Friday, April 13, 2012

Join a Critique Group? Yes or No?


I posted this blog as a guest on another site a while ago, and since this went out, I've actually been to the first meeting with the group (see below).

I’ve just joined a critique group! After six years of being in the business, I’ve decided why not. I’m a bit leery about the time squander though. Because if there’s one thing I’ve discovered, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything on my to-do lists done. And those darn days go by way too fast.

But I’ve also learned that a writer can become too isolated, existing in a world of her/his own imagination, living in a little room with the computer as his/her only companion. Mind you, an author’s life today is quite different from what I can only imagine it would have been like years ago, and not that many either.

Having the responsibilities of promoting our work nowadays, we’re forced to interact over the Internet. These last years, I’ve been fortunate to meet wonderful people who have helped me tremendously. But that isn’t like being in a room with other living, breathing souls and sharing ideas, laughing and just being noticed.

Networking with other people who love the same pastime, that’s what I’m looking forward to.  Sharing ideas and helping each other. Giving and receiving confidence to try something new. 

Of course it does help that the other three girls I’ve been invited to join are fantastic, funny, hard workers, task driven and with the same ambition of being multi-published as myself. It outta be a hoot…one I’m looking forward to immensely.  

 My Take on the day...

We held the meeting at the home of one of the girls, and included a lovely pot-luck luncheon just to make the day more special. Chatter flowed and everyone caught up on each other's news while we enjoyed the food, but soon after, we got down to work.

Ahead of time, we'd sent out pages each of us wanted critiqued and everyone came to the table prepared with editing suggestions and a clearer view of the work. Personally, this helped me see what I'd written through fresh eyes.  

The day flowed beautifully, each one of us willing and open to take the praise and the critiques given with the best of intentions. It was uplifting and so very helpful. I do believe that four was the perfect number. It took a little over an hour to discuss four projects and that seemed to be just right.

Now that I've taken the plunge, I wonder what took me so long? Guess I needed to find just the right friends.

So, if any of you are on the cusp—not sure if you're prepared for others to see your first draft, take it from me. As long as you're open to suggestions and are willing to share your time as well have take others', it can be a tremendous benefit to everyone.

Are you in a critique group? Has it been a positive experience or do you feel as if you’re not getting anything out of it at all? That it’s a time drain?

Please leave your comments and your e-mail address so I can choose a winner for a free e-book copy of “She’s Me”. I’d love to add you to my newsletter list also. (Sent out only when I have news…I promise!).

This a new cover for the old to know what you think??



  1. Mimi
    I agree with all your insights. I think there's a chemistry with the right critique group, similar to that between lovers. It involves trust, honesty and heart.

  2. Mimi,

    Fabulous post. Your group sounds great. Hope you'll enjoy further meetings.

    My critique group (consisting of me and three fabulous authors) is online. Last year, one of the girls visited Edinburgh and we met up. Fun!

    I also swap chapters by email with another romance author which I find hugely beneficial, both in terms of receiving constructive criticism as well as providing guidance and suggestions.

    It took a while to find the right group of ladies, but perseverance pays off. I couldn't have managed my two releases without my critique partners, and I'm grateful to continue the fun.

  3. I'm in my first critique group started in January by myself and my co-ML from our regional NaNoWriMo. There are about 8 of us and it seems to be working out pretty well.

  4. Ladies, thanks for your comments. I believe we hit the nail on the head when we all made mention that it takes the right bunch to make a critique group's the key. Guess we're just lucky to have found them!

  5. I joined an online critique group through Guppies (part of Sisters in Crime). We spent the month of February exchanging our first chapters. I learned a lot from the experience. It has improved my writing.