of Happyness echoed in my mind – You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.
Just go ahead and publish your work, I told her. Today, it is possible to get your thoughts and words out without the nonsensical intrusion of the self-proclaimed gatekeepers. Take advantage of it.
The meeting continued for the next one hour. She left my office absolutely upbeat. Hell, I had never experienced so much of happiness myself.