coffee exchange

by brittniinink

H. is in town for the holidays, so we met up for coffee, like we usually do. We talked about writing, like we usually do. We have much in common: from the similar way we wrapped our gifts for each other, to the number of rejection emails we’ve received recently, to our marriages still feeling new. We agree that being married doesn’t make a person as “adult” as we expected. But I’ll write more about marriage another time.


H. told me a wonderful story about a poetry reading she attended. A multi-generational, multi-cultural open mic, where poets of all skill levels shared their work. H. said she nearly died when George Elliott Clarke got up to read a poem, just like anyone else there. In fact, it sounds like the arts community she’s becoming a part of is really awesome, in spite of all the setbacks she’s had.


I received a rejection email a day after submitting a short story to a magazine. I’ve built up a bit of a thick skin against rejections, saying, it’s okay, I’ve learned from it. And I rarely hope for any actual success in this field apart from projects I work on myself anyway. Which maybe is not a good thing. But it does bother me. I want to be a really good writer, one who can clearly communicate a concept to a wide audience in a well-crafted and striking way. There’s still a ways to go, but sometimes I just need a good exchange over coffee to remind myself that creativity is a process and one that is best experienced with others. Even the poet laureates need open mics.