I've mentioned my online critique group here from time to time. It's for women only, international and for serious writers. I could make a long list of reasons I belong to it and what the benefits are. Instead, let me discuss only one here today.
'writersandcritters' (also known as wac) serves as a steady anchor in my life. We ride a roller coaster in our everyday lives with a number of things that we can't always depend on. The fish at the supermarket may or may not be fresh. My hairdresser sometimes can't give me an appointment that fits into my schedule. I might not be able to find a compatible day to get together with a friend for lunch. I'm never sure when my children can come home for a visit. The economy is less and less a dependable in life. The list can go on and on.
The critique group is always there for me. I can depend on the women in the group to give me help with my writing, to share in the pleasure a writing success brings, to give advice on marketing or almost anything else I might ask them for. Maybe 'support group' would be a more fitting title rather than 'critique' for that is what these women who live around the seven seas do for one another.
If my everyday world is topsy-turvy because of illness or some other distress among my family and/or friends, I can still turn to wac for a little time of normalcy and strength gained from all we do there. And these wonderful women are not only there for topics concerned with writing. There have been times when a member has been dealing with a serious illness of a family member, a tragic loss, or a major move from one place to another. wac members support one another through those situations, too.
Occasionally, a member of wac will pose a question concerning some aspect of writing, and before long, several others chime in with opinions or thoughts. The nicest part of that is being able to participate or ignore it if the day is chock full of too many other things. The discussions are filled with wisdom and humor and often plain good sense. If something happens with an editor that bothers me, I know I can turn to the wac ladies to help me sort out my feelings. They can help me see it more objectively and get me back on track.
Yes, this group is my anchor, strong and sound. Our leader, Joyce Finn, is to be credited for creating and sustaining the steady strength wac has. My thanks to her and to the members of wac who call the USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Shanghai, China, the Netherlands and England home.