In my previous location I had this phenomenal critique group. I'm talking...amazing! It is such a big step to start sharing your work with other writers and I learned so much...here's a few reason why I love Critique Groups!
5. Critical reading skills. You truly learn how to be a critical reader...which will only be helpful if you want a career in writing.
4. Accountability. You have a team of writers around you who are ready to keep you accountable for writing consistently. Even if you don't have a deadline you want to still be able to contribute to the group and show that you're learning from the great critiques.
3. Camaraderie. There are few things in the writing world that are more important than having other writing friends. They "get" you and understand the pain and elation of writing. And...that you hear voices in your head.
2. Variety. You learn to read out of your genre and stretch your reading skills to pick up on another writer's nuances. As a writer who mostly enjoys historicals...I was able to critique contemporaries, thrillers, and children's books. I enjoyed all of them in different ways.
1. Courage. It does take courage to step out and show someone your work...especially when you have the utmost respect for those in the group. You don't want to disappoint. And, truthfully, you want to be accepted as a writer and not a poser. For years I thought I was just a poser because I writing was hard work for me. Then I met a whole room full of hard working writers...each with their own struggle. I realized I wasn't alone.
I am so thankful for the few years I had a local writing group. I cannot explain how much I learned about writing during those 2 1/2 years.
Your turn: Are you a writer? Do you participate in a critique group? What are things you have learned? Not a writers? What group do you enjoy participating that is iron sharpening iron? Please share your stories!