I thought this cartoon pretty much sums up my life right now. I am on maternity leave with my first baby, and spending time on my reading and writing. I’ve entered some writing contests through the CBC (haven’t won any yet), read some new books (some are 5 pages or less – see information about being a new mom) and I’ve been working on my novel. I had hoped to have it fully completed before the baby arrived, but that didn’t happen. I blame my crazy “nesting” instincts in the weeks leading up to her birth. Apparently organizing every cupboard, closet and wardrobe had a higher priority than writing. However I did finish a first draft and, after taking a bit of a break, I’ve been finalizing it in the last few weeks, and came upon an interesting problem. I am having a (REALLY) hard time finding readers to review/critique my novel. Apparently people are afraid they won’t be able to give me an honest review? I guess I am putting people in a tough spot by asking – “tell me what you think” (but don’t crush my tender “writer’s” soul). But how can I improve my writing if no one will even read it to begin with?