We had an indoor Sunday today. After Mass and Sunday school, I made our usual Sunday brunch--eggs, fried sweet potatoes, bacon and biscuits--and then we lounged like it was Thanksgiving. Stayed in our sweats and t-shirts. Hubby and I dove into our work on our laptops, and then we read.
This is us in a nutshell.
Fiction to non-fiction. Yin to yang. Emotion to Logic. Extrovert to introvert.
And still, he and I make a pretty darn awesome partnership. Sixteen years strong, as opposite as ever. I value his opinions. I take them at face value because his ideas are not the first I think of. He, too, admits I've stretched his point of view. With the same token, I know I can create my own conclusions. I don't feel constricted.
I'm pretty lucky to have him. But as much as he would love to have an entire blog post about him (hi hon!), this post is an ode to my critique partners.
I have three: an adult romance writer, a YA sci-fi writer, and a YA contemporary (humorous) writer. Three shades of critiques with lots of great ideas and encouragement at their fingertips. Varying levels of heavy-handedness, but all big picture thinkers and pretty darn truthful. Ladies with personalities so different from mine and yet, it's what makes our relationships that much more fruitful. Not only have I learned so much within the mansucript, but I've grown to appreciate the person behind the track changes. Their values, their commitment to me as a writer, and their honesty are priceless.
And what more would you want in a partner? Relationships with critique partners are like tiny marriages. You're sharing your baby--something you bore from imagination and raised with revisions--with this person. You're allowing for them to see/read your weaknesses. You share each milestone of a request, and you mourn each other's R's. You're trusting them to see you change.
In the end, your manuscript is better for it. If it takes a village to raise a child, it surely takes a community to raise a manuscript. And before there are sales reps, marketing agents, publishers, editors and agents, there is the writer and their support system of critique partners.
So if you don't have one, get one! And if you already have a set of your beloved partners, give them a virtual hug. Right now. :)
Have a wonderful night!