Give Your Writing A Flu Shot: Find a Critique Group or Partner

I’m no doctor, but I have been sick for a week and I haven’t been writing. What I have been doing is reading. This week, I’ve been devouring beta reads and pages from my critique group and my crit partner on the side as well. The conclusion I’ve come to is this: reading pages from other works in progress (WIPs) is the equivalent to getting a flu shot for your manuscript.

Beta reading subjects your brain to writing errors, and being exposed seems to make us more vigilant in our editing. This week, I’ve found myself making notes in other manuscripts and really taking those to heart. I see the faux pas I know I make and I work a little harder to see those in my drafts. Then, something else happens too. I see errors in other WIPs and realize I do the same things.

While I’ve been too tired to really whip out some new material, I have been wearing my editing hat, and my WIPs are cleaning up nicely. I’m taking my own advice, opening my eyes and seeing things I hadn’t noticed before a healthy dose of those other reads. I know my craft is improved because of the time I’ve spent reading other writers works.

Since I’ve been blogging and tweeting, I’ve met countless women looking for advice on writing. My advice to those women is to find a crit partner. Find someone to trade pages with and swap. You’ll make a new friend and improve your craft. It’s a great win-win situation.

So, don’t be afraid to ask another writer to trade pages. I was lucky enough to be approached by my crit group leader back when she was looking for a few ladies, and by my new writer bestie when she wanted a lady to trade pages with. I was luck y because they were brave. I learned from that. I hope you will too. Ask and you will be so thankful you did. Every writer wants someone to trade with. Its how we improve, learn and grow.

Go ask! Then, stop by and tell me your story because I love a happy ending!

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