Last week I had an epiphany during critique group. We take turns giving our comments on each piece of work, and in this particular instance I was the first one to share my notes on a friend's chapter.
As we made our way around the table, my thoughts about my friend's writing began to change. By the time the last person gave their opinion, I realized mine had completely changed. The other people critiquing had been right. Their thoughts gave me new insight into the work we were examining.
Critique groups are a wonderful tool to help a writer become their best, we all know this--or at least, we should. But up until that moment, I thought their purpose was to help us grammatically, to help our pacing, our character development, etc.
What I hadn't realized was that critique groups can also help us gain new perspective. They open our minds to new and different possibilities, they challenge us to think outside our own box.
As always, we have to take what others say about our work with a grain of salt--any changes we embrace have to be ones we know will improve our story. But, it is important for us to keep an open mind. You just never know when someone will say something about your writing that opens up a whole new world for you and really drives you to write your best.
Be ready for those moments because they’re golden and could really set the stage for your success.