I’m not sure how it happened but last year, online, four writers found each other. We had a common need and came from a common place in our writing.
When Jill, Wendy, Cindy and I agreed to be each other’s critique partners, I had reservations of course. But over the past year, I’ve discovered why I’m in the right group.
1. We set writing goals. Right now, we’ve agreed to critique each other’s books through the summer so each of us can have one ready to pitch by conference time.
2. We critique kindly yet with honesty. For my current WIP, one partner told me where I really needed to start it. Three chapters in. I remember not wanting to do that—I didn’t want to delete my work. But when later I heard the same exact advice from a judge, I knew that having a partner who remained honest with me to help me writer better was so important.
3. We support each other through more than our writing. Stuff happens. And when that stuff happens, our writing suffers. When our personal problems interfere with our work, it’s nice to know that a kind word or a prayer will help get us back on course.
4. We encourage each other to not give up. During the recent Genesis contest, we were able to bolster each other to work through the good and bad feedback and remind ourselves to do better.
5. We applaud each other’s accomplishments. Jealousy doesn’t have a foothold in our group. Recently, one of our members placed in a contest. I felt as though it was me.
Are you in a critique group? Do you know if it’s the best match for you? If you’ve got doubts, I encourage you to share them with each other. Share what you’re looking for and if your needs aren’t being met. You might be surprised how quickly that can change.
All of us want to see our work published. I’ve done it both ways, alone and with a group. Let me put it this way: I don’t want to be a Lone Ranger again.