My writing has not been critiqued (directly to me, that is) since college. And that was a longgggggggggg time ago. Sometime in the last century. We won't mention which decade but there was a "7" in the number.
With the 9 month flood anniversary here in upstate NY having to be commemorated and my normal Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday theme days begging for attention, I haven't followed the prompts very much this week. But that doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention to the quality of writing in this Challenge. Now, it is time to return to this Challenge.
Today's Author Blog Challenge prompt is: "Have you participated in a critique groups? If so, how did it work out for you? If not, why have you avoided them to this point?"
The short answer is "No, I never have. Don't know if I ever will."
I could have given you a lot of answers for the "why" but a blog post written by Tor Canstantino (not part of this challenge but his writings are well worth reading, in my humble opinion) finally explained why. His post, The One Trait Every Writer Needs, created one of those "a-ha!" moments for me.
Tor wrote "..most creatives write from their hearts, losses or experiences – the words are inseparable from the author." That is so true for me.
At this point in time I could not appear before a group, carrying my heart-I mean, my writing- and having people examine it. Even if they found my writing was the greatest ever (no chance of that) the stress of the experience would be too much for me to bear.
I'm not even sure I could hire someone to do it for me privately. Or have someone in the Challenge (if they offered) do that for me. Not now. Not yet.
But, I think I am beginning to realize that "no pain, no gain" is more than a cliche about exercise.
The encouragement I've received from fellow bloggers is like sunshine on the leaves of a green plant, to be sure. But encouragement doesn't teach in the same way as a helpful critique. One day, I must prepare to face that I must seek an unbiased opinion out if I want to continue my growth as a writer. But first, I need to grow a very thick hide. So, how do I do that?
Nothing worth doing is easy, is it?
Fellow readers and writers, what do you think?
No critique pain, no gain?