Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over and
whispers, “Grow, Grow.”
Here is a wonderful story that Fannie Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, told about Samuel Vaughan, the Doubleday publisher: “He was like one of those gentlemen professors. If it hadn’t been for Sam, I don’t think I would have a career. Nobody wanted to publish Fried Green Tomatoes, and a lot of people turned it down. They didn’t think a book about an old lady in a nursing home would be of interest to anyone, but obviously Sam did. I sent him a little bit, and when he called, he said, ‘Ms. Flagg, this is Sam Vaughan, and I would be delighted to publish your book.’”
Wonderfully happy ending, isn’t it? Fannie’s book went on to become immensely popular and was made into a film starring the great Jessica Tandy. What I adore about this story is Sam’s lovely words, “…I would be delighted to publish your book.” They remind me that somewhere out there in publishing land, there is also someone just waiting to hear from me — or from you.
All it takes is one person who really believes in what we’re doing to tip the scales of good fortune in our favor. That one person might be a publisher, an agent, or even an encouraging friend who offers kind words just at the moment when we need them most.
And you know what? We can be that one person for someone else! Sure we may not be publishers or agents, but we can still make a difference to the writers and aspiring writers around us. We can give them a boost when they feel down, offer a practical suggestion, or send them an article or link that might prove helpful. And a handwritten note or card — now that can really make someone feel special and admired.
Maybe as part of our writing regimen, we should make a vow to send a fellow writer a small burst of timely encouragement once a day or once a week via the Web or snail mail. I’ll bet that if we do this on a regular basis, we’ll feel more energized ourselves. Let’s try it and see what happens. Write on!