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 Critique Group

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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Critique Group   Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:49 pm

I created a writers critique group that meets in Redlands, CA, and we had our first meeting the first Thursday of Feb. We're supposed to meet each month, but I'm having serious doubts.

At our first meeting, instead of critiquing, I crossed into editing/teaching and explaining some of the craft. That's not what the facilitator should do. But as a former editor, I see something wrong and I flag it with too much information for the occasion. Can I overcome that? I don't know. And I still don't know if I'll continue the sessions. It's a lot of work for very little reward.

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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:42 am

Brenda, I find that the concerns of an audience (students or the curious) will turn any session into what they want to hear. It is difficult for an instructor to keep the focus on the intended theme.
There is something positive in every situation. Instead of fighting it "go with the flow" may be a reasonable alternative.
Giving of yourself can be the strongest and most appreciated result. It only takes one person to say, "I appreciated what you did. It helped me."
Hang in there. You have much to offer. Flexibility can be as difficult as patience. Both are rare.
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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:00 pm

Thanks, Abe. You're always so wise.

I spent nearly a year teaching the craft of writing, going over the techniques, going way beyond what was necessary, and I think I'm burned-out. During that year, and for the first time in years, I personally wrote very little. Now that I've abandoned the teaching sessions, I'm writing again. It seems as if all my energies and thoughts were directed at the lessons.

As far as the critique group, it's not as much work, yet it is in a different way since I open my mouth and everything I've learned about the subject comes pouring out. So many in the group are newbies and I'm not sure they even understand what I'm saying. Then I have to explain. If I could simply add comments about what's on their page and not teach, it would be better. After all, they didn't sign up nor pay for lessons.

So my dilemma: do I continue with the sessions? I'm not even sure another critique group is needed, as several have appeared in neighboring cities. So why am I even considering it? Personally, I get very little from it, but I do enjoy the company of writers, the excitement when they 'get' it. But is that enough reward for the time and effort?  

Still not sure.

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D. J. (Don) Stephens

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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:41 pm

Do what your gut tells you. Is the satisfaction worth the time an effort??

Only you know.
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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:33 pm

That's what I don't know, Don. Some days yes, others, not so sure.

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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:18 am

I've decided to keep the next scheduled workshop, which is Thursday. The one I led before was quite large, so there were a few writers to participate, which made it easier on everyone. Perhaps this new group will also grow. Hope so, because I truly like the writers who have attended. So maybe it'll be worth it after all.

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Domenic Pappalardo

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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:28 am

Every time I write something,(comment) before I can post it it flips me off the forum?
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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:39 am

That's annoying, isn't it? I have no idea why that's happening, Domenic. Has it happened from the first time you posted? I'll see if I can figure out why.

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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:24 pm

Domenic, I notified Victoria, who's the mod for the forum. She's so much better at the technical end of things, so as soon as she gets a chance, she'll take a look.

Is it still happening?

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Victoria Howard, Mod
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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:12 pm

Domenic, I've checked the forum settings and can find no reason why you can't post. When you registered you should have received an email with a link, which you needed to click on to confirm your membership. If you didn't do that, it could be the reason why you are having trouble. The only way I can correct it, is to delete your current membership and for you to re-register. Do you wish me to do that?

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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Critique Group   Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:35 pm

I've made arrangements with IHop in Redlands for our critique group to meet on Monday evenings - the 3rd Monday of each month. I'd tried to move the group to Bob's Big Boy directly off I-10 and Caiimesa Blvd, as they were willing to allow us the use of their back room. There, we had the room to ourselves and a door for privacy. Members could talk, discuss problems, and read their pages in total privacy. Ideal, I thought. But I received emails stating it was too far away, and after the first meeting, not enough members signed up again. So I cancelled the meetings.

Now there are critique groups all over SoCal, and that's great. And convenient for members. They now have their choice of locations and facilitators - and I've also had requests to resume in Redlands.

So I'll try again. We won't have the privacy at IHop, but perhaps the location in Redlands will be better. We'll see.

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