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It was just over four years ago I began a personal project and successfully brought it to fruition. With every word typed I pondered over what it might mean to others. I questioned how they would connect, or how they might view the project. But I forged forward, and when the last word was written, I knew the real work was about to take place…editing.
It’s one thing to write the words while feeling the emotions, the experience, the moments…it’s another thing to read them over and over again. However, editing is part of any writer's life, so the process continued.
Somewhere along the line, nervously I might add, I decided to get an outside opinion. With shaky fingers, I searched for a critique group and found Critique Circle on the Internet.
I thought about this option for many days, wondering how others would receive a snippet of my story. It is, after all, what the website is about – helping writer’s hone their craft. Joining the website and exposing my heart to strangers is never an easy decision.
This story, buried in my heart, was to give my deceased son a voice. He was an infant when he died, and never had a chance to share his view on life, love, or his experiences thus far. When the idea to write our story came to me, it was because I realized how easily the comfort of animals goes dismissed because they cannot express their needs. If that was true for them, how could it not be true for my son or any child who died in infancy? Because of this thought process, I began the journey of bringing Brook’s voice to life. Also, hoping my words could help another parent feel less alone in the brutal pain the loss of a child leaves behind.
When I submitted the first few pages of my story to the critique group, I shut the website down and began waiting anxiously for a response from someone. It was a few days before my first critique was done. When I saw there was a message, I moved my mouse over the link, then off, then on, then off again. It was hours before I could bring myself to read it, but finally, after a few deep breaths, I opened the message.
What I found was words of encouragement and understanding. Yes, there were small suggestions, but minor grammar issues. All good ideas, but the most important was the positive response to my story. I received multiple critiques, and as I read each one, their advice was great, but most importantly they brought validation.
Since taking that huge step and obtaining the opinion of strangers, I was able to complete my project. I have published this reality/fiction novella and couldn’t be more proud of my finished book. With it also came healing, which is a wonderful result of telling a personal story.
My normal genre of writing is suspense. I have a stand-alone suspense novel, and recently finished my fourth novel for my Sara Series (expected to be published the end of June 2017). I was also hired last year to write the memoirs for a business owner.
But Watching Over Her will always mean the most, maybe because it is personal, or perhaps because of the healing that took place. I'm so happy I completed the journey of writing it, and will always be proud of it.
If, after reading this blog, you are interested in reading my book, you can pick up a copy in paper or eBook on Amazon, or Smashwords. If perhaps, you are a member of the Critique Circle and joined in the critique of my book snippet, a special thank you for taking the time out to help me push forward to travel a successful journey. Thanks to everyone that takes the time to read my blogs and novels. I appreciate your encouragement and positive reviews.