Validation! By Mauverneen Blevins

I had just turned 40 and decided to try and find the humor in it. There was plenty. I put together a small piece and submitted it to the Chicago Tribune. I didn’t tell a soul. Not my husband, not my three kids, and not my mother. Especially not my mother. She’s a writer.

One evening a few weeks later, the phone rang. It was the editor of the Tribune woman’s section. She liked the piece, wanted to publish it, told me what they paid and asked was that acceptable. Acceptable? It was beyond my wildest dreams!

I tried to speak calmly and professionally, but when I hung up the phone I let out a screech that brought everyone running to see if I was okay. I was shaking as I told my husband and three daughters that I had just made my first sale. I couldn’t stop smiling – I had never been so excited in my life.

That sale provided me with validation. Validation that, quiet and shy as I was, I had something to say. That I, and not just my husband, could be funny. That I could write. It validated my gut feelings that writing was something I could do and I should ignore all the well-meant admonitions about writing being such a hard field to break into. I knew I enjoyed writing and now I knew the payoff. And that always will be the satisfaction of knowing that someone else enjoyed something I created.

And my mother, the writer? She still thinks that first article was the best thing I’ve ever written.

Mauverneen Blevins is a freelance writer/photographer from the Chicagoland area. Several years ago, she took the bold leap of quitting her job to “Work like you don’t need the money” and followed her passions of writing and photography. In addition to writing, she has recently introduced a line of notecards featuring her own photography. Her website is Stop by and visit!