Hey fellow ExceptionZ!
I joined this group shortly after meeting Randell for coffee...Although I have not had the time to engage fully in the group, I have enjoyed your discussions and encouragement.
Shortly after joining this group me and my wife found out that our fifth child we were expecting started to show a familiar pattern...one that we were already familiar with. Our third child was born with a rare gentic disorder called CHARGE Syndrome. Even though the odds of having another sibling with CHARGE was almost statistically impossible, God chose to bless us with another CHARGE'r...this has only occurred about a dozen times over the years worldwide.
I am working on publishing my first edition of "Lessons from Matthew" in the fall of this year...not a small task as we have spent the last 8 weeks in the NICU and juggling time with the rest of the family! Even though this latest gift from God has redirected our family once again, we have been completely blessed by embracing this event and moving on...E + R = O (thanks Kent for letting me borrow that over and over).
I would be honored if you would help with a little critique of my writing at Lessons from Matthew and Isaac
Many of the recent posts deal with our new boy, Isaac...the first edition of "Lessons" will focus on our journey with Matthew....about 2 1/2 years of blogging.
Thank you all for being ExceptionZ
I just read your blog post...WOW!!! I am not a literary expert by any means, but I do know what it feels like to be captivated by what I'm reading, and I WAS CAPTIVATED by what you wrote.
Most of us cannot imagine what it's like to raise a child with special needs, and definitely not raising two with special needs, but your story certainly help[s bring it all into perspective for us all...so many life lesson in just that one short piece of writing.
Thank-You for sharing it, and keep it up. You've been given very special blessings, and an amazing opportunity to help and encourage others, as well as enrich all of our lives with these Great Lessons!
P.S. We've got to get together for a cup of coffee again sometime soon!!!
Kevin, blessings... You have the right attitude and spirit, and as you know all of this only makes you stronger and together as a family. It's all about the response...
Be sure that you are also posting your writing question, in Kent's Write it Forward group, if you haven't yet... That should be a great resource to help critique your writing.
Now, I'm not a writer's critiquer, but more so a "Purpose Critiquer", and the question I'm going to come back to first is all about the purpose of Lesson's from Matthew. What do you ultimately want to see happen from this publish, and who is going to benefit, and how will they benefit? Who's hands will it land in, and will they want to read it?
I notice a chronological order in your writings with Matthew's life and now Issac. Is that how you're book is going to flow?
So who is the reader, and if you were them what would you be looking for? And how would you want this book help you?
Not sure if you wanted to go down that route, but thought I'd test the waters and see where you were as far your new book's intent...
Great job by the way! I think you write very well... I just want to know what you expect to see happen with your reader after they read it.
Rob, thank you for your response and the challenge of answering questions. I have wrestled with some of the same ones you asked...Here is how I have answered them:
Goal of Lessons from Matthew: Shortly after Matthew was born and the subsequent appointments, therapies and surgeries, Theresa (wife) and I felt strongly that we were to share our experiences and our story by coming along side other families who may have just received the devestating news that their child may not be so "perfect". There is a definite mourning time that some people never recover from. We began to share our stories of joys and sorrows with bible study groups, civic groups and then expanded into speaking at retreats and conferences. I found that time and again, people asking if I had these experiences and the "lessons" written down...hence my blog began and my blog-to-book journey. Blogging has given me the dicipline to acutally write consistantly. I have been blogging now for about 2 1/2 years and the subscribers to the blog, the email list and traffic on my website has grown exponentialy over this time.
Who would benefit?: I think that most of my writing and speaking is directly rooted in inspiring people to be better and to celebrate the seemingly small things in life. We (the Troupe's) are better people because of Matthew and Isaac. We are truly blessed and get to see the world from a different perspective...one that allows us to see the unique fingerprints of God through the suffering, trials and hardships we face. People look at these things as final or the last straw in thier lives. But, suffering, trials and hardships also have a way of refining us and making us better, more thankful, more compassionate and more forgiving. There are many poeple who could benefit from this book.
How would Lessons from Matthew be arranged: I really like the way Seth Godin has utilized his blog in his books...I am taking my blog posts and re-writing them to include only the story and the lesson...removing the dates and references like "last week", "yesterday", etc. I am arranging the book in chapters by themes ie: Inspiration, Faith, Educational, etc. There will be an introduction that would include Matthew's birth, how we reacted and how the early years played out, the body (lessons), resources, and an introduction to Isaac...for a book to come!
My expected outcome of publishing Lessons from Matthew: I would hope that by publishing this book it would give credibility to my speaking and open up other opportunities to build my "funnel" (as Dan would say). I enjoy writing as well as speaking and I feel that our family, with our experiences, have a lot to give to others who are on a similar journey. People are captivated by stories, especially ones where we can laugh at ourselves (which I have many opportunities to do) and learn from our experiences. I would like to grow the speaking side of what we do. I had a chance to meet Kent at Write to the Bank last Fall...I would like to attend Speak it Forward after Isaac is able to come home and things settle down for us as a family.
Thanks again, Rob...I am passionate about sharing hope to people in a seemingly hopeless world...you just gave me another opportunity to look at why I am passionate about doing this project.