A Thank-You Note To My Critique Group

by Lisa Rosen on April 28, 2011

Dear Group–

Several weeks ago, I gave you some pages from my novel.  They were my very best work; I had toiled over them for longer than I care to admit.  You read them, ever-so-carefully, and you told me, ever-so-kindly, exactly how much they sucked.  So I went back to those pages, for the forty-third time, and I almost quit.

I didn’t think there was anything else I could do to fix that section.  I had given it my all.

Except–I hadn’t.  You all said I could do better.

So I tried again.  It was about as much fun as having my toenails ripped off.  It felt like I was having to drag the words out of myself, one at a time, kicking and screaming.

And you know what?  You were right.  I could do better.

Thank you for that–for making me do better work.

Thank you for pushing me.  Thank you for making me think more deeply, write more thoughtfully, and revise more courageously.  Thank you for respecting my vision, and for reminding me that it won’t come to life by itself.  Thank you for helping me find the emotional marrow of my story.

Thank you also for trusting me with your own precious stories.  Every time I read your words, I learn a little more about the craft of writing.  I love watching your tales unfold.  Even more, I love our conversations–seeing how we all write and think and revise differently.  I’ve learned a great deal from each of you.

Thank you for that.

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