Encouraged by a 12 year old

I’ve mentioned my niece a couple times before. She’s 12 years old going on 20. She’s always tried to grow up faster than necessary. This is partially because her mom wasn’t the typical soccer mom or, I’m just going to say it – responsible mom, so while my brother was at work, my niece basically took care of herself and sometimes even her brother.
She has a great the size of Alaska, but that also means that she gets very emotional. She was 6 when my (now) stepdaughter started coming around and so naturally my attention was diverted to this new little girl who would steal my heart within a few short months. I had to have quite a few heart to hearts with my niece explaining I didn’t love her less, but that my stepdaughter would always get a bit more attention from me because she was becoming my daughter and therefore I would treat her like my own child versus my sibling’s child. I would love my niece the same, but yes, some of the attention would be moved from her to my stepdaughter.
I began writing a story quite awhile ago, two years ago actually. At first it was just my husband who I allowed to read it. I’m very insecure about my work and this book is different from what I normally write. I have more of my heart in this one and I’m trying really hard to think it through and not just slap words together and within a couple months be done with it.
I finally decided to let my niece read it. I wanted another point of view on it, plus I thought this could be something special we share. She read everything I had and then began asking me every time she saw me if I’d written more. “Did you write any more of your book? When are you going to write more in your book?” It was pretty clear she looked it so far.
In the last couple months I have been stumped. I thought I was getting close to the end, but it just didn’t feel right. The way I was ending it just didn’t sit right with me. I’ve been agonizing over it and trying to figure out how to improve it.
This weekend she asked me again if I’d written any more and I said I haven’t in awhile, but after a little discussion I found out she hadn’t read the two most recent chapters. So I handed it to her and she read through it immediately.
I asked her opinion about a couple choices I had made that I was uneasy about and she told me not to change them, she liked it the way it was.
Then we talked about the ending and I’m so glad we did. She broke my writer’s block! She had a brilliant idea that won’t end my book, but will actually add a few more chapters which is what I wanted. I wasn’t comfortable ending it so soon and she gave me just the right idea for making it may a bit longer.
I wrote all this to say that it amazes me sometimes the places inspiration can come from. I had started out writing this book for adults, but I think I am switching to the young adult audience.
Once I’ve completed it, I’m hoping to have it be the first book I publish. I don’t even care if it’s well received, I just want too actually get something published. Something I’m proud of, something that’s all mine.

OK so truthfully I feel like this post was a bit of rambling, but whatever, this is what I need to do sometimes and you can take it or leave it. 🙂

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