Let me tell you a story about a story. I had sent out a story of mine, off and on, for five years. I thought it was a terrific story but nobody wanted it. And too bad for them. I like getting along with others but too bad for them. The story that nobody wanted sat on the shelf of my closet for another year. If you are keeping count, that's six years. One Saturday afternoon I sat down in my study and I read it again and I liked it better than I liked it the first time I read it. I didn't need to edit the story. I didn't need to change the beginning or the middle or the end of the story. This story was a good story and had always been a good story.
So I sent this story that nobody wanted to a magazine in New York, a very big magazine. And another year passed. That would be seven years now. Then I got an e-mail from the editor of the big magazine in New York. The editor told me how he liked my story. He said he liked my story very much. Then he published it and gave me more money than I have ever gotten from any story I have ever done.
What can we learn from this?
I will tell you what I learned. Never let go of your vision. Listen to the opinions of teachers and friends and agents and editors and publishers but listen closer to your own voice. It is your job to bring your vision to someone. It is not your job to bring their vision to someone. That is not what art is all about.