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Image thanks to Karl Horton on Flickr.

There is significant value in having an outsider’s opinion of your writing, for steel sharpens steel. We, as humans, are blind to ourselves; we cannot see our own faults clearly. Therefore, an unbiased point of view is essential to growth as a writer. We need someone to point out to us what is wrong in our writing, where our writing fails, so that we can address it and improve upon it, an thus improve as writers and authors.

My critique group taught me a great deal of things:

1. I will never be the best writer in the world.

2. I will never be the worst writer in the world.

3. Don’t overuse a character’s name.

4. Don’t overdramatize.

5. Double check your facts.

6. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know.

7. Every reader sees things differently, and some don’t know why they like what they like.

8. Your writing can be fantastic, and it still will not appeal to all readers. (Here’s a secret: it never will!)

9. A writer of a different genre, even a genre you don’t respect, can be a great writer and deliver great advice for your story.

10. Have fun. Writing is about having fun. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, you’re probably in the wrong profession or pursuing the wrong hobby.