In 2012, I was despondent. My soul was withering beneath the structure of day-to-day life. There was no joy in the world – because I had forgotten who I was. I had forgotten that I needed to love myself as much as I loved my family.
By divine grace, I met a life coach – Janice Madariaga – who helped me rediscover my passion, my joy of the word and my desire to set it free.
This was the birth of my YA dragon series. For four years, I hammered away at the novel; writing and rewriting, until I had a story I was ready to share. Generously, a friend of mine offered to beta read it and provide feedback. (And no, I didn’t make him listen to me read it out loud!)
In 2016, I attended my first Pikes Peak Writers Conference where I learned my book was too long. With my friend's feedback and the Zebulon Contest feedback, on to re-writes five and six… then, I just started over re-plotting the series and selecting a single point of view from which to tell it. I knew the story and characters so well that the rewrite went quickly. At the conference, I joined a critique group, who provided ongoing feedback of the rewrite helping me adjust and shape the story along the way.
Key points I learned through this process:
Everyone has an opinion
The writing business is highly subjective
Perseverance pays off
Finally, you must believe in yourself and your work, one day, someone else will too.