Good news first: On September 30th, WOW! Women on Writing will feature me as guest blogger on their blog, the Muffin! Small (or perhaps large) victory! I am glad that someone besides me, two or three writer-friends, and my husband will read my work. Gaining an audience is part of the goal of writing, at least professionally. I have something to say that is important to more than just me and a few. This is what I keep reminding myself as I build up the confidence to live my dream as a writer-mama-wife.
Another victory: I submitted 21 pages of my "memoir" (I'm not sure what category it fits in any longer because some of it is my experience and some of it is straight fiction) to a competition and received feedback. Not the contest results, just feedback. I paid an extra fee to learn what a far-away reader-stranger was thinking as she read my work. And the good news is that she liked it and found value in my story.
But here's my entryway into enlightenment: She didn't agree with everything I'd written, i.e., where I ended the excerpt, how I phrased something, or how I organized the work. This, I must admit, surprised me and made me little uncomfortable. I wanted her to say everything I wrote was just right. I began to wonder if she was right in her critique.
I am sensitive. As a writer that is good because I can feel the world around me enough to write about it, but this experience also woke me up to the idea that readers won't agree with what I think and write. As much as I want to get my work out there and appreciated by readers, I must also be willing to accept that I am not writing the gospel. I am just writing my truth and putting it out there. That is my single job as a writer. Once it is out there, it will take on a life of it's own. I cannot control what people think about my writing. My job is just to write what resonates with me. Good lesson. Progress.