Do you need more than a critique group?

Do you need accountability and some guidance  to have a breakthrough? 

Sometimes, just a little bit of positive peer pressure is a good thing.  Critique groups can provide this, but frequently they are more focused on “workshopping” pages for members.  Nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t the kind of accountability that will spur you on to write and hit your goals.

Have you joined writing groups, but felt like they offered you harmful or unhelpful feedback?  

Some critique groups are great! And others, well, they aren’t.  The members pick on grammatical and spelling errors because they don’t really know what else to say.  The group members may not have read more than a few pages of your work in progress, because according to the group rules, there just isn’t time for you to get more pages in front of eyes.  The group may be stuck in a cycle of submitting revised pages of the opening chapter over and over and over again.  Maybe you get comments from one member about how to fix something that are contradicted by someone else.  Maybe they don’t have any more experience writing or editing than you do, so you wonder whether their advice is actually helpful or based on anything other than “feelings.”

Do you feel lost in large writing organizations or like they give conflicting advice, or advice that is out of date or doesn’t apply to you?

Writing organizations are wonderful!  They provide writers with resources, conferences, webinars, all kinds of really helpful things.  I am a member of several myself. But.  Sometimes large writing organizations are focused on what the largest percentage of members need, or what the loudest voices need, or they are working on a specific agenda for their organization that doesn’t address your needs. They cannot be everything to everybody, and that is okay.  They provide valuable insight and resources, but they are not a one stop shop for everything that you as a writer will ever need.

Sometimes you need more.

If you find yourself wondering what  “more” would look like, it might look like small group coaching in the Readerly Writing Circle.  The next enrollment period begins in November for a January start date.  The group is limited to ten writers—will you be one of them?

Published by Robin Henry

Independent Scholar and Book Coach specializing in Historical Fiction and Literary Fan Fiction.

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