A Love Letter to My Critique Partners

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Writing is a solitary pursuit. It’s easy, and often necessary, to lock yourself away from the world.Sometimes you have to shut the door, ignore the phone, and live like an angsty caffeine-fueled pajama-wearing hermit.
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But you can’t stay there and still become The Writer You Are Meant To Be. Because you can’t forget that you’re writing to tell the stories only you can tell, to the people who need them. To communicate. To “only connect.”
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Your writing can’t become the best it can be in a vacuum. You need feedback. You need criticism. And it’s hella scary. I mean, you pour your soul into your words and WHAT IF SOMEONE HATES THEM OMG IT WILL MEAN I AM THE WORST WRITER EVER AND IT WILL BE THE END OF THE WORLD WTF WAS I EVEN THINKING I WANT TO HIDE IN A CAVE!!
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Putting your work forward for criticism is terrifying. You are absolutely certain that those dragons will EAT YOU ALIVE.

 

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LOOK HOW SCARY THEY ARE!! LOOK AT THEIR SHARP TEETH!! WHY ARE YOU EVEN DOING THIS?!?
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Because–and here’s the magic of critique–criticism makes your work better by freeing you from the cage of ego. The first critique, like the first rejection letter, is the worst. But then you realize that magic is happening. Freed from ego, your writing is becoming better. You learn to crave constructive criticism. You learn in a visceral, bone-deep way that it is not you but the story that matters.
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You learn to step outside your comfort zone. You surround yourself with good, smart, wise, caring people, and every day you are kind of amazed that these good, smart, wise, caring people believe in you and your stories enough to help them become the best they can be. And you cheer wildly for them, because the world needs their stories, and you believe in them. That is the magic of critique partners.