In taking Dr. Mira Reisberg’s Picture Book Academy course and participating in PiBoIdMo, I have had the fortunate opportunity to be involved in some writers’ Facebook groups, where discussions between supportive and like-minded souls occur. The dialogue, the questions, the answers, and all the back and forth are helpful, and it’s nice to see everyone’s opinion.
However, I believe there is one question for which everyone would have the same opinion:
Do I need a critique group? This answer is undoubtedly and undeniably YES!
Where else will you get feedback from others who aspire to do and become what you aspire to do and become? Those who know you on a personal level will (most likely) not tell you what you need to hear.
Only those seeking the kind of feedback they really need to hear to succeed will give you kind of feedback you really need to hear to succeed.
A critique group will challenge you to consider certain aspects of your story and the selection of your words so you either
1. Revise it
2. Keep it as is, convinced that your story is where it needs to be and that your words are truly the right ones.
So, how do you know when you’re in the right group? You just know. When your critique group, partner (whichever you choose, large or small) is finding the holes and the possibilities in your story and pushing you to be the very best you can be, then you’ve found the right group.
However, since participating in a critique group means putting yourself out there to be evaluated, critiqued, many may refrain from joining, thinking it’s too painful. But if you look at a critique group for what it is – a chance to become a better writer – well then how could that possibly hurt?
I want to thank my critique friends – the new and old. You have steered my journey and helped me get to where I am today. Though still unpublished, I’m closer than I was before meeting you.