Critique Group – A Gift

Critique, feedback, reaction to one’s work or the way they have presented it, regardless of intention, is a gift.” Mark Brand

Last weekend, I met with three wonderful writers in Squamish. They are writing in various genres and have a variety of different interests, but they’ve come together to discuss their individual projects and find a way by which they might support each other.

During this first meeting they discussed some of the issues writers face: waning motivation, finding time to write, uncertainty about where the story is going and how to know when it’s finished. These topics and other similar ones were coupled with business questions: where to submit work, what are the steps in getting work published.

They shared advice: the more you write, the more you write, even when you don’t think anything is working; show up at your desk and the story will follow; at times you might have to step away because the subject is too difficult to deal with. It’s okay, you’ll come back to it when you’re ready.

At the end of the meeting, they set up a schedule for submitting their work to the group for review and comment. This was the first of many critique group meetings they have planned. They left the meeting feeling recharged and energized about their individual projects.

I was reminded again what an incredible gift it is to be part of a critique group. I’m excited for them. There are many discoveries and successes in front of them and yes, a few set backs too. But they’ve committed to be there for each other through all of it. Could anyone ask for anything more?

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