Do you ever feel nervous about presenting new book ideas to your critique group? I do! And I even have a wonderfully supportive and inspirational group of writers that I meet with every other week. Reading your writing can be nerve racking. Even though some “feedback” might be tough to hear, it saves a lot of time in the long run. Usually, I leave our critique sessions rejuvenated and looking forward to our next meeting.
Do you have to have a critique group? No. In fact, award winning author of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Jack Gantos, doesn’t belong to a writer’s group. In his book Q&A he writes that “It’s very helpful for me to make my own mistakes.”
If you don’t feel excited about going to your critique group, then maybe you’re not in the right one. Keep looking. There are many resources for finding the critique group that’s right for you. If you’re a children’s writer like me the best resource is your local SCBWI Chapter.
I started our critique group a couple of years ago by getting the email distribution list for the local SCBWI chapter called Southern Breeze. We’re still together and going strong.