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I recently re-read the many, many critiques that have been done on one of my chapter book stories over the past 9 years — yes, 9 years. This book has gone through hundreds of iterations. It has been critiqued by chapter, in sections and then I paid (way too much) for an author to do a total edit. A similar vein of comments came to light as I read the progression of critiques. It’s not that I negated the comments from the critiques. On the contrary, I thought I had addressed the comments at each juncture and changed the MS (manuscript). But in photohindsight, perhaps I have been doing the same thing over and over, and hoping for a different result.

I believe in the main character, Rachel Rose, a small marsh mice struggling to survive in her world, and the big animal world.  I am grateful to my critique group for their candid comments, bolstering me, encouraging me, and finally, snapping me out of mediocrity. But as every author will tell you, the key is to never give up. God has graced me with encouragement. I will now have 9 children’s magazine articles published. Not bad. So I trudge forward, trying to change my approach to get an ever better result — and never give up.

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