I love my writers group. So much that I’m going to copy a dear friend from my writers group, and do a post about them. I joined my writers group over a year ago. Their feedback makes such a difference in the quality of my work, but most importantly, they’re my friends.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good writer’s group to critique your work. Critiques can be terrifying, so it’s important to find a group you can trust. My group is like a family to me. They’ve been there with me through brainstorming, revision, content editing, copy editing, querying, and my eventual acceptance to Musa Publishing. Many of them have had the same success. The rest, I’m confident will be joining the ranks of published authors soon.
Lately my writers group has hit a rough patch, we’ve grown too large for individual critiques to be effective. It’s happened before in the past, but people come and people go, and in the end it balances out. Having the right number and mix of people in a writers group is a delicate balancing act. You need a handful of people. Too few and you’re not getting diverse enough reactions. My rule of thumb has always been to always listen to feedback I get from the group as a whole. If multiple people are seeing the same mistake in your work, it’s a mistake. If only one person sees it, it’s a preference. Without enough people it’s difficult to make that distinction.
On the other hand, you can’t read dozens of submissions in a week and give quality feedback, so chances are you’re not getting quality feedback either. I’ve read somewhere the ideal sized group is eight. I can see that.
I’m midway through my second critique of Persephone II: Daughter of the Earth and Sky. I know it’s only a matter of time before our group finds balance again, but I wish soon would come a bit faster.