Writing is a solitary effort, a task pursued in private. Yet the result is public.
Bridging that gap, between originator and audience, sits the critique group. A properly functioning assemblage will help members distinguish between their junk and their jewels, serving to keep the drivel under wraps, while propelling the exceptional to greater heights.
While I comprehend the immense value of being in a writing community, alas, I am not. Although some groups function well in cyberspace, my desire is for a gathering that meets face-to-face. Perhaps because most of my day job is done at a distance, I don’t want yet another task that must be accomplished in absentia. My desire for presence dictates a group of local writers, the existence of whom I am yet to identify.
Here’s what I wish my critique group to be:
- We all need to be active writers; no wanna-be, gonna-do wordsmiths need apply.
- We need to be at a comparable level, though those more advanced in the craft will be a welcome bonus.
- We will meet on a regular basis, monthly seems ideal.
- Each will submit a sample of his or her work in advance.
- Each will review all submissions, ready to provide feedback at the meeting.
- Honesty is the expectation, but presented tactfully. Our mantra will be to speak the truth in love.
- False praise will be prohibited, while ruthless disparagement will be verboten.
- The intent is to help each member improve their work, but not do it for them.
Is this a realistic expectation or an idealism never to be realized? Look for future updates here. Until then, write well.