Connie Flynn, a best selling author, who happens to be in my critique groups said this just last meeting. It was one of the off the cuff comments that stopped our group in its tracks. We all nodded solemnly. My critique group has been together now almost six years.
We're six years old.
That means, basically, that we're no longer babies, toddlers, or even clumsy (at least not every day). We have our schedule down, our routine down, and we know our ABC's.
Critique groups are interesting things. I love mine. My books are better because of the friends who gently tell me, "Pam, the description is LOVELY, CHARMING, etc, now cut it. It doesn't add to the story."
The ladies in my critique group are friends. They get the phone call or email when I sell a new book or have a new idea or some reviewer thought my description (the one they told me to cut) slowed down the plot.
And what happens in critique group, stays in critique group. Here we share our fears about the business, the news we've heard from other authors - both good and bad. Here we talk about what contests to enter, how involved in RWA we intend to be, and who we think the movers and shakers are.
Last Thursday, my old critique group (before marriage, before moving, before baby) met for their Christmas celebration. I went. They were my muses for ten years! This Thursday my current critique group (after marriage, after moving, before and after baby) meets for its Christmas celebration. I'm going. They are my muses now.
My message: Hug Your Critique Group!