How to Tell If They Care About The Work

1 min read

There are two types of "writing groups", broadly speaking.

The first is, at heart, a support group. The members encourage each other regardless, keeping each other writing and going when things are difficult.

The second is a critique group. That sort of group exists so that fellow writers can help you improve and refine your story. This is the kind that I tend to participate in.

For me, there’s one big rule of a critique group: Don’t argue with the critique.

If part of your story doesn’t land the way you meant it to, then the only reason to explain what you "meant" is to try to diagnose where the disconnect happened. Because what is important is how well the story works, and if it’s being misunderstood, then it simply Does. Not. Work. and needs revision.

This is where you see who is writing to tell the best possible (or most marketable) story, and who is writing for their ego.

That principle goes beyond simple writing groups as well.

Being able to accept critique – not agreeing with it, but accepting it, examining it – is the clearest indication of being dedicated to the mission and goals.

Otherwise you don’t care about the mission. You don’t care about goals. You just want glory and fame for yourself. [1]

Keep that in mind when you choose who to follow, and who to trust.

Coincidentally, I ran across this today.

SpaceX employees fired after writing letter criticizing Elon Musk

Featured Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

[1] Those who know who I am talking about from my own life know who I am talking about.

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3 Comments

  1. June 18, 2022
    Reply

    I haven’t found a critique group yet, but I’m ready for one. I am interested in growing and the groups I’ve tried in the past are either support groups or nobody except me is actively writing and participating. Any tips on finding your people?

    • June 19, 2022
      Reply

      I found one recently on Meetup, so that’s worth looking at. I know there’s been virtual ones well before the pandemic as well. At worst, start your own! It doesn’t have to be a big fancy arrangement, just a couple of friends who commit to do the thing. There’s also the small community we have around the Obsidian Flash challenge if you were interested in arranging something virtually (though we’ve not done that yet).

      • June 19, 2022
        Reply

        Thank you! I honestly haven’t tried super hard to find one, but I think it’s worth the effort. Thank you for the push to move forward.

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