Last night, I attended a casual critique group. This particular group has its regulars, to be sure, but it also is pretty fluid, allowing any writer of any genre to walk in and get feedback on their pages. It's a great set-up. I've gone a few times, but it's been a while. I am so glad I went last evening, though!
Of course, one of the biggest perks is getting to see some of my writer pals!
We silently read pages of the various writers around the table before giving our feedback. The main rule is to stay positive, which I also love. The criticism is offered in a constructive way and is most insightful. I enjoyed reading the different genres, voices, and styles.
Then came my turn.
I felt like I was in the waiting room of the dentist's office before a root canal! Okay, it wasn't that bad. But I am surrounded by talented writers who are tearing apart my work. These are folks I admire. Look up to. They've been writing all their lives...and I feel like a fraud. I mean, yes, I've been writing for nearly 10 years now, but there's that little internal voice that screams, "You're not a writer! You're just you!"
If you're a writer, I'm sure you know that voice. And boy, does it come across loud and clear when you're waiting while others are reading your heart and soul.
Then came the feedback. Good, solid stuff I can build on. Suggestions on better word choices. Questions I need to answer for the reader who might be new to my world. Encouraging words that tell that little voice to stick it. I walked out of that room, confident in my work and my skill. No longer a fraud. I am a writer.
I hope everyone who attended last night got the same thing out of the group I did. There's nothing like the support of other writers. The knowledge base and familiarity with the craft they can provide strengthens any work. Perspective is crucial!
Do you attend critique groups on a regular basis? How have they benefitted you?
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3