Friday, April 22, 2011

T is for ... Trust

Trust is important in every aspect of our lives. We seek out people we trust, want to work with people we trust and choose people we trust to be our closest friends and confidants. As writers, finding people we trust is even more important.

I am a part of several different critique groups. In every one there are writers I trust, and writers whose critiques I take with a very large grain of salt. The ones I trust, I trust a lot. If they tell me something is wrong with my MS, I listen. I change it. It's taken time to get to this point. Time and a lot of critiquing.

Finding someone you trust with your work, and whose opinions resonate with you isn't always easy. To begin with, I thought I had to listen to everyone, change everything anyone said was wrong. I started doing just that, and quickly realized it was not in the best interest of my work. Often people had vastly conflicting ideas of what was wrong.

A lot of my choice as to who to trust has been based on their writing. I'm far less likely to accept the feedback of a writer whose own work is riddled with errors because I can't trust that what they're telling me is correct. I also have to take into account how they accept feedback on their own work. If I point out a flaw, and they get all defensive and snippy with me, I'm less likely to trust their critique.

But I feel lucky to have found the people that I have. Sure, I guess we'd all like a larger pool of critique partners, but in reality, how much time does anyone really have? And what a luxury it is to know I have these good people at my back who are unafraid to point out a character's motivation in a certain scene is unclear, or that I used the word 'just' 19 times in a single chapter. Or that the basic premise of that short story is inherently flawed...

How do you find people you trust with your work?


  1. Fantastic post. I'm like you, it's hard to choose who to trust. But I agree that the critique group is the best.

  2. It's extremely hard to find people I trust with my work. I had a very, very bad experience a couple of years ago and it's left me a little gun shy.

    I think other writers are the way to go. They know how it feels.

  3. Oh dear, MJ - I'm so sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Honestly, every thing I've done has been a leap of faith so far, and I'm afraid of such an occurrence.

    And yes - I do agree that we need to stick with the writing community. So far the writers I've encountered have been simply lovely.