As I conclude one writing journey and begin the next one I ask myself: Where to? Who should I have trained under? Do I need a critique group? Am I too sensitive to have a critique group? Well, let’s see…
Keep in mind the source of each comment during the workshop and weigh the feedback accordingly. When critiquers have work that is already published, I always listen more attentively to the criticism[from 4 Ways to Make the Most of a Critique Group by Jane Friedman]
I’ve never been to a critique group, but I have had my writing critiqued and I think its wonderful to have that gem of a feedback. However, there are other ways to get critiqued and learn without purposely joining groups. The human input will come regardless, but until then, here are two things I’ve learned.
- Creating short stories and fanfiction is a great way to go. People may not be reading your full length novel yet or they are reading your fanfiction based off already solidified premises, but at least they now have your voice . Your writing and creating free(hint, hint) short stories have unleashed the pin and have exposed your talents to the online and print world. I never knew this before, but fanfiction was almost like a creative exercise tool for me and the feedback totally helps!
- Just like sitting at the feet of philosphers before us by reading their words, so is learning about writing through books can pass as a course in itself. Soon I will be venturing to Francine Prose’s “Reading Like a Writer” to learn even more from a great literary genius. There ar emany others as well. Just heading to your local library or on your tablets can bring you a wealth ebooks about writing to help with your own journey. I also suggest reading “The Marshall Plan for Getting Your Novel Published: 90 Strategies and Techniques for Selling your Fiction”
These books and many more can be your tools as plan of action for writing. I am an advocate for self- teaching because I have seen and reaped the benefits. Do yourself a favor. Teach yourself to write and sell your own stories!