Always remember why you became a writer. Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to prospective MFA students at Hofstra University about my experiences in grad school there and about publishing as a career. I got to see old professors and old friends, but perhaps the most exciting aspect of the afternoon was the opportunity to hear current Hofstra students perform readings of their work. How inspiring it was to see these students recite their poetry, their creative nonfiction and fiction. How proud I could tell they were to have been asked to showcase their stuff. You could see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices. It’s been, gosh, almost four years since I graduated from Hofstra, and I had forgotten how exciting it was to be in a place where the written word was cultivated and so valued. (Can you tell I miss being there?) As I struggled with my current work-in-progress this morning, I thought about the faces of those students I saw yesterday who didn’t seem worried about agents and publishers and readers and sales. They just seemed to be enjoying the moment, the opportunity to share their thoughts with others. That’s why most of us have become writers, isn’t it? Because we thought we had something to say, stories to tell. Good. Bad. Long. Short. Funny. Sad. Whatever it is that we’re struggling to say, we have to always remember that it deserves to be written.