In our opinion, there is nothing a new writer can do that is more valuable than joining a critique group or pairing up with someone who you can swap work with.

That’s why we are helloing your organise your own online critique groups as part of your Learning Hub Membership (if you need a group, that is).

We often get people enquiring about editing or mentoring, having never shown their work to anyone else, or swapped with a fellow writer. My first response is usually to suggest the person does that. Of course, getting feedback from a more experienced writer is brilliant, it can be expensive if you’re having to do 3/4/5 drafts of a full manuscript.

That’s why critique groups and partners are so valuable – you gain from their eyes on your work, but you also gain by honing and developing your own critical eye when reading theirs.

And while a huge plus is the feedback you gain, for us, writing is not best done in a solitary way.

We don’t mean you should bring a crowd into your office when you’re writing, or only write when there’s a riot involving two kids happening in your living room!

But the support, encouragement, advice and guidance that can be gained from working with a small group of fellow writers, especially if there’s a nice mix of experience, is absolutely invaluable.

5 reasons why critique groups/partners are awesome:

  1. Feedback – as mentioned above, this is a huge benefit but not the only one, or arguably the most important
  2. Friendship – some of my best writing friends have developed via critique groups, and even when the critiquing paused or stopped, we remained friends
  3. Advice – which agent, how long til I nudge, when is the novel award deadline? These are all examples of the kinds of advice and information your group can help you with on a daily basis
  4. Motivation – if you’re struggling to get the words down, to think of a new novel idea, or just to get through that very day, your group/partner are so often there for you with GIFs and wise words
  5. Encouragement – when things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped, and this happens to every one of us, you can rely on your group/partner to elevate you back to where you need to be

So while you can writing on your own, at WriteMentor we 100% do not encourage that!

Writing can be lonely, but it doesn’t need to be.