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Listen To Your Heart

Story ID:9134
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Rockford IL USA
Year:1995
Person:Nancy Kopp
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A good many years ago, I submitted to a Chicken Soup for the Soul book for the first time. The story was a simple one, a childhood memory, that I thought might work for the Fathers and Daughters book.

I hesitated to send it. Why? My pride told me it was impossible because rejection hurts a lot. Experience added that I hadn't been writing very long, and the Chicken Soup editors received hundreds, maybe even a thousand or more, submissions for each book. My chances were pretty slim. Reason stepped in and sneered at me as it told me it was pointless to send this story in. What would it matter to the rest of the world?

All three had ganged up on me, and then a funny thing happened. My heart whispered softly in my ear. Your story is something others can relate to. Go ahead and give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I pushed pride, experience and reason out the door. I liked what my heart told me.

I sent the story and many months later, I received a notice that the story had made it to the finals. My heart did a happy dance. I waited a few weeks longer before learning that the story had made it into the book. What a thrill to hold the published book in my hand a few months later.

That story was "Love In A Box" (Our Echo Story ID 168) which is all about a Valentine box my dad made for when I was in the second grade. At age seven, I suddenly realized that my hardworking father truly loved me. It
came as a startling discovery, one that left a life-long impression on me. Apparently, readers related to it and responded positively, so much so that the story has been published many times in English and some foreign languages. The link will take you to a website where it is posted and you can also hear me read it.

What if I hadn't listened to my heart? What if I'd let those three bullies push me into a corner? Have you ever had a project that you wanted to submit somewhere but held back for one or more of the reasons above? I'd love to hear about it.