Q: Do you use critique groups or other resources to polish your writing?
A: My critique group consists of my wife and my mother, who are both writers. They offer invaluable feedback, but I realize that it may not always be impartial or thorough. I have a Scribophile account, and I think it would be a very useful resource if I could manage to use it more often. I go back to Scribophile every once in a while to give it another try, and when I do I generally manage to do one critique, and then when I try to do another one I slip into a state of paralysis and self-doubt. Who am I to analyze this story? Am I being too harsh, too picky, too glib, too nice? I don’t manage to finish the second critique, because I run out of time, and I rationalize my behavior by reasoning that I am better off using my time reading the books on my Goodreads list and writing my own stories than critiquing the stories of others. This is true to some extent, but it’s also selfish and maybe self-defeating in the long run.
David Hammond’s story “Suzy’s Friend” was
published on Friday, 18 May 2018.
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Ironically, writing this prompted me to go back to Scribophile, and I have been relatively active there over the past few weeks. The only real problem with Scribophile is that their forums are addictive, which takes away from my precious writing time.