Monday, March 30, 2009


By Ali Cross

For the past year I have been privileged to be a member of a wonderful critique group. Three of us met at the LDStorymaker conference last year and decided to start a group together. We located two other members through Authors Incognito.

We’ve been meeting for a year now, twice each month. Friendships have bloomed, but more, shared respect and encouragement has been a boon to our writing.

It was difficult, at first, to willingly subject our efforts to the critical eye of strangers. But as time has passed and as we have gotten to know one another, we have come to appreciate and desire the opinion of our group.

There are many things I could say in favor of critique groups, but for the moment, the thing I am most thankful for is the camaraderie we share. What a relief it is to me to know there are four people out there in the world who know where I’m coming from, who get me. I don’t have to make excuses for wanting to talk about my writing, about a problem I’m facing or something I am excited about. They get it.

With their help, I am becoming a better writer and I have more faith in my writing. More, I don’t feel alone.

I think it’s important for writers, particularly fledgling writers, to associate with others who have similar hopes and dreams. It is in such company that you can come to accept yourself as a writer. Through their eyes, you can see your work more clearly, identify where improvements need to be made, but also what is wonderful about your work.

At an LDStorymaker conference two years ago, they gave out bags on which was printed “I will NOT live like a normal person. I am a Writer.”

A circle of writer friends knows exactly who you are and they accept you as is. In the company of like-minded people you are not strange, you are a writer.


LexiconLuvr said...

This is beautiful, Ali. Just what I needed to hear. (and p.s. you are a GOOD writer!)

Ali Cross said...

LOL, I appreciate you saying so!

Do you have a critique group you're a part of Lex? I would be interested in hearing what other people experience in their groups--how they've helped or hinder their growth.