sarahkeenihan

Day 45. A letter

In September 2012 on September 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I’m reading The Help.

Yesterday, one of the main characters ‘Skeeter’ received this letter:

Dear Miss Phelan,

I am responding personally to your resume because I found it admirable that a young lady with absolutely no work experience would apply for an editing job at a publisher as prestigious as ours. A minimum of five years in the business is mandatory for such a job. You’d know this if you’d done any amount of research on the business.

Having once been an ambitious young lady myself, however, I’ve decided to offer you some advice: go to your local newspaper and get an entry-level job. You included in your letter that you “immensely enjoy writing”. When you’re not making mimeographs or fixing your boss’s coffee, look around, investigate and write. Don’t waste your time on the obvious things. Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.

Yours sincerely,

Elaine Stein, Senior Editor, Adult Book division.

I love it because it’s timeless advice, given for free and with good, unharnessed intentions. To be a writer, you must write. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog.

[photo thanks to mrsdkrebs on flickr]

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