Every writer has one thing that always stops them.  Sometimes it’s a syntax issue, sometimes they overuse certain words.  In my case, I’ve fought with passive voice and descriptions, though I have taken steps to correct those problems.

There’s one problem I fight with on a regular basis, though it’s something I can’t control at all.

I have no advance readers.

This sounds like a trivial thing, but a writer needs to find a way to scrutinize their own work.  Plot holes might need to be patched, character motivations clarified.  There’s only so much I can do myself, even if I am exhaustive in my approach.  Eventually, someone else has to read what I’ve written.

My problem is that I have no one who can read for me that has the time to get me feedback fast enough where I can use it.  The best I have is a weekly writing group that reads a chapter a week.  Holidays often keep us from meeting, as well as personal needs.  At best, the group can go through one of my books in fifteen months, assuming no one has to cancel group for that week.

I bring this up because a professional editor just went through Mind & Machine and told me one of the best things I could do was let a lot of trusted proofreaders read my book.

I live away from any metropolitan area, in a place where there is no writing community, not for science fiction or fantasy.  Sure, I have friends who say they want to write, but they won’t do it.  As of this moment, I’ve been published twice and have put out an ebook.  I have no local peers in that regard.  Those friends who would read my work can’t give me feedback of the level that I need.

I’m stuck in a pit between ambition and success, in a place where I need help to go forward, especially if I’m ever going to get a novel in print.  Talent and capability have taken me as far as they can, but I’ve fallen short of the finish line.  I can only hope, as many writers before me have hoped, that I can find a way to stretch further to reach the point I need to hit.

I found the glass ceiling.  Does anyone out there know how I can break it?

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