I don’t understand writers who don’t have a critique group. Because, in truth, my critique group is essential. I adore these ladies.
If you don’t have a critique group, I hope you’ll consider scour the bushes and finding one. Okay, that’s a joke. Tomorrow I’ll take about how to find a group. This post is all about why you need a critique group. First things first, they will help you…
Improve Your Writing
No matter how good you are, you need other publishing pros to help you see the flaws in your work. These might be writers or editors or you agent. But really? I recommend that you start with your fellow writers. My grammar knowledge is the pits. But we have one woman in the group who, in truth, should be proofreader. She is that good. They are great at helping me spot the weak points in my writing.
But a strong critique group will also help you…
Learn about Publishing
Between us, someone is always attending a webinar, signing up for a conference, taking a class, or reading about writing and publishing. “Did you hear that so-and-so hasn’t been paying their writers?” “Agent X is brand new and wants #OwnVoices writers.”
None of us can possibly remember everything there is to know about publishing, but between us we remember rather a lot.
And last but not least, you need your critique group for their . . .
No matter how skilled you are and how well things are going for you, something at some point will kick you in the pants. And the beauty of a group is that it isn’t too likely that we will all be down at the same time.
Your critique group understands writing and publishing. They know how tough it can be. And when something gets you down, they will be there for you.
Now this last one comes with a warning. Not every group is positive. I spent time last week with a group of writers but instead of coming away energized? I felt slapped and smacked and knocked around. No, they weren’t abusive but the negative energy was extreme.
When you find yourself in the midst of this kind of energy? Get out of it and think long and hard about going back.