I'm a lucky person.
At the beginning of my writing journey, a friend of mine with more experience than me raved about her critique group. I so wanted to be part of it, or one similar to it. So four years ago, I sent a request on the Utah Children's Writers Yahoo group, to see who'd like to start a new critique group.
Five people replied, and then, another friend, who had just started on her writing journey, expressed her interest in joining too. Two people dropped out because of personal reasons, but the remainder ones are the same. There are five of us, and we meet (or try to) once a month. Once a month we also post a chapter on Google Drive, which has worked perfectly for us. There are times during the year when it's very hard to arrange to meet. So we post on Google Drive and leave our comments online. Sometimes we post 10 pages, others a little more. I've been trying to finish my current work in progress, and my group has been super supportive as I post more than 10 pages. Also, when I need emergency help with my query letter or my pages for a contest, they always agree to give me a hand.
What I have loved the most about having a writing group is the encouragement. Even though they've read a lot of my stories, some of them of dismal first-draft quality, this is the first time they've actually critiqued a book of mine from idea to NaNo wreck to final draft. They give me encouragement when my spirits are low, and when I'm doing better, they encourage me to do my best.
I love my Sharks and Pebbles.
As an introvert I love working solo, but writing doesn't have to be solitary. In fact, it can't be. I need my team behind me; my corner telling me I can do this.
What about you?
Leave a comment to tell us about your critique group. Does is have a name? Do you meet in person? Online? Do you want to find a critique group?
Maybe if you're looking for your writerly BFFs, you can find your match here.