Fan club: The other side of a critique group

Little monster sketch

It is very important to get precise, sometimes brutal, feedback about your work, and if it comes in the right form, and from someone you respect, you can survive the critique and push to make your writing or art even better than it was before, but it is also very important to have those people who cheer you on, no matter what. I call these people my fan club.

My fan club is sometimes my family. My kids who love almost everything I do, and who draw up a storm, and borrow my art supplies to make their own creations, and my husband, who listens to my latest ideas, and shakes his head at me telling me I need to paint more because he loves what I do.

Other times it is my critique group, or the people I have connected with through writing and art groups who are feeling the same way I am, and cheer me on. I see posts that reflect exactly what I am feeling, and see encouragement abound.

We all need these people in our lives to cheer us on, because just as there are many high points in working creatively, there are many low points too. I have been experiencing some low points lately, in which I see so many talented people vying for the same agents I am, and the same audience. In my busy life it seems like the work I create comes along so slowly, and even though I have come a long way, the road to there suddenly seems so long.

But it is at times like this that those little gems given to you by your fan club can shine the brightest.

A few weeks ago the head of SCBWI Alaska Chapter (part of my critique group) told me that she felt my writing was getting stronger. It had been a few weeks since she had read anything of mine, and the compliment practically made me float two feet off the ground. I have been going to critique groups almost bi-weekly for nearly a year now, and to hear her say this was amazing! I have been writing like crazy (to the point where I have almost finished my middle grade reader…, only to find that I want to re-write most of it, but that’s another story) and through my critique group’s feedback, guidance, and example my writing has improved. Yippee!

I also received my first official rejection, and for me that makes things official. I’m a writer! I received a rejection, and that’s no big deal, because there will be a lot more of those to come. There will also be those gems in there, those “we’d love to hear more from you” comments, and when they come I will be ready for them.

And here’s a big thank you to all of you who create an draw, and inspire me everyday! Thank you!

Who inspires you, and who is your fan club?




  1. Well written! My fan club is my family too and my kids! Sometimes I even tell my kids what type of compliment to give me about some knitted item I have made, because they don’t know what to say!!!!

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