Thursday, February 26, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I knew having other writers examine my work would give me fresh insight, marketing ideas and help on the manuscript before sending it out to an editor. But I didn't realize how much this extra polish would improve my writing.
The critique group is an excellent atmosphere to exchange ideas with other writers. I get the benefit of receiving their input, experience and encouragement. Showing your manuscript to another person involves risk. What if they don't like it? Better to hear that from a fellow writer and polish it some more, than send the article all over the country, receive rejections slips, and never know why.
But all that still doesn't quite explain my critique group "high". I think that may be explained on a more elemental level: the value of female friendship.
I believe friendships, our social connections are vital to emotional health. Friends provide a unique support that we cannot receive from families or children. Friends care about us as individuals and they care about our opinions and our feelings. They also enhance how we feel about ourselves.
Sometimes, women get so caught up in caring for families, spouses, children, jobs and a million other responsibilities that girlfriends may be the only people who can reach out to us and let us slow down. They share our experiences. They tell us jokes. They listen to our stories. We need girlfriends.