In my last two posts, I talked quite a bit about the pros and cons of critique groups, and also about their limitations. I’ve had bad experiences in the past that make me pretty apprehensive and bitter about them. However, they also have a unique kind of power that can really help you get ahead in professional writing. It’s all about pairing up with the right people for the right project. Here are some tips to help you do just that!
A critiquing group has the kind of power that can either buoy up or weigh down a budding writer just trying to learn and improve. If there s one thing you can take from my words, it would be this: use that power wisely!
As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of critiquing groups. This is only my own personal experience with them, though. When used properly, they’re an irreplaceable part of a writer’s journey to better writing. But when they’re used incorrectly, they can destroy writers from the inside, out.
So, the time has come. You get a notification for your posted fanfic/short story/novel and you go to check out the review only to find out that it’s — gasp —negative?! That weird whirlwind of anger, shame, and indignation you’re feeling right now is one that we’ve all felt at one point or another. Whether it was from a particularly harsh critiquing group or an online anonymous 123username reader, it cuts deep. So, what do you do?