In last post, I mentioned my writing class this past term was kind of a dud. But I don't think I stressed how consistently amazing my critique partner is. She very gently points out flaws in my writing on a line by line basis and has helped me significantly improve my fiction writing over the last year in ways I'm not sure would have happened without her help.
I don't like the word 'flaw' but I can't think of another word - weakness, mistake, error? As a former computer nerd, I like to think of errors in writing as 'bugs' - everyone has bugs from time to time in their code. And programmers often need other people to test out the program to find them all. Same with writing.
Back to my writing partner - this time last year I was very uncomfortable, like anxiety-attack uncomfortable, to read any part of my writing in front of other people. Complete insecurity.
My critique partner's gentle critiques and encouragement have brought me to the point where I have no anxiety about sharing my entire novel with four people. The thing where I am completely unprepared for class tonight, where I will be expected to read for five minutes in front of a group of writers followed by reading something else for about fifteen minutes in a small group, isn't raising my blood pressure at all. Maybe a little. But I know I can walk in with anything, and it will be fine.
So thank you to my critique partner. I am so lucky!