January 30, 2010

Critique Group Extraordinaire

Among the many things I've been thankful for in my writing life, I have to say that the critique group to which I belong currently ranks as #1. I have the opportunity to meet once a week with a group of women who are dedicated to writing for young readers--from pre-school through young adulthood. The members have a remarkable ability to critique firmly and wisely and provide support and encouragement at the same time. Citing flaws or weaknesses is always balanced with suggestions for change. Everyone is there to learn from one another. I have never left a meeting without having gained an insight into marketing, effective use of dialogue, creating a unique voice, etc.

The group celebrates successes (of which there have been many lately--see heartlandwriters.com/) and commiserates with those who've received unexpected or rude rejections. We keep one another abreast of market news, editor and agent moves, and good reads.

No matter how difficult my writing week has been, for two hours on Wednesday morning I'm inspired by the writers around the table who come to read and be read. I go home, determined to keep at my writing with enthusiasm and a positive spirit.

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