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The publication of my first novel, Good Grief, is hands down my greatest professional achievement. Everything that has come after is a direct result of that event.
Professor Joshua Isard showed me what it is and what it means to be a writer. He taught me to bask in empathy, to take risks, and to strive to know more about what it means to be human, even though it is a never-ending pursuit. Without him, I wouldn’t be a writer. And I wouldn’t be the person I am today without being a writer.
I suggest that recent graduates try to acknowledge that confidence and certainty may not come easily. That’s not to say they cannot trust themselves, or believe in themselves. It’s more meant as a call to discovery. To continually accept that understanding isn’t the only point. The sense of wonder that can come along with trying to grapple with the world, if you’re open to it, is more important. In that wonderment, in that pursuit, the world is always new, always beautiful, and worth the effort in all its joys and disappointments.