So I figured out how to insert Yahoo! emoticons into blogger. Gah. It took me a couple of hours, but it's sweet!
And yes, now you all know how big of a geek I am.
<---And this is for the troops all over the world working to keep the disaster that happened seven years ago from happening again. To my email buddy, Sergeant Joshua Hammerling, currently stationed in the Philippines, thank you.
That aside, I've been thinking a lot about critique groups lately. Are they worth it? What if the advice isn't that good? Does my work really need to be critiqued?
I've been in a "live" critique group for five months now. We meet every other Thursday and critique the next segment in our novels. It's fun. I have a good time. And when two or three of them say the same thing, I know I have some work to do. I appreciate their insight, their fresh eyes. And we've become friends over the five months.
I've also been a member of online critique groups. My first one brought me down, and my heart would pound every time I posted. I just knew it was going to be ridiculed and torn to shreds. I ended up leaving, but it taught me one thing--how to have a thick skin. And that's essential in the publishing world. So I thank them for that.
I'm still in an online critique group. The people are fabulous, a couple of them actually write in my genre and their advice is invaluable. The best part: they're honest without being snarky about it. So I've come to the conclusion that critique groups are good--if you can find one that is filled with like-minded people. To me, that's people who care about good writing, helping others without expecting anything in return, and improving their own craft as well as yours.
My live crit group is fantastic. I love them all. My online crit group have become my support through good writing, not-so-good writing, personal drama, and most of all they make being in a critique group worthwhile.
Reading: STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher (The man can write!)