Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meet new people, criticize them--yeah sure!

Tell me what you think?
I was looking for writer's groups in my new town and I found a great little critique group, the Bellingham Writers Group.  I went to my first meeting with them and after a few minutes of introduction we all set to reading each others work so that we could offer helpful criticism.

The purposes of going to a group like this are twofold, first you get helpful advice with your writing and second you get to meet other writers, make meaningful connections and perhaps even friendships.  In any other setting the last thing you want to do is start criticizing the people you are hoping to make friends with.  But in this case to not offer up something critical would be the faux pas.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place: tell someone their "baby" isn't perfect, or look lame and useless to the people you want to impress.  Being a writer can sure be a strange adventure sometimes.

I won't leave you in suspense.  I muddled my way through, trying to helpfully point out a few things I had trouble with in the pieces I read while also finding a few positive things to say to balance it out.  I don't think I sounded half as clever and witty as I wanted to sound but the important thing is I didn't seem to alienate or disappoint anyone either.


Now that my initiation is over maybe all my nerves and angst can be reserved for having my own work critiqued.

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