Last weekend I not only attended the Western Washington SCBWI regional conference, I also spent any and all free time in between with my Critique Sisters. In workshopping our novels I realized just how important they are to me and what being part of a critique group is all about. There is much more to it than just critiquing one another's work.
A good critique group acts as support when you need, helping to hold up the crushing weight of rejection by reminding you why you write and why you love it. They inspire you and push you to be better, guiding you on the path to accomplishment. On the other end of that spectrum they know when you need a kick in the rear to get you moving along or pull you out of a rut. When your work is not up to your capabilities they aren't afraid to tell you where you can improve it and help you achieve it.
Not every critique group works this way but I'm honored and thankful to say that mine does. These ladies aren't just my critique partners, they are my friends, supporters, cheerleaders, and my sisters. I'm honored to be a part of them and I hope each of you can find a critique group that serves as many purposes as mine does. To help you find the right critique group check out this Critique Group Questionaire.