Oct 7, 2011

I rely on my crit partners to tell me what day it is

I had the following blog chain post written and ready for your eyes. I scheduled it and went along my merry (extremely busy and stressful) day. Well, since Heather, my main writing partner, has been dealing with tragedy and celebration this week, we have been out of touch. If I had chatted with Heather, she would have reminded me that it is not 2012. You see, I scheduled my post for October 6, 2012. Go me. What follows is what I had intended for you to read yesterday about my crit partner Heather.

Sarah started the latest blog chain. She says: Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work? Afterward, check out Christine's post!

Yeah....that's me

Six months into my "writing career", I started my blog. Followers, and their comments, came in droves! I felt like the Willamette Valley of the blogosphere. Several folks from those beginning days are my closest friends here in the virtual world and they often read my work. In the beginning, I think my blog made me sound vulnerable, but willing to take feedback. Tina Laurel Lee, Marisa Hopkins, and Kelly Polark came to my rescue, so did many more amazing people. No one was there like quite like Heather Kelly was.

As easily as a friendship starts at a coffee shop between two "soul mates", Heather and I hit it off! We shared many goals, but we were more interested in the goals we didn't share. Heather and I spent a lot of time getting into each others' heads and discussing the things that make us tick and the those that give us tics.

We have never met in person, though that is at the top of my list right now, but Heather and I know more about each other than I know about most of my IRL friends. She has seen my writing in its rawest form, for good and for bad. She has also seen the really good stuff that I am unwilling to put out there at the moment. Heather is one of only two people to have seen portions of my autobiography, which is a story that tends to surprise people.

Other than my own life story, Heather has inspired me to get my ideas out of my head and onto paper. She has encouraged me to push myself and to push the envelop. Even Heather's writing inspires me. It's like playing baseball with Gibson and becoming a great yourself (Heather and I also share a love of baseball - GO TIGERS!! ALCS baby!!).

Right now, we are pushing each other to work toward publication, but not necessarily in the traditional way. I'm not speaking directly to self-publication. Heather and I are brimming with ideas that involve technology, great story telling, and interaction. It's been a ongoing project that seems to have a life of its own. Expect great things :P

I think it's clear that Heather and I have an unusual bond, one that will stay strong for many years to come.

I love you, Heather. You're the world's best writing partner, but you're also my best friend.


  1. I have never met my most trusted crit partner in real life, either, but I can't imagine my writing life without her.

  2. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3 This post made my day. I so so so heart you guys.

  3. Tere - I love the possibilities on today's world!

    Marisa - :D

  4. The hard part about the blog chain, is I don't want to say too much in a comment, because then it ruins my post!

  5. I know people say a blog should be just about gaining readers but for most of us it's about friendship and being connected. We're all very lucky!

  6. I've had the pleasure of meeting a couple of my crit partners in real life, but it is funny how some of my closest friends, especially those I trust with my pages, I've never actually seen face to face. I still love them more than I can say though :D

  7. This is really touching, Jon. I agree that Heather is a great person and always so helpful and supportive. I hope whatever tragedy she's dealing with isn't something awful. So sorry to hear she's dealing with heavy issues. I will expect great things from you two and I won't be surprised when it happens!

  8. This is a tender post. Thank you for sharing. I feel even closer to both you and Heather now.

  9. Awww, what a great post - I hope you get to meet in person someday soon.

  10. This is so sweet, Jon. Heather really is amazing. She's just as great in person as she is online. It's rare to find someone who's so generous and supportive. She totally blows me away.

  11. I haven't met any of my writer friends/crit buddies in person, but they're some of my favorite people on the planet. Great post! :)

  12. How great that you and your crit partner have such a strong bond. I've been lucky enough to turn some of my crit partners into friends too.

  13. I almost burst into tears when I read this post, which, considering where I was at the time (I read it from my NOOK--because I'm just that savvy) would have garnered me some rather funny looks.

    And I want to reassure everyone that the tragedy was not entirely unpredicted, but still extremely sad and emotionally stressful. And the celebration was equally predicted, but surpassed all my wild dreams of what it was going to be. A pendulum of a week for sure!

    Which is why I am just commenting on this now.

    I am always amazed when people tell me about the support I give them, because I am certain that I am getting 10x that amount out of the deal. I am blessed with unbelievable crit partners. And every. single. thing. that Jon says about me in this post, I could turn around and say about him.

    He is the person that I think of when I am reaching for inspiration. He makes me go bigger than I would have the courage to do on my own. I know that I can tell him my ideas about any scheme I'm tinkering with. He takes me seriously. In the profession of writing, rejection and/or time can suck the life out of our dreams. I never have to fear that as long as I can reach Jon by e-mail, chat, or text. Wow. I'm such a stalker!

    I hope everyone has a Jon in their life.

    Thank you, Jon, for riding this roller coaster with me, and for putting up for the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Between you, my husband, and a number of other rather amazing bloggers, I know that I can not fail. It's just not possible.

    Thank you.

  14. Heather and Jon, you've made me sniff between the posts and comments. How sweet!

    We need to treasure our critique partners. Our writing wouldn't be the same without them!

  15. A wonderful post. I hope your endeavors take you to every place you dreamed of with your crit partner there clapping in happiness for you.

  16. Beautiful post. There's always someone that we feel like kindred spirits, yeah? I know for me that's true.

  17. This post is wonderful!! Good luck with what you and Heather have planned. :-)

  18. I found you by following this blogchain (okay I admit, I have no idea what a blogchain is), but the topic interest me. I have been asking everyone how they found their critique partner or beta readers. I just finished my fisrt novel and thought the next step would be sending query letters, but now realize that I need a fresh pair of eyes to read my manuscript.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It contains a lot of helpful and useful information on this subject.


  19. The relationship you describe with your crit partner is one I hope to get at some point. Great post!