18 Reasons to Join a Critique Group

 

I saw this little box of stones at the store and laughed when I read the middle one. According to this little marble all writers must be insane. After all, don’t we all do the same thing over and over again and expect different results?

 

We write our scenes and our stories and send out queries to new agents, but the results never seem to change–we’re rejected. Why? I don’t know exactly, but it’s probably for a lot of reasons–most of which don’t have anything to do with our writing. Getting NO’s is discouraging, and often we decide to give up our dreams, quit writing and let doubt win.

 

The writer who never gets published is the one who quits writing. Don’t let that be you. Let’s be insane together and keep writing and expecting different results.

 

If you’re a writer than you’re probably spending a lot of time alone because writing is a solitary profession. Right?

 

Not really. Not anymore.

 

It used to be that writers were viewed as soft-spoken, introverted individuals who sat behind a typewriter all day. Today, the writer’s profession is much different. Writer’s have to be entrepreneurs. They not only have to write their novels, they have to market themselves using social media and other crazy intimidating stuff. Then, they have to sell their books and manage the business of writing.

 

Do you find that difficult? Many writers do. How are you supposed to learn know how to brand yourself when you barely have time to make your writing goals? And who has money for the extra expenses when you haven’t sold a book yet? Or how are you supposed to find time to work on a platform and complete and edit your novel?

 

You aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed about learning and doing what it takes to become a successful author. Don’t fret. There’s help. There are many others like you. Let me make a suggestion: JOIN A CRITIQUE GROUP.

In a critique group you’ll be able to network with other writers and learn what’s worked for them. (And share your insanity.) For FREE. You’ll laugh, cry, encourage, share, learn patience, empathize, create optimism, find acceptance, and be able to network with other writers who share your passion.

Here are EIGHTEEN reasons why joining a group could improve your writing:
  1. You’ll find your plot holes
  2. Learn how to write tight
  3. Find better endings and improve story starts
  4. You’ll learn how to start a blog and why it’s important
  5. You’ll learn brainstorming tips
  6. Hear trends
  7. Learn about writer’s conferences
  8. Learn how to accept constructive criticism
  9. Listen to other stories, other ways of telling a story
  10. Learn motivating skills
  11. Receive positive feedback and constructive criticism
  12. Hear writer’s news – an agent who’s looking, a publisher who’s folded
  13. Learn who’s e-booked and if they’re successful
  14. Learn how to promote your brand and your book
  15. Receive feedback
  16. Hone listening skills
  17. Find accountability partners
  18. Be inspired

If you don’t have time to join a group or the physical means to get to one–join an online group. Look for a group in the genre you write. Many associations have genre specific groups to join.Click HERE for a list of writing organizations.

When I was writing WILLOW, a YA paranormal suspense, I joined a fantasy group through the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). We exchanged 3000 words every week and edited each other’s work. We also shared contest information and other writerly stuff. I learned so much from the women in my group.

There are also FB pages where writers meet to share information. Ask to join one or start one yourself and invite other writers you meet at conferences.

Where can you find a group?
  • Check with your library, your newspaper, or online.
  • Google writer’s groups in your area.
  • Join NaNoWriMo and you’ll meet other writers in your area who may belong to a group.
  • Search for organizations in the genre you write in such as Romance Writers, Fantasy Writers, Suspense, etc.
My PEP TALK

Join a writer’s group. Good luck and don’t let insanity scare you away from doing the same thing over and over again. Expect different results. If you keep writing you WILL get published.

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Comments

  1. Robin says:

    Thanks for the Pep talk, Michelle. A very good reminder.

  2. Kara Harris says:

    I agree with Robin. But I checked those websites and most of the ones that I seemed interested in you have to pay for >.> what a drag…

    • Hi Kara,
      Go to this website: http://www.goteenwriters.com
      It’s an awesome teen blog and get to know other writers there. Chat with them. Leave comments.
      Sometimes there are other teenwriters who want a critique partner. That’s where you’ll find your FREE group.
      Doesn’t WCHS have a writer’s group? Check at the library. I think it’s the second Monday of the month where other writers meet and read their stories for critique. The last time I went there were teens in that class. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for other opportunities for you. A critique group could boost your writing, especially if you’re open to constructive criticism.
      Hugs and thanks for stopping by!
      Michelle

  3. Sharyn Kopf says:

    I am in two critique groups. I found the first one on Meetup.com. It regularly has more than 30 attendees and is for any writer in any genre, The second one is the Ohio American Christian Fiction Writers group, which I just joined. Two very different groups that offer a nice bit of variety.

    • Hi Sharyn,
      You must not be far from me. I’m in Indiana. Writing groups have boosted my writing. It’s so fun to have “friends” who are writers and “get” my obsession with writing. Thanks for stopping by and sharing these groups with our readers.
      Michelle

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