This Writer’s Journey . . .

Writing is a journey, one I truly love and enjoy, but it can sometimes feel rather lonely. Hour after hour, alone, at the computer, pouring your heart and soul into each word. But I’ve learned I’m not alone, in fact, I’ve been blessed to be in contact with some amazing people, both writers and non-writers.

I want to share a bit of that with you. Each week I’ll be spotlighting someone I’ve come in contact with during my journey. Thanks for stepping along side of me—all of you—during this exciting time!

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Previous Weeks: Nicole BaartColeen Coble.

Today we have Diana Sharples.

Remember when I’d mentioned I joined ACFW and jumped into a critique group? Well, Diana Sharples got to be the first writer to read my work.

Poor girl.

I look back now and shake my head wondering how she made it through that dribble. While reading my first chapters, she had to be thinking, “Oh my, this girl is clueless.”

Yeah, well, I was. Heck, I didn’t even know what Point of View (POV) meant let alone how to do it.

But you know what I’m most thankful for? That she took the time to read my work and make all the comments she did. It was the best critique I could have ever asked for.

Goodness that girl knows the craft!

Anyway, she was so supportive in her suggestions and feedback. But the fact that she stepped up to the plate and told the truth is what I respect.

I won’t lie. It stung. I’m not a cyborg, impervious to pain, but her words spurred me on. I could have chosen to walk away thinking, “Oh, this is too big. I’m not supposed to be a writer. I can’t do this.”

But I didn’t.

I still have that crit to this day. I’ll never trash it, because it shows me where I’ve come from. And I’ve come a long way. I get better and better with each novel, and I’ve always kept Diana’s first critique in the back of my mind. When I help new writers, I often share my experience with them to let them know they, too, can move forward. Just need to be open to feedback and suggestions—well, and learning more about the craft!

I thank Diana for her honesty and her wisdom. She’s so smart and talented. I’m happy our paths crossed.