Obituary


This is a checking in post, so I’ll try to keep things brief. I have a lot going on over the next few weeks. You may have seen the promos for Quantum Wanderlust, and that’s just part of it. I also have some things to post for friends who are releasing their own books. There are still a couple of things I need to write, but I may not get to all this writing and scheduling until the weekend.

Tonight was my grandson’s birthday, so we all went to supper immediately after work. This leaves us about enough time to clean up and go to bed so we can work tomorrow. He was excited and got some cool nerf gun stuff. His mom got a cute video of him face diving into a plate of whipped cream and looking for a cherry. This is something the restaurant did for us, and it was pretty funny.

Earlier this week another member bailed out of our critique group. Two of us have been there since the beginning, but the other long term members left about a year ago. It wasn’t all at once, and they trickled out over a few months.

New members joined and failed to last three months. We’ve been haunting the local membership base, Facebook, and other likely haunts. Most of the inquiries are looking for wine and cheese, but very little actual writing. Some want to play at being writers, and we come across a bit hardcore for them.

I’ve had my butt kicked at critique group, and I’ve been the one kicking butt a few times too. Honestly, I learned so much from this process I’m going to really miss it. Critique involves hearing the tough things, then adjusting to improve the result. Too many people were looking for the Mutual Admiration Society. Many have been to groups with a lot of members, but only a couple made submissions every month. That just doesn’t work for the other fellow and I.

I recently wrote 25,500 words over a period of about a month and a half. We submit 3000 words per month. The rule was you have to critique all the other submissions, usually about four, but you get four critiques of your own 3000 words. With the novella I just finished, I have eight months of material. If I only got to submit say, twice per year in a big group, that isn’t very helpful.

We had our date set for three members when the newest guy bailed out on the group. The remaining fellow asked me if we ought to fold the whole thing, and I agreed. We had a good run, but it looks like I’ll have to find something else.

I know there are some online options, but those deserve a bit of scrutiny before diving in. The other trick is to find at least a couple of people who are better writers than I am. This isn’t to say that I’m awesome, it’s just a growth and improvement thing. A mix of people with some veterans along with some newer folks seems to work well.

The benefit of the newer folks involves doing the critique work. I’ve learned as much from trying to help others along as from being helped. Sometimes it’s like looking in the mirror, and you cement the lessons you learned, and understand why you got your butt kicked six months before.

I’ll keep my eyes open. Something else may come along. I’m not going to get in a hurry either. I still have access to some darned good beta readers, but that’s a different process.

33 Comments

Filed under Writing

33 responses to “Obituary

  1. It is a pity your critique group has come to an end. Sounds like a useful thing for personal growth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shame about your critique group, as I would have loved to join. Personally, I think beta readers are far more useful…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about the critique group. Seems really hard to maintain those. I agree about the online ones since many have strict requirements and it’s hard to congregate for discussion. Online doesn’t have the same conversation flow as in person. A lot of them use Skype to get over that. Hope you manage to find something.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, that makes me sad. I have not been able to find a good critique group around my neck of the woods. I’d love to have my stuff torn to shreds by people who know what they are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry about the situation with your critique group. Hope you figure out something that works for you for the future.

    Happy birthday to your grandson.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a real shame about the critique group, as constructive feedback is so valuable.
    Even online get togethers are hard to organise and, especially, to keep them going when real life chips away, or people have different work patterns/drives. 😦
    Don’t know what the solution is, as I know my own output’s terribly erratic, and I suspect that providing regular and reliable feedback might become yet another fluffy avenue for procrastination, instead of rolling up sleeves and getting my own words down… That may be the current lassitude caused by major distraction as the house is pulled apart and reassembled all y shiny and new – maybe I’ll feel differently after the next few weeks are done and dusted! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry about that, Craig. It’s sad to begin with when things change; sadder still when it’s an ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been in critique groups that lasted years then folded and it’s always a sad process. I don’t use beta readers at all, but I find a critique partner invaluable. It’s taken me five years to find that perfect fit again (after losing my CP of 12 years in 2010), but when you do, it’s gold.

    I work best online with 1-2 CPs, and have found that more beneficial than larger groups. Have you and the remaining member of the group thought of continuing your critiquing sessions online?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was part of a group for a while and then saw the same thing happen. Too much social not enough work. Hope you find a new outlet.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorry about your critique group, Craig – they’re hard to find. I’ve never been able to find one around me and gave up trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry to hear that, Craig. It isn’t easy finding critique partners. I, too, am on the lookout, but the last group I tried had so many members I couldn’t get a word in. Alas…

    Liked by 1 person

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