I love and appreciate my critique groups. The fellowship and support they offer are necessary parts of good writing. Even so, there are times it would be too easy to convince myself to stay home and finish that story I’ve been working on. Here is a mix of serious and lighthearted reasons to attend regular critique meetings:
- I’m a good writer.
- I need the exercise.
- I want my work to shine.
- This job can be a lonely one.
- My writing isn’t always perfect.
- Sometimes, I need encouragement.
- I don’t feel like doing the dishes, tonight.
- The reader changes and so must my writing.
- My peers also need my discerning ears and eyes.
- The fuel in my car will turn to varnish if I don’t use it.
- I need to see if the world outside my front door still exists.
- I need a chance to show off the new clothes I bought last year.
- I wrote the word “sleep” four times in three consecutive sentences.
As a writer, I am often my own worst critic. Hearing how others respond to my work can be very encouraging as long as I remember they are not telling me how bad it is. They are helping me see how to make it even better. What group is more qualified to do that than serious writers with their combined knowledge and experience?
Here are some suggestions on how to get more out of your critique meetings. . .
- Bring at least five or six copies for others to read along when it is your turn. Ask them to make notes for you to refer to, later.
- If you don’t bring copies, have someone else read your work out loud. Hearing someone else’s interpretation of your work can help identify problem areas.
If you are a writer, check with your library or look online to find more information about critique groups near you.