I just quit my critique group and I feel so free and alive and able to write and think and be creative again!!! I started feeling smothered about 6 months ago, but I trekked on, thinking I'd be a quitter if I left. Other people love critique groups, so I should stay, right?...
But after the last round of critiques, I knew I had to cut the rope. I usually walk around during the day with one or two new novel ideas rolling around in my head. But for the past 3 months, I haven't been able to think of anything! No new ideas, no new characters, nothing!
So I decided to just do it. FOR ME
. I knew it was the right thing for ME to do and for MY writing. I just felt like my book was getting ruined and my writing style and voice were being smothered, distracted, changed, wrung dry...
The moment I drove away from my final meeting, I got a whole new story idea! And I just feel so FREE ever since leaving I want to jump for joy!!! I can start writing for myself again!!!
I want to blog about it, but a few of the members read my blog, so I can't blog about my happiness for leaving quite yet. I don't want to step on anyone's toes. I know some people live by their critique groups. I applaud every writer for doing for themselves and for their writing what works for them. I do.
But I also had to do for myself what works for me. I need to only hear my own voice in my head (and that of my characters). Otherwise I can't do it. For me it started feeling like 'a hobby', casually going through the motions, taking my sweet ol'time... I'll never get anything done that way. I needed to take charge and get back to treating my writing like a career: wake up early, write/edit for two hours, then get to work on the rest of my day.
I did learn some great lessons while in the group - what good and bad writing looks like and what to do about it. But I'm not about having an ongoing conversation about my writing with people who are happy waiting a month or two to meet again. It's maddening! To me, that is
Tomorrow, I start to get back to writing work. No more hiatus.