Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giving Back Series, Part Four: Critiquing

Giving Back Series
Net's Notations Tuesdays

We sit around in a circle, the smell of French fries and burgers swirling in the air, chatter and shared fellowship between us. Welcome to McCrit. Four of us make up the group, three of whom are your hostesses here on Seriously Write. We pass each other chapters, then get to work, reading, pencils at the ready. We try not to peek at each other’s comments or smiley faces. It’s best to wait until we’re through with the reading portion, when we begin to share our impressions. Let the fun begin!

We’re there to share our lives, our writing, and our opinions with each other.

We’re there to give back.

The greatest thing about a crit group you get to share your opinion as a mostly objective reader. You bring a new (and informed) perspective. And your opinion matters. A lot. It’s likely you’re in a group with others who are near your experience level, but either way, your input counts.

If it hasn’t happened already, someday a writer may come to you for your opinion on his/her work. Say this person hasn’t been writing as long as you have been, or this is someone you’re mentoring, or this is a friend whose usual group isn’t meeting this week. So there you are. Limited time, with a choice to make.

We’ve been talking about giving back this month. Critiquing is another way we can give back (and usually get something immediately in return). When you take the time to read someone else’s work, with a mind for improving it and helping that person, you’re offering a service. You have a chance to encourage him/her, to minister to them, to point out areas which need work. It’s a privilege. Think about all the times someone has done that for you. :D

Now, that’s not to say we should spread ourselves thin, but God will honor our sacrifices, the time we spend. He’s put others in our path to bless us and guide us, to cheer us on. Helping other writers is a great way to give back.

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