I was speaking at a local high school about writing. Afterward, a girl came up to me with a notebook of handwritten poems. She showed them to me shyly and asked,
“Are they good enough?”
I didn’t need to read them to know that they were good enough. She was fifteen. She had a dream. While her friends were playing violent video games and getting pregnant, she was writing poetry. That’s good enough for me.
“They are wonderful,” I said.
I am not sure we were talking about the same thing.
It’s a big question for a writer: am I good enough?
Am I good enough to get published? To get reviewed? To win an award? To make money? To come out in hardcover? To move people to tears? To win the respect of my older brother who said I would never make it?
I advise English majors. Every so…