I attend a writing group where we critique each others’ works. We all submit by email, a maximum of 10 pages and then meet together and discuss what we liked and what we didn’t.
Those of you who have had me beta read for you before, you know I’m particularly honest. Though I admit I try and soften the blow with a preamble before I send off my comments. I feel like we all want to be serious writers though and if you wanted sunshine blown your way you’d take it to your mom or auntie or something so they could tell you how special it is. But we writers, I feel like, owe each other the courtesy of honesty. Helpful honesty, but honesty nonetheless.
I feel like I’ve personally been helped by this honesty and encourage it when I submit my own pieces.
But the thing about being in a writers group is you will often encounter those who came claiming they wanted feedback, but actually wanted a pat on the head instead for how awesome they are.
Needless to say, those types and I are always at odds in the beginning. They want to fight me tooth and nail for their baby. Then one of two things happens. Actually, one of three, but 90% of the time it’s one of two. We’ll get to three in a sec.
1. They hate everyone for not absolutely loving and agreeing that liquid gold comes out of their keyboard and eventually quit the writing group, because who really goes to silly groups anyway? They don’t need others’ opinions because clearly God ordained them to be a writer.
2. They realize that everyone is getting “hammered” with feedback too, but the others tend to accept it more graciously than they did and they simmer down and become one of us. And their writing tends to improve drastically each time we meet.