Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Writing/Critique Groups

Hey all!

I was reading CKHB's blog about critique groups and it brought me back to an early memory.

I was homeschooled by my mom right up until I went to college and she was awesome at getting us kids groups of friends to hang out with. She started a homeschool co-op, was head of the homeschool band, and even started a homeschool writer's group for me and my brothers.

It was simply called Writing Club and every child was to bring something to the group that met once a month that they had written. We met in various places. Sometimes in my Grandma's church, sometimes in a Library. There was one time we met in a weird building I don't know the name of. It was awesome. There were bookshelves everywhere and tables in the middle and the building was almost in the middle of a gorgeous park so when we were done, I remember going outside and playing. I was really young, like 7 or 8 at the time.

Every month I would scramble to come up with something to share. For the first few times, I wrote a few short (very short!) stories and read them. But then I procrastinated and when the time came, I had nothing written and would just have to listen to everyone else read their stories. I thought everyone else wrote so wonderfully, I was kind of shy to share my own writing.

There was this one girl who wrote a story that made all the moms laugh. And it was long enough that she had to continue it from month to month. I was amazed. The concept of writing something longer than two pages was born in my world, and the next month I had an 8 page, single spaced story that I had poured my heart into.
As luck would have it, the morning before I was supposed to share our printer broke and I only managed to copy 5 of the 8 pages down by hand to share with everyone. I still have those pages and when I read over them now, I cringe at how horribly written it is, yet I smile at how ridiculous I was back then.

It was only after the Writing Club disbanded that I realized I wanted to be a writer. (Go figure.)
Ever since then, I've wished I could have another Writing Club and it sounds like critique groups are fairly close to that.

Many thanks to my wonderful and dear mother who took the time to organize such a club. She probably didn't know it at the time (especially those months I never wrote anything to bring), but they were one of the funnest things we did that year, and I learned a lot about writing. It planted a seed.

All this reminiscing to say that if anyone wants to start a critique group with me, we should talk. Leave a comment below and I'll get things started.
I have a wonderful critique buddy already, but I'd like to get more people's ideas too. My crit buddy and beautiful cousin Sarah. Sarah is awesome. There's no one like her.

Ok, this blog is getting a little bit away from metaphors but that's ok for now. There are no emergencies.........yet.


  1. Thanks for sharing that story. I have yet to meet a writer who doesn't have a sentimental story about when the spark started, and I never tire of hearing them.

  2. Hi Reesha! Unfortunately I somehow deleted the post while trying to edit it, but thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hopefully I can get it back up tomorrow (possibly tonight) when I am not so busy. I'll be pondering your metaphor challenge while hauling hay tonight. Take care.

  3. That's a lovely story! I love how such "small" things can make a difference to a young person.