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The Thing After That

Phoebe Wang

“Persistence matters, ” I heard myself saying, like some of kind jerky puppet. “Keep trying and eventually it’ll happen.” The exact phrases I heard from published writers 15 years ago were now gushing out of my mouth and I couldn’t seem to stop them. I looked over at Kateri, who was letting me ramble to her third-year creative writing students at UTM about publishing. Kateri nodded and supportively wove in anecdotes and experiences of her own. I reminded myself to make eye-contact with the 15 students scattered around the room, who were listening politely, barely moving. I saw small sparks going off in the quiet eyes, and in a strange way, I could feel them listening harder when I talked about self-validation and creating opportunities for themselves.

It’s easy for a published writer to say, “Persevere and you’ll topple the mountains of indifference towards you and your writing,” but I’d forgotten until this week…

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