Monday, September 27, 2010

What I Was Missing

I met with my two writing pals on Saturday morning. For almost two hours, we talked and laughed, shared encouragement and ideas, and came away with renewed vigor for our manuscripts. We'll meet again in a month and I anticipate we'll have the same good time.

Later that day, as I went through my first chapter and read the comments from my critique partners, I realized what I'd been missing from my writing life. Blogging and online communities are all well and good, and I wouldn't be the writer that I am today without them.

But for me, there's one thing I can't get online: the energy.

There's nothing like being face-to-face with other writers. We bounced ideas off each other, offered comfort and encouragement, and above all, support. I left feeling energized and ready to get back into the submission game for my last novel, and ready to keep working on the current novel.

The three of us work well together, and I'm so glad we decided to form this group. It was definitely something I needed both personally and professionally.

Are you in a face-to-face critique group? What's the best thing about it?

17 comments:

  1. I'm not in a face-to-face critique group but I love my monthly meeting with fellow authors. All this online stuff is great but you can't beat having a chat, a laugh, a moan and a gossip with fellow writers.

    Glad you had a good time!

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  2. I used to be and how I miss it!! I envy you:)

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  3. I think it is the best! I tried to get one but due to a number of issues, it still hasn't gotten off the ground and I have been trying since early June. Oh well, I'm happy you have one :)

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  4. It's not a group, exactly, that meets regularly. But I do have a couple of enthusiastic readers who never cease to motivate me.

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  5. I'm a new follower and love your blog!!! Your background is so festive, makes me extra cheery!

    I don't have face-to-face crit partners but I want them! I know a ton who go to dinner, chat it up, and exchange work, they say it's fabulous! I'm working on it though!

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  6. You're so right! The energy and motivation that comes from other writers is priceless. I think that's why crit groups and conferences are so invaluable!!

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  7. I love my critique group. They are completely vital to my writing life. You are right, you get energy from being in the presence of other creative people! I am so thankful to them for all of their feedback on my work, but also for being there to talk to when things get difficult. Like when the Insecure Fairy comes to visit or I stumble into the Doldrums. Writing is a solitary activity, so it's good to find a tribe that can help you along the way!

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  8. Alas, since moving out here, I'm no longer in a face-to-face critique group, nor in a face-to-face writers group... I miss both so much and know my writing has suffered as a result, for just the reason you state. Once I'm done school in 2012, I intend to find some writers here who are interested in exchanging chapters etc...

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  9. I'm one of the writing pals. Meeting felt like a huge, comfortable sigh. Not much compares to being with like-minded friends. We need the jolt.

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  10. Shirley - You're absolutely right! Even if it's just getting together with other writers and talking and laughing, you just can't get that online.

    Terri - I hope you can get into a face-to-face critique group soon!

    Aoife - Here's hoping it will come together for you soon. :-)

    Joanne - I think enthusiastic readers is a great thing to have!

    Hi Jen! Thanks for stopping by.
    :-) I hope you can get a crit group together soon. It is definitely worth it!

    T. Anne - It's funny - I never realized how much I missed the companionship of other writers until I met with my crit partners. Glad I have it again!

    Hi Molly! Thanks for stopping by. (I love the name Molly as it is my daughter's name, too!). I like how you describe it as a "tribe." What a spot on analogy. Writing is definitely an activity that requires a tribe of likeminded individuals. Great comment.

    Tess - I know school has really kept you busy lately, but I hope you'll be able to dive into your writing again soon.

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  11. LoRee! I'm so glad you were able to comment - I know Blogger was giving you fits with it. And it was a GREAT meeting, wasn't it? I'm really looking forward to the next one!

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  12. I love my critique group. We meet weekly, which is great for staying motivated! I'm fortunate to be in a group with a bunch of sharp writers and critiquers, who are also supportive and encouraging (and outrageously funny to boot.) I can't imagine writing without them.

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  13. Christine - You are definitely blessed to have such a terrific group! :-)

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  14. I'm not, but I can see how much fun and what a brilliant way to brainstorm they must be.

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  15. Debs - It's definitely a great thing!

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  16. Like the festive new fall look.

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