“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 NIV
I belong to a fabulous critique group. There are five members and everyone brings something different to the mix. That’s one of the benefits of the group–multiple eyes viewing the writing through filters created by varying life experiences. Our differences include age, occupation, education, and location. Those differences influence our critiques. One member may focus on dialogue, another on credibility, and another on description. I need and appreciate the suggestions these focuses produce.
We submit our work to each other every Wednesday and have a week to critique the submission. These are not flip reviews with minor comments. No, our group members kindly, but honestly, sift through the document and return detailed suggestions. Fortunately, these are not dictates and each author may do what she will with them. Everyone is professional and supportive and knows her markings are for the author to consider. Ultimately, the author decides what to change and learns from the critique what a reader’s experience might be with that particular writing. That’s valuable information. I’ve been amazed how many times what I meant and what I conveyed didn’t match. Without my group, I wouldn’t have realized that someone from the East Coast would have a different reaction to what I thought made perfect sense. It’s great to have the opportunity to give it another try.
Collectively, we support each other and yes, sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron. It’s a beautiful relationship and one I’m grateful to have. Thanks, ladies.