Sunday, July 17, 2011

Handling the Pressure of Critique Groups

Last week I was able to meet with my writing partner.  We powered through each other's chapters in just a couple of hours.  She critiqued nearly 10,000 words of my new novel.  Fantastic!

We plan to get together in two or three weeks to do it again, which is an amazing thing - a gift.

One problem.  I don't have another word written.  Not of this novel at least.  She critiqued it all. 

My impulse is to stop editing my old novel and start working on the new one because I have the opportunity to get it critiqued.  Logically, it would be good to get her feedback on the next chapter while the old chapters are relatively fresh in her mind. 

But I want to keep working on my old novel.  Something in me is not ready to jump back into the new one.  So I didn't write anything the last few days.  I stopped in my tracks. 

I know with complete certainty that she will gladly read anything I bring with me.  It doesn't have to be that novel - and literally cannot be unless I shift gears or get some energy from somewhere.  Outside pressure (which she isn't giving but I feel anyway) doesn't work for me.  I need to want to write or the creative side of me shuts down stubbornly like a two-year-old holding its breath. 

I want to work on my other novel.  I have a need for it to be done.  I need to work on it now.... 


  1. I'd say whatever you're more motivated to write, work on that.

  2. Yeah, I can't really work on something without motivation.

    BTW, I didn't mean to imply with my title that my writing partner is pressuring me at all. She is motivating me for sure. When I was in a more formal writing critique group/class, what the class had planned definitely did affect what I worked on for the week, usually in a bad way. I much prefer to follow my Muse.