Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Different Needs of a Writer

As I gather and read notes from my critique buddies, I realize that each one meets a different need in the "writer me".

1. One is my biggest cheerleader. She restores my confidence by telling me my writing/pacing/characterization blow her away. She says she loves my story, encouraging me every step of the way, and I bask in the glow of her words. But I want to tell her that she is not so unlike me. Her writing rocks too, and I know her big news is right around the corner. 2. Another knocks me off my pedestal (in a good way). She forces me to be even better by pointing out all of the ways I've fallen short in my writing. She catches any lazy habit of using passive verbs, adverbs, or showing not telling! And I realize that really, she should have been the one to get "the call" first. My writing feels small next to hers. 3. The third one falls somewhere between the first two to balance everything out. She keeps me level and sane. I live vicariously through her as she paves her publishing road first. She flashes a spotlight and shows me the way. Because of her, I feel like my dream can come true too! As I write this, I realize that I represent one of these categories to the writers I critique too. And all three are valuable and necessary to the writing process!


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14 comments:

Cheree said...

Fantastic post. I've got a crit group to take care of 1 & 3... but only one person to knock me off that pedestal and that's my brother who's my harshest critique out there (but really because he wants the story to improve so that's good).

Jen Daiker said...

Hey?! Didn't I see this yeseterday?!!! I kid, I kid.

I don't remember what I had said yesterday but I'm a 100% believer in having some crit buddies to carry you along the way!!!

I also know that I'm the cheerleader. I can't help myself I'll purposely pull out all the good and tell you what is amazing before I give you the stuff that's not so nice.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love being both the cheerleader and the pedestal knocker off-er, though sometimes I get caught up in the story and the bigger things and miss the adverbs and passive verbs. Or maybe I'm so used to them in the books I read, they no longer seem like a problem (unless I use them).

Carrie said...

Oh this is a good point. I wonder what category I fall into for the people in my writing group. I try to be the cheerleader but I hope I fall somewhere in the middle.

Matthew MacNish said...

We don't have this going on, exactly, but I do like how we each have strengths. I'm best at line edits, and things like phrasing and the rhythm of a sentence. I tend to give a story microscopic focus when I critique. Simon is best at big picture things, like character arc, plot, and pacing. Ted is basically in-between, but also very good at spotting when I step out of voice.

Laura Marcella said...

Absolutely, writers need all those sides to be best writer she can be. :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love this because it's SO true. I feel lucky to have these people on my side and I'm sure you do too.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I really need to join a crit group, don't I? :) It sounds like they help so much.

Lourie said...

I love this post and the images you used. And this is true with all aspects of life really!

K. M. Walton said...

Very creative post, Ms. Christina Lee. And all writers need those three around them as they create.

Maddy said...

So true. Not just in writing, but in life in general. We all need these types of mentors in our life :)

(Florida) Girl said...

I find this post reassuring. Finding Crit buddies has been a challenge for me, especially this early in the journey.

I would be curious about your thoughts on the one sided exchange. How important is it to "trade" pages as opposed to someone who is simply offering up their crits?

Christina Lee said...

Florida Girl, I'll email you!

Lindsay said...

Great post. I also have awesome CPs like this. It's nice having people to cheer, force me to push myself etc., as i write.