Today’s the meeting for our critique group. Last week it was cancelled due to bad weather…and I’ve had to wait another agonizing week for my chapter critique 😛
Ok, agonizing is a bit of an overexaggeration. But I have been anxious about it; I always have when it’s my turn. I know it’s silly, but it’s difficult watching my story picked apart, even though I know it’s for the best and even though I know it’s not a personal critique of me.
I have been getting better about it over time. It was difficult for me to even have it read by people other than myself (I was one of those writers that hated having others read my work because I thought it wasn’t good enough), but I’ve since gotten better. I still lean towards keeping things to myself, but I remind myself that I won’t grow as a writer if I don’t let others read my work. I certainly don’t know everything about writing (honestly who does? Even the published writers don’t) and even if I go over something a million times, I inevitably miss something crucial. So it’s good to get other opinions and suggestions.
Of course I don’t always take everything my group gives me. Sometimes they make suggestions I ignore (especially if it alters the personality of a character), but it’s better that I have other opinions to at least balance everything out.
Anyway, how many of you are part of critique group, online or in person? What have you learned? Has it been a good experience for you?