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In Praise of Critique Partners

I’ve been writing for a million years. OK, a little less than that.

And I’m forever reading blogs and discussions about best writing advice. And there’s tons of it. There are blogs filled with awesome advice. And one day, I’ll create a list of all my favorite sites. Sites that I turn to on a regular basis.

But I have one piece of advice. One piece that truly has made a bigger difference in my writing life than almost everything else.

Find great critique partners.

Because truly, it makes all the difference.

Here’s the thing. This journey is crazy. And it’s not just the writing, but it starts with the writing. It starts with writing and rewriting, and questioning the writing. And there’s months upon months of that, years really. Through many drafts. But then there’s more. There’s every moment of doubt, there’s the querying and new writing. And you know who is beside you through that? Your amazing critique partners. The ones who not only read what you’ve written and comment on it. They text you late at night to tell you they’re in love with certain lines, and certain scenes, and most of all your love interest. They email you when you feel down and they tweet how much they adore your words.

Great CPs are so much more than just folks who can read your book. They are the people who you send drafts to, drafts that terrify you. They are people who can deal with your self-doubt, your self-loathing, your bad days. And you know what’s just as amazing? What you get in return. Getting to read their new stories, being able to assuage their fears, send them the validation they need. Get angry at agents who reject them, growl at people who make them feel like anything but the amazing writers they are. Because you know what it’s like.

And best? You get to celebrate each others victories and good news. Because truly, that’s the best.

So I’m immensely grateful for Amy Pine, Megan Erickson and Lex Martin. Check them out because not only are they great CPs, but they are fabulous writers. Just don’t steal my CPs please.

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