Before you tell people to come and see what you have, you better have something to show! And it better WOW them or they may move on and never come back.
For a writer, one of the best ways to ensure a dynamic product is to be part of a critique group. It is easy to make excuses not to join one. Activities demand our attention and time. But if you are serious about publication or just improving your craft for personal reasons, then consider what a critique group provides.
Support and encouragement. When you come to a table of writers you can know that everyone understands the work involved in producing your best piece. They see your work at its worst and still believe in you that you can make it better and they will push you to do that.
Everyone needs a cheering section. Someone walking beside you that is a step ahead of you on the journey allows you to see the possibilities if you keep working at it.
Feedback/critique/edits. Another set of eyes on your writing offers an objective view of the quality. As a writer it is easy to be so enamored of the content we don’t see the work the form needs. And after reading our piece for the 100th time, we see what we expect to see and often miss things that need improvement.
A grammarian can help those who excel at a plot, but have no clue what active and passive writing entails. Someone who excels at showing instead of telling can help the devotional writer bring his pieces to life.
Accountability. Knowing that others are going to ask if you wrote or submitted anything will help you to stay on the ball and be proactive about improving your writing craft.
For myself, I know without a shadow of a doubt that my critique group made the difference in my writing that was needed for me to pen a novel that a publisher would want on their book list. Without their help and encouragement, my book would still be sitting on the computer instead of awaiting publication.
My advice? Get thee to a critique group post haste!
Are you part of a critique group? I would love to hear about it.
Angela D. Meyer lives in NE with her husband and two children whom they homeschool - recently graduating their son. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and is on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.