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Joy today: On the passing of Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison taught me that prose can be poetry, that struggle can lead to freedom, that you get what you give in writing and life.

She gave me 2 priceless lessons: we all have time to write and never give up. As a single mom with 2 kids, Morrison wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 15-minute increments each day because that’s all the free time she had. It took her 5 years to write it.

She kept writing despite her novel’s low sales. 3 years later, her next novel, Sula, was nominated for the National Book Award. Her following novels received mixed reviews, but she remained determined.

In 1987, 17 years after publishing her 1st novel, she won the Pulitzer. If you have a dream project, work on it bit by bit. Don’t let critics sap the joy you get from your work. Toni Morrison lived her life with passion and unending grace. She taught me to keep writing.

You were the GOAT, Ms. Morrison. How lucky we are to forever inhabit your multitude of worlds through your gorgeous books. Rest in Power, because that is what you gave all of us—the power of our own language, our own stories. What a life. What a gift.

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