It can be difficult to look at your own writing objectively. Particularly if you are a new writer, it can be daunting to know if your work is at a standard where you can share it with the world.
This is where critical friends come into play and why they are important.
Critical friendships are good because…
- Sharing gives a better perspective of what you are writing
- Can pick up little mistakes
- Can find the gaps
- Tell you what is working or what isn’t
- Can help when you are blocked
- Give an alternative when you are stuck on which way to go
- Help you to look at your writing more clearly
- Support and friendship
Being a critical friend is also going help your writing as you learn to look for the above in other writers’ work you will only improve your own skills and understanding in what works and how it can be seen by readers.
Where to find critical friends
I was recently asked to join a Facebook writing group. At this point we are sharing learnings and articles but I have had offers to read my work and I’m saving them up for when it counts.
There are so many opportunities on social media now to find groups of like minded people. I like Facebook but you may prefer Twitter or Google Plus or one of the many others,
Student groups and courses
My recent Masters course has been invaluable in improving my writing; for each unit I was a member of a small tutorial group and the critical friendships were great as members of the group came from various genre and backgrounds.
There are lots of opportunities for writers to get together. To find a group near you try your local writers centre.
What to look for in critical friends
- People writing at a similar level to you.
- Open and honest but fair.
Don’t be afraid to test out a group first – sit back and watch for a while and see how it operates then go from there.
Of the various groups I belong to I still have one critical friend who I value above all others. We have worked together for a long time, coming up to 10 years, and we write in similar genre although not in the same way. I love her writing and find her advice and critique of my writing both insightful and helpful.
Photo: Friends from Wikipedia Commons