Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Being in a writers' group means that your work is critiqued on a regular basis.  That means sometimes you hear things you just don't want to hear.

Sometimes, it feels like they are telling you that your baby is ugly, or even that you shouldn't have had that baby in the first place, or even worse, cut that baby's arm off and replace it with a cyborg tentacle capable of pushing your OK WIP into a Best Seller.  It hurts, it sucks, but generally, these people are trying to help.

Other times, their words are amazingly helpful.  The Inkers have great capabilities and we see things all so differently that brainstorming helps end that writer's block.

Plus, even the bad critique's are better heard from someone who cares than someone who cares not.  It is an easier pill to swallow coming from a friend. 

 Many times when I am critiquing someone's WIP, I think before I speak and I am trying to help them, so when they come back with defensive maneuvers it makes me not want to speak at all.  If they know so much, why did they ask for my opinion?

(But there is the occasional time when we are having almost a debate and its fun to whip out ideas without much thought) hee hee

So, what can we do as the person receiving that critique? Here are some of my thoughts, share yours too.
  • Listen, really listen without thinking up your defense.
  • Take notes.  Maybe when you reread them they you will see their point.
  • Take it with a grain of salt.
  • Realize these people are trying to help.
  • And if all else fails, eat a brownie.
Have a great day and Happy Writing.


  1. Excellent advice. Hope our brainstorming at our meeting last night was more on the "amazingly helpful" rather than the "rip that baby's arm off" scale.

    Distance sometimes help with taking feedback as well. Sometimes letting a project sit for just a while will help make it less of a darling especially if you can move on to outlining the next project. So I've heard.

  2. See, Donna, you wouldn't know what that feels like if you didn't have an editor friend.

  3. The feedback I got on Tuesday was really helpful. Sometimes you go round and round with a writing issue so many times it becomes this huge stopping point when it doesn't need to be. Hearing someone else's perspective usually helps me find the direction I need. Our group is really good at giving constructive feedback. That's the point, right? :)

  4. I'm glad it helped Linda. I was a little worried that it didn't cause we kept throwing around SOOOOO many ideas and suggestions.

    We are a very good group.

  5. Wish I could've been there!

    DJ, I see that Debbie and Kirk are rubbing off on you...cyborg tentacle. hehe!

  6. With our cyborg tentacles, even . . .