In Jane Friedman’s blog, Susan DeFreitas writes a guest post on the advantages of a writing community to spur your writing and support you when you need it most. I think even more so, a writing community makes you a better writer, especially if you’re able to connect with a critique group of good writers. Remember, you’ll only be as good as the best writer in your group, so choose your group wisely.
Do your critique members have a published book(s)? How well does that book(s) do in the reviews? Of course, your critique mates don’t all have to be published authors, but someone who has made it through the whole process (traditional or self-publishing, it matters not) will know more about the craft than someone who hasn’t.
And you’ll always learn something by reading and commenting on someone else’s work, in addition to reading the comments of other on that same piece.
And if you join a group that doesn’t seem to be working for you, politely bow out. You’ll be doing everyone a favor. No one does good work if they don’t want to be somewhere.
But where to find a critique group?
Ask around, of course. Look on facebook in your area. Join online writing groups and ask if anyone has an opening in their critique group. Ask on Linkedin writers groups. Ask at writing conferences (when those are a thing again – Ug!). I’m sure there are Instagram writers groups too, though I’m not on Instagram so I have no clue. I know you can find writers on twitter. Most of my writing friends are on twitter. I would suggest looking for a group that is writing in your genre, but maybe that is obvious.
Take a look at Susan’s post and she what wisdom she has to share.
Hang in there, everyone!
Don’t feel like you have to go it alone—others are on the same journey, ready to offer encouragement and applaud your hard-earned victories.