Monday, June 9, 2014

Critique Partners and Covenant

Throughout the Bible, we're shown that God is big on covenant. It's far more serious than a contract because of the vows taken. We can learn a lot about relationships from these covenants and apply them to our lives.

People often select a mate based on unimportant or unrealistic criteria. How beautiful or good looking is the other person? Do they have a lot of money? They'll look for someone, who is a mirror image of themselves. After all, they have to be almost the same in order for it to work, don't they?

When people entered into a covenant in scripture, they looked for someone who had the skills and abilities they lacked. In return, they provided the knowledge and talent that person needed. So, a farmer family might enter into covenant with a warrior family. They would provide food, while the other family would protect them.

Selecting critique partners can be done with or without thoughtful consideration. I have three people that I trust with my story babies and heart:

1.  They are experienced, serious writers.

2.  They not only care about my story, but also about me as a person. Like a good parent, they want the best for me and my work. Even when they are firm and point out areas that need work, it's done with kindness.

3.  Each one has expertise in an area where I'm unfamiliar or not as advanced. One has an extensive background in the publishing industry, as well as being super techy. Another has a speaking ministry, a way of putting things into perspective, and a sharp eye for details I've missed. My third critique partner is a cheerleader from the word, "go." They're all published authors and understand the challenges that involves.

I've made some mistakes in the past, entrusting my work to those who ripped both me and my work apart. Others have come into my life for a specific reason and period of time. My critique partners are solid. I can count on them, and they can count on me.

Writers:  How do you look for in a critique partner?

Readers:  How do you choose someone, who will help you and hold you accountable?

Photo Credit:  pongster


Terri Tiffany said...

I have a great critique partner right now but her life has gone upside down for awhile--taking on two grandkids at age 58. She's going to keep trying but I know it's hard. So I might have to find new ones and I agree with your criteria. I want someone I trust, and who has proven skills and likes to read what I write.

Karen Lange said...

Good critique partners are priceless, aren't they? I am blessed to count you among my team! :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

I hope you've recovered from those not-so-helpful ones, Susan. I love the idea of divine appointments, even when it comes to critique partners. I'm glad you like yours!

Dorothy said...

"They not only care about my story, but also about me as a person."

When you find the right critique partner, you've found family. At least that's how I feel about my precious ones. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, Susan. xx