Saturday, 30 January 2021

Why Didn't I Join a Crit Group Earlier? By Tamsin Cooke

I am normally a proliffic writer. Time is what stops me. But when Covid struck our shores and the world changed, I seemed to lose all interest in writing. My creative mojo went into lockdown. My enthusiasm went on furlough. My imagination self-distanced from my brain. I thought this was it. I wouldn't write again ...

Then I got invited to join a crit group. I've had this opportunity before but didn't think it would be for me. I thought I was a solitary writer, wanting my manuscript completed and perfectly polished before letting anyone look at it. The thoughts of sharing a work-in-progress filled me with horror. But I decided to give it a go, and I have to say that it's the best thing I could have done.

Having a deadline was brilliant. No longer could I faff about on Twitter and Facebook. If you know someone is going to read your work in X number of days, you force yourself to write. And in doing so, my love of writing and playing with words was reborn. The story that had been lurking in the back of my mind was suddenly at the forefront.

I have to admit I was terrified to press send. All these people were going to read my first chapter and I had no idea how they'd react. I didn't need to worry. They were incredibly supportive and generous with their feedback and expertise. They really liked the idea, but also spotted holes and saggy character motivations. And they made me question what is at the heart of my story - what am I trying to say? Having this advice early on was invaluable. 

I've loved reading their work too. There's something very special in watching a story grow and helping in anyway you can. We have shared ideas and shown different perspectives. 

In this time of isolation, I look forward to our meetings on Zoom. It feels a supportive community where we're free to share the ups and downs of our craft with people who understand. 

So if you're feeling in a rut with your writing, I recommend you join a crit group. They show you the world of your story outside of your own mind, and hold your hand while doing it.

Tamsin Cooke
Author of The Scarlet Files Series and Stunt Double Series
Website: tamsincooke.co.uk
Twitter: @TamsinCooke1 




12 comments:

Nick Garlick said...

You've made me curious, Tamsin. I'd be terrified to press Send too, knowing how awful my early drafts always are. But who knows? It might help. Can you offer any advice about finding crit groups?

Penny Dolan said...

So good to hear that a Crit Group helped you, Tamsin, but I understand your reluctance too, Nick.

Wonder how other Scattered Authors feel about this topic?

Penny Dolan said...

Nick Garlick, there's a few comments on the SAS Facebook page now

Tamsin Cooke said...

HI Nick. It is daunting pressing send, but early feedback can be really helpful. Unfortunately I'm not sure how you go about finding a group. I was invited. Are you a member of SCBWI? If so perhaps they can help.

Tamsin Cooke said...

Hi Nick, Just to add - the SAS might be able to help too.

Tamsin Cooke said...

Thank you, Penny Xx

Nick Garlick said...

Thanks to both for your replies. I'm not a member of the SCBWI. I've always wondered about the benefits of joining, especially as I live in the Netherlands, where there's no branch. Would you recommend it, Tamsin?

Tamsin Cooke said...

Hi Nick, I really like the community aspect of SCBWI and there's lots of writing courses available - especially at the moment via Zoom. I know there are crit groups on there as well, which I'm sure you'd be able to join. I didn't know you lived in the Netherlands. What a fabulous place. Xx

LUSSIEKANYE said...

If getting herpes cure was that easy then why do people still suffer from herpes? I was diagnosed of herpes back in 2014 and i was also told it has no cure,I have been leaving with it since then, but i kept praying and doing everything possible to get cured, so i never stop doing research about finding a cure,I came across testimonies about people getting cured through herbal medication and i have always believe in herbs and its medical properties, after doing so many research about it i found DRASHAOSEMUDIAMEN and I discovered he was a professional in herbal medication and he has also helped many people,I contacted him through his mail: DRASHAOSEMUDIAMEN@GMAIL. COM, and +2347052021645 we talked on phone and i confirmed he was genuine,I did all what he told me to do, i received the medicine,use it as he prescribed,and glory be to God almighty i am completely cured, i went back to my doctor to confirm it.do not be deceived THERE IS A CURE FOR HERPES. He is also good at saving you from any kind of diseases like Herpes.HIV/aids.Gonorrhea.Cardiac problem.cold sore.Hpv cure.Cancer.Watering sperm.Womb fertilization.Penis erection.Witch craft attack.S T D diseases.Internal heat Rashes.Fibroid.Low sperm count.Dairy.long sickness.I promise I will always testify for your good work. drashaosemudiamen@gmail. com or whatsapp +2347052021645 GOOD LUCK.
https://www.facebook.com/Drashaosemudiamen    https://dr-asha-osemudiamen.webnode.com    

Angie C said...

Aiming to join SCBWI in future. Would love to be part of a community and critique group. What’s SAS? Google is coming up with all sorts of results but nothing relevant to writing! Thanks.

Angie C said...

Aiming to join SCBWI in future. Would love to be part of a community and critique group. What’s SAS? Google is coming up with all sorts of results but nothing relevant to writing! Thanks.

Tamsin Cooke said...

Hi Angie, It will be good to see you in SCBWI. The SAS is the Scattered Authors Society. It's for published authors who wish to connect with each other. It's a fab organisation. I don't now where you are in your writing journey but if you are traditionally published, I really recommend it. Xx