For months, I’ve been hearing about the importance of joining a critique group. You’re not serious about your writing if you aren’t in a critique group. Sounds harsh, huh? Well, it is and it isn’t.
Yes, you should join a critique group, for the support, information, and the kick in the butt. It’s hard to take the first step and let someone else read your precious WIP. I’ve been avoiding it for awhile, kind of like making an appointment for a necessary check-up but don’t want to go to.
But I sucked it up and went to my first critique group meeting this past Sunday. My tummy was in knots and nerves made my voice quiver a little bit. When I first walked in, I glanced at the door wondering how silly I would look if I made a dash for it and ran out screaming. To make matters worse, I was late for the meeting. (Yes, I have my train wreck moments. Ugh I hate being late, it’s horribly rude.)
So much angst for nothing…sort of. After all, it isn’t easy baring your soul for others to critique with a (gasp) red pen. Fortunately for me, this group of writers are very kind, respectful, and talented. (score). They gave me some great tips and editing advice. They also asked questions about my character and plot that made me think about where I was going with my story.
All in all, I’m glad I finally took the leap to challenge myself and join a critique group. The suggestions and questions they offered were positive. I can already see how helpful joining a critique group will be to my novel. (Oi, apparently, I have some challenges with grammar I need to work on. Blasted commas and tenses, they get me all the time.)
Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
He wasn’t wrong about the bleeding.