So many writers have mentored me along my path to publication. I still have much room for improvement and a long way to go, but this past week I discovered something. I also have something to offer! Now it's my turn to guide and inspire beginning writers.

I had the privilege of working with 21 brave souls who'd submitted manuscripts for intense critiquing at the Southeastern Writers Conference (an event I strongly recommend to all writers of all genres). It takes courage to expose your writing to a stranger, especially an author further along in her career. But these talented writers soaked up every word of instruction, some even going so far as to revise and apply our suggestions during the week, offering us a second pass at their work.

These writers will succeed. I have no doubt. Two or three should already be published and will be soon, I predict. Many had farther to travel on their road to success. All humbled me with their raw talent. I returned to my own writing with renewed enthusiasm for my chosen profession. You see, in giving back I got much in return.

To all you great authors who helped me, thanks again. To all who asked for my help, thanks to you, too. This is one of the few careers in which people so eagerly train their competitors. Fortunately!


PS I've added the following photos I took at Epworth by the Sea. This scenic, peaceful conference center is a great retreat.

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Comment by Jeannie Faulkner Barber on June 26, 2008 at 5:46am
Boy THAT made my day! And I'll definitely keep that promise!
Comment by Cheryl Norman on June 26, 2008 at 4:06am
Aw, shucks, Jeannie. Thank you. I look forward to getting your autograph on my copy of your first published book, and I don't think I'll have to wait long!
Comment by Jeannie Faulkner Barber on June 26, 2008 at 2:28am
Cheryl, if those pictures don't conjure up some great story ideas, I don't know what would. Absolutely beautiful and some are the exact images I have in my head regarding the story I'm co-authoring. You are such a giver, my friend, as I mentioned before and in doing so much, much more comes back in great ways. You're such an inspiration to me. God bless you!

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