Encouragement… that’s what we need.

A couple of weeks ago, at a down point in my plans for literary domination… albeit children’s literary of a pictorial style.. anyway, a couple of weeks ago I took the terrifying opportunity of talking to someone for whom writing is their life. Someone who makes a living out of being a writer, and someone whose opinion really mattered to me.

She agreed to look at some of my stories. With trepidation, fear and a small amount of self loathing, I emailed her three stories I was keen to get feedback about. I sat back, proud of myself for sending them on to someone, and a little dismayed at how easy it was to bare my soul. I’d clicked send on the email and my life didn’t come to an end, I believe the young people of today would say #winning.

Then I waited.

and I waited.

And I waited a little longer.

and I begun to think that if waiting for feedback from a critical friend could take this long, Christ knows how I’ll cope when I finally send a story off to a publisher (more on that later) or agent… or something.

about 6 days later… (It felt like a lifetime, truly it did!) I received an email. An apology from my peer, she had been so busy with her own work, she hadn’t yet had time to look over my stories. I have to be honest, I breathed a sigh of relief. In my head, she had read the stories, thought they were terrible and had been unable to confess to me how bad they were for fear of upset and distress. Thankfully, I need not have worried. It appeared not to be the case (not yet anyway!). I would just have to be patient, and wait my turn. Grateful for the fact that anyone was taking time to look over anything, never mind offer me feedback, I continued to wait. Writing other stuff as I did.

Today, she emailed me back. It was possibly one of the most glorious emails I’ve ever read. I’ve had feedback before, but my children, mother and husband are not known for their critical feedback, just their glowing pride. This time, it was technically proper feedback from a proper writer wot knows her stuff n everything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not thinking that cos she said they were good… (actually she used the word delightful, and saw the wonder and loss, memories and love that I hoped to convey in my ditty…)… that I’m suddenly about to receive the future I dream of, however, it has given me the confidence to rework that story, taking on board the feedback she so generously offered and when I have. I shall send it off. It will be my first official submission and I will await the rejection letters with patience and expectation.

Encouragement is priceless. Especially when it comes from someone you admire.

PS My little red headed boy continues apace. Currently he is learning to fly, and that’s quite a tricky thing don’t you know.


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