Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Writing Buddies, Critique Partners, and Accountability Partners

Pictured here is one of my writing buddies. He sits on the chair arm and presses against my arm and shoulder while I write.

Like most writing buddies, he doesn't care what I write, how I write, or how much I write, as long he can keep me company WHILE I write. I have several writing buddies in addition to this fine fellow, some writers and some non-writers, that stay in touch and encourage me along the way.

Critique Partners, now they're a different breed. They, hopefully kindly and professionally, assist by critiquing my writing once a book goes into second draft. My current Critique Partners are two of the sharpest, most intuitive writers I know, and I'm honored we're sharing our critiquing journey. (I've experienced some not so pleasant unpleasantness when interacting with former Critique Partners in the past, thus I appreciate these wonderfully talented and upfront folks all the more.)

Accountability Partners assist with accountability. You each share your current word, page, scene, etc. goals, then set a check-in time. Lots of Whoots and Way-to-Go's are given out when one of us meets our goal, while no judgement is made when we don't. We coordinate a Wednesday and a Sunday check-in, and when one of us is struggling, we might ask:
  • "What could you differently next week?"
  • "Have you considered a more reasonable quota, then building slowly on that?"
  • "What happened? Do we need to change our check in date to better fit your schedule."
  • "Have you tried this or that?"
  • "Is there anything I can do?
All three, once I learned to be discerning and set boundaries, have been pleasant additions to my writing life. Which reminds me, I best be getting back to writing. Check-in time is fast approaching.

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