I remove my new corkboard from its packaging, inhaling the fresh scent of the wood frame that encircles its spongy core. I hang it on the wall over my desk and run my fingertips over its ragged surface. I gently cover its tan backdrop with acceptance letters, rejections and editor’s notes. It produces a colorful display of black ink on white, pink, and pale yellow paper, a picturesque chronicle of my work thus far. Some notes are handwritten, some are typed, and some are carbon copies of a standard memo. They are all infinitely polite, thanking me for my work and they all have something to teach me. They are my inspiration and my motivation; when I sit down to begin a new project, my corkboard is a reminder of how far I’ve come, and of the journey that lies ahead.

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