Although I diligently tried to follow most of the expert advice I heard from these groups, I'm embarrassed to admit I ignored one valuable suggestion for far too long. For three whole years, I refused to join a critique group. Even the name sounded intimidating. I feared rejection. So, I wrote alone, edited alone, submitted alone and failed alone. Gradually, I realized I wasn’t fond of failure either, so I enlisted the services of a private editor. I paid a fee, she made some suggestions, but it just wasn’t a great fit for me. I realized I needed more than one person to read my work for me to become a better writer. I FINALLY accepted the fact that I needed a critique group.
The following month, I attended a James River Writers event at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. While collecting a few handouts, I discovered a flyer for a critique group for children’s writers. Within a month, I attended my first critique meeting with a group called Richmond Children's Writers (RCW) and instantly felt a positive shift in my confidence and my writing. Soon after I joined, the group reached capacity. I feel so blessed and honored to be one of the members of this remarkable group. Now I belong to 3 incredible writing groups!
September 2012 marked my one year anniversary with RCW, so it seemed fitting to devote my first blog entry to this very special group of people. They continue to provide me with priceless support, guidance and motivation. As I see their successes, they inspire me. As I read their pieces, they move me. As I share my work, they help me. THANK YOU to the members of RCW for walking with me on my journey to publication and giving me the confidence and the courage to keep writing.
My first tidbit of writing wisdom: Never underestimate the power of a good critique group. If you don’t have one, join one. If you can’t find one, create one.