Guest Bloggers

Listen To Your Heart

Today’s guest blogger, Nancy Julien Kopp, has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books 22 times! Her story:

A good many years ago, I submitted to a Chicken Soup for the Soul  book for the first time. The story was a simple one, a childhood memory, that I thought might work for the Fathers and Daughters book. Maybe.

I hesitated to send it. Why? My pride told me it was impossible because rejection hurts a lot.

Experience added that I hadn’t been writing very long, and the Chicken Soup editors received hundreds, maybe even a thousand or more, submissions for each book. My chances were pretty slim. 

Reason stepped in and sneered at me as it said it was pointless to submit this story. What would it matter to the rest of the world? Then they laughed and I whimpered.

All three had ganged up on me, and then a funny thing happened. My heart whispered softly in my ear. Your story is something others can relate to. Go ahead and give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I pushed pride, experience, and reason out the door. I liked what my heart told me.

I sent the story. Many months later, I received a notice that the story had made it to the finals. My heart did a happy dance. I waited a few weeks longer before learning that the story had made it into the book. What a thrill to hold the published book in my hand a few months later.

That story was “Love In A Box,” about a Valentine box my dad made for me when I was in the second grade. At age seven, I suddenly realized that my hardworking father truly loved me. That fact came as a startling discovery, one that left a life-long impression on me.

Apparently, readers related to it and responded positively, so much so that the story has been published multiple times in English and some foreign languages.

What if I hadn’t listened to my heart? What if I’d let those three bullies push me into a corner?

Have you ever had a project that you wanted to submit somewhere but held back for one or more of the reasons above? What kept you from sending it? Were those three bullies-pride, experience and reason-invading your space, too?

Don’t let them push you around. Remind yourself that you wrote a good story or poem or essay and that it deserves a chance.

Get the submission ready, hit the Submit button and laugh at the three bullies.

Listen to your heart. Your heart knows you better than those three twerps who try to place blocks in your way.

Remember this:  If you don’t submit, you cannot be published.

Nancy Julien Kopp has been published in several anthologies including The Write Spot: Possibilities, newspapers, magazines and ezines. Her writing includes award-winning fiction for children, creative nonfiction, poetry, travel and personal essays. She was named Prose Writer of the Year in 2013 by the Kansas Authors Club.

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