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This Fortune Cookie Told Me I Would Be a Writer, But Its Meaning Has Changed Over the Years

I always took the fortune to mean that I'd be a published author. I see it differently now.

This story appears in the March 2022 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

From the time I was scribbling poems as an 8-year-old, I’ve dreamed of becoming a writer. As a teen, I joined school literary magazines. In my 30s, I earned my first byline. By middle age, I was finishing a full-length novel and learning how to get it published. That’s when I opened a fortune cookie to find a message that read: “You are a lover of words. Someday you will write a book.” Since the book was already written, that fortune could mean only one thing: publication. I computer-scanned the tiny white paper, enlarged and laminated it, and created a good-luck charm that sat prominently above my desk.

Courtesy of Rosemary DiBattista

It must have worked, because against great odds, I landed an agent and a multibook deal with a major publisher. I lived the writing life I’d imagined — giving readings, attending conferences, lunching with best-selling authors. But within three short years, that dream crashed at the intersection of art and commerce: My publisher merged with another company, and I lost my editor, my book series, and ultimately, my agent.

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