The other evening, my husband and I were strolling around downtown and popped into one of my favorite art galleries. I bought a couple of note cards and a glass nail file, and as we were leaving, I heard someone say, “Are you the author? The book editor?” 

“I’m Teresa Funke, yes.” 

“I had a meeting with you a few years back so you could look at my book,” the gentleman said. He described his project briefly, and I recalled our consultation. “You told me it needed work, and I was pretty upset,” he said. 

“Yes, I remember that. Usually when I meet with a client, I’m able to leave them feeling at least hopeful, but I remember thinking you seemed more down than I had experienced.” 

“Oh, it wasn’t you,” he said. “You were very kind and I trusted your opinion. It’s just that I was at one of the lowest points in my life and your advice was the last thing I wanted to hear. But you’ll be happy to know our meeting turned out to be a good thing. Afterwards, I couldn’t bring myself to work on the book anymore, so I went back to my painting, and now look at me! My work is hanging in galleries, I’ve sold a few pieces, and I’ve even been invited to show some of my work in Europe. I’m going to Europe!” 

“That’s wonderful,” I said. And then he showed me his beautiful pieces and we talked about his unique process. 

“Who knows,” he said, “maybe someday I’ll go back to the book. Maybe I won’t. But in the end, I realized something. It doesn’t really matter which direction you take with your art, all that matters is that you never give up.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.