I was talking to a lady last week who told me she’s always wanted to write but is afraid of critiques. Why? I asked. “Because I can’t take it,” was her reply. “I can’t stand being told it’s not good or something.” Which brings me to an article I just read in the September 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest, “Develop a Thick Skin,” by Steve Almond and Sheila Bender. Part of the article reads, “You have to recognize criticism and rejection as a necessary step in the process . . . you have an obligation to recognize in these disappointments the seeds of your own improvement. Because if you can’t accept your failures at the keyboard … you simply won’t get any better.”
If the dynamics of a critique group are right, I think being in one is of immense value. I found a good blog, Right-Writing, that offers tips on how to find and join a critique group. Written by editor/writer, Terry Whalin, he offers advice on how to organize a critique meeting, how to critique one another’s work, whether fiction or nonfiction, and what are the advantages of joining such a group. I highly recommend being in a critique group. It will enhance your writing skills and make you lasting friendships.
"I always yield to the inevitability of events in my novels even when it causes me to shift course, toss away pages and notes and make sudden revisions." -- Robert Cormier