Thursday, July 11, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: A Guest Post by Darlene Corbett

Talkshow Thursday: 
A Guest Post by Darlene Corbett

What profession should I enter?

A question for my 18-year-old self, and by age 20, God answered me and whispered your calling is to serve others.

Three years later, I entered Graduate School, young, determined, and naïve. Because I wanted to help people, I forgot it involved more than my desire to achieve this worthy goal. As a lover of learning, academic courses on human behavior didn’t frighten me. I couldn’t wait to learn, but the “process,” the word used for the unfolding therapeutic phenomenon, created a greater challenge. The therapist’s development involves an abstract journey, and it takes time to comprehend the intricacies and, with any skill, years to refine.

At the beginning of my adventure, I stumbled into a big hole after an advisor informed me I faltered in my understanding of the process. Many mentors and peers encouraged me to take heart. They promised me that comprehension of this strange unfolding would happen. But me, being me, worried and became ill. My dream? Temporarily shattered.

After problem-solving my way out, I dug my fingers into the walls of the hole, climbed up, brushed off my doubts, and let the wounds heal.

When I returned for the second semester, my supervisor told me she thought I wouldn’t return after observing my devastation. I shook my head because I never considered surrender.

As I worked diligently to hone my craft, things clicked, and at age thirty-one, I ventured into private
practice, but not without impostor syndrome. A few years later, the syndrome submerged when clients expressed gratitude for my help and warm demeanor.

Who knew? I didn’t, and every so often, my impostor condition appeared.

Fast forward several decades. I wanted to write, so I penned my first adult article in 2011. Anxiety slithered around me, but positive feedback encouraged me to write more, and my nonfiction book came to publication in 2018.

A few years ago, God nudged me again. Time for fiction, so I dipped my toe into writing short stories. As I read them now, I see what I didn’t know. So much.

The first manuscript of my novel couldn’t have been more flawed. I paid for a Developmental Editor, whose thoughtful recommendations galvanized me to continue writing but rectify.

I rewrote, studied the craft, took courses, and attended conferences. A few manuscripts later, I submitted my first five pages to the ACFW contest. The feedback? Direct and correct. One judge pointed out how arrogant the therapist, my protagonist, sounded. I gasped when I read that critique. Never my intention. But reading over my description of the therapist, I concluded the judge was right.

What did I do next? Studied and rewrote.

Then I attired myself in courage and entered another contest. Not a finalist, but much higher scores.

I revised again and pitched to some small presses. One lovely acquisition editor told me she wouldn’t offer a contract. Although she labeled my writing as excellent, my manuscript revealed telling versus showing. She suggested I incorporate more dialogue. Being a therapist, I should’ve known. A therapy session involves talking. Sometimes, you don’t see what’s in front of you, so I clicked on the light switch and changed narrative to dialogue.

Last July, my publisher offered me a contract. Thus, my novel took its first public breath in May, and I continue to drench myself in knowledge.

God inspired my younger journey as a therapist and my older voyage as a novelist. He whispers, keep writing, with my husband nodding and smiling from afar.

Connect with me!


About Visible

What happens when Rachel Karem, a psychotherapist, runs a ten-week group for five wounded millennials and discovers the need to examine her own unresolved issues?

Widowed, childless, and estranged from family, Rachel wonders if she’ll ever have a second chance at love. When her own therapist suggests she get back in the game, she enrolls in dance classes to learn the Tango. Romantic, intense, sensual, dramatic, the Tango embodies everything missing in Rachel’s life.

Her clients make gains but not without struggles, and Rachel becomes entwined with a handsome dance partner but not without fear.

Can Rachel help her clients heal from the wounds of the past? Can she help herself?

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