Sunday. May 21, 2006 posting will be about how a writer's group, particularly those who do critique, can benefit the writer. Sometimes, as one friend told me, the writer can not see the 'forest for the trees', especially as his/her work is close to himself/herself. You can critiqued someone else's work, see their mistakes or have valid suggestions that'll help them, but when it comes to your own 'baby', well, suddenly it's like you have blinkers shovedover your eyes. And that's where a writer's critique group comes in. Okay, you don't have to take everything others suggest--heck, they might be showing you how they would write it--but if others in the group all hit on the same mistake then you can bet your bottom dollar that mistake needs to be corrected. That's the tree that was hidden in the forest, the one you kept passing by as you forage on the path of words.
My suggestion? Find a writer's group in your area, or a good one on-line. Actually use a couple different ones, so you get many flavors and points of views.
Even more beneficial to you, sharing a common interest with other writers, in putting down on the written page, a story that ached to be told. That's the real benefit, finding good friends who share what you want to be, a published author.