devil with the red pen

“You can’t write.”

She grips the pages in both of her dainty little hands, pushing them across my desk as she sits down. 

“I hired you because I thought you could write, and clearly —” pointing to the red lines with her french-manicured index, “you cannot write.”

Without a word, my shaking hand passes her the envelope. 

(— and the winner is —)

She rips it open and reads my resignation.


“Well, this is going to be very inconvenient for me now.  But looking on the bright side — I definitely couldn’t afford to teach you how to write.” 

So there.  

Blessed by the red pen at 41, I quit.

Quit taking to heart everything that is said by others about my worth. 

Quit letting other people’s approval determine my truth.

And — quit beating myself up for quitting.

Because if I wasn’t a quitter —

Well, I wouldn’t be writing like this today. 

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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