The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Value of Trust

One of the scariest things about writing is that if I want to be successful, I must place myself in a position of vulnerability over and over again. Allowing others to read my work is scarier than that mouse I saw last time I posted on my blog. Crud! It's scarier than the sounds our pig made when we had him castrated so we could turn him into sausage!(Am I taking the farm thing too far?) Let me clarify, the pig became sausage, not the...ahem. (Now I've gone too far, haven't I?)

Please pardon my comparisons. This is me.(shrug)

There is a reason for this post. In the last few months I've discovered what a marvelous and encouraging thing trust is. I've become friends with another writer, and she and I have been able to exchange and evaluate each other's work. At first it was terrifying. What if she thought I had no ability? What if she was right? I attached my chapter to an email, then ignored it for a couple of hours, during which I received several emails from my friend, Kat, saying stuff like, "Come on, I sent you mine," and, "Still waiting." In the end,I closed my eyes, held my breath and hit send. One of the best things I ever did.

Our first exchange was a leap of faith. We were throwing our babies out there, hoping that the other person would take the time to care for them in the same way that we did. And that is scary! But what developed is a relationship of trust. Kat doesn't always like everything I write, and that's okay. Her criticism is welcome because I understand two things. First of all, she loves my story and characters,(and I love hers) and she wants the best for them. Second, she believes in my ability to deliver that. If she didn't then there'd be no point in giving me criticism. The story would still suck.

Now, when I finish a chapter I can't wait to fire it off in Kat's direction and see what she has to say. Sometimes it's, "I love it, don't change anything," and sometimes it's, " know I love you, but...." The first is obviously preferred, but both are great because I know that what I've received is an honest opinion with my story's best interest at heart. I LOVE THAT!

So, my point is to encourage others to search for this type of relationship. Critique groups are good, but the difference is that Kat and I are invested in each others work. Her success is mine, and mine is hers. I just don't think that critique groups reach a level quite so personal. Personal relationships are where we find the encouragment to push on, and as writers we all know how much that's needed.


  1. You are going to make me CRY!!! What you need to point out, too, is that when I do criticize it is a little thing here, a little thing there. Sentence structure, typos, and stuff like that.

    Your WRITING is awesome, your STORY is awesome, and YOU are awesome. Don't forget to mention all the help you've given ME!!!!!!!!!!

  2. i didn't know what I was going to post about until last night after I got your email about the agent. I was so excited for you, and it hit me just how much I care about Angel getting published. If my son hadn't used up all of the sparklers making smoke grenades for his airsoft shootout on Saturday, I might have followed through on my comment about running around with one in each hand. I don't have any balloons or party blowers though.

  3. Allowing others to read my work is scarier than . . . I know, right?!

    You two are so very lucky/blessed! I hope one of the crit partners I have will turn in to such a great team. I do have many close writing friends, but it is all so new to me.

    Thank you for sharing this Shawna:)

  4. From what I've read of yours, KM, you're very talented. I actually think you and Kat would enjoy each others stuff too. I believe I made one tiny suggestion for your chapter. Everything else was, "Cool, great visual, Oooo." I do the same thing on Kat's writing. But it's cuz there ain't much to fix.

    That's why I sent you a note with my critique. I wanted you to know that the lack of red wasn't just because I'm nice. Your writing was really, really good. Hey, you submit again next week. Cool!

  5. I am SO with you on this! It's very hard to send out those 'babies' for others to see. I just sent out a clip I was working on and have not heard back (going on 5 days, here!!). I'm biting off my nails!! Thanks for the encouragement, Shawna!


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If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)