Against The Wall

CSThis is where you walk naked through Central Station.

No writer can live without a bunch of other writers willing and able to rip your fiction a new one. Sure, you can let your friends and family read your stuff, and wallow in their praise, and that’s all good and fine, but when all’s said and done, that kind of feedback is about as useful to the development of your writing as balls on a hacksaw.

To learn, to grow, to develop, to improve, you need fellow writers, or Wise Readers, insightful enough to read your work and point out its flaws, loving enough to be brutally honest in their feedback, and brilliant enough to suggest improvements. For this, you need really, really Wise Readers—experienced readers, who can both read a work of fiction and analyse it—or writers at a similar level as you.

With much better writers, you run a risk of missing the point of their feedback, or receiving suggestions that do not match your level of development. With writers in an earlier stage in their development, you may get comments that don’t help you. Of course, both categories can occasionally help you along, as can naive readers, but your best shot at critiques that allow you to grow as a writer comes from approximate peers.

So find yourself a group of writers willing and able to give you feedback, and of course return the favor at some point. Take a deep breath, believe the lie that this will only hurt for a moment, and show them your work.

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