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The Beauty and Necessity of Critique: Ode to My Writing Group

About a month and a half ago, I met a lovely woman at a writer’s conference who invited me to visit her writers group in Brooklin. I’ve been going once a week and can’t believe the profound impact they now have on everything I write, I value them immensely, and I am learning to be a better writer every day because of them. I believe every group is a little different but with us, everyone takes a turn reading their chapter aloud and then we discuss it as a group. We offer constructive feedback, the good, the bad and occasionally the ugly. It’s a great format for polishing, editing, as well as testing out story ideas and hooks. The best part is that everyone checks their ego at the door because in the circle we are all just writers looking to strengthen our work and celebrate our love of the written word. But before you run out to search for a writers’ group of your own, there are a couple of things you ought to consider:

Can you handle being critiqued?

This was the first thing Marissa a…

Traditional Publishing Vs. Online Publishing

I attended a writers conference a month ago where one of the lunchtime speakers discussed the fact that in March, two potentially landmark events occurred right before our eyes. A best-selling author refused an advance of $500,000 in order to self-publish his next two novels, while a self-published author who has made more than $2 million so far decided to accept her first traditional publishing contract. As an aspiring author, I had debated for a very long time what to do with the novel I had sitting in storage. Do I try the traditional route, do I self publish and in addition to that do I online publish as so many people seem to be doing these days?
While I found it tempting to view these situations as basically cancelling one another out, the speaker really helped put it in perspective for me. What I found inspiring is that they both show how many book authors are now fully in charge of their fates. Not to mention that perhaps doing it both ways isn’t a bad idea. I think the questi…