I know all three of us have waxed poetic about critique groups and creative communities before, but I'm going to do it again. Because my critique group surprised me again last night. Like they do.
I had sent pages for the short story I wrote about being stuck on last week, then decided I wanted to scrap it and re-start from scratch, so I told them not to read it. Two of them had already read the pages by the time I sent the second email and last night they spent quite a bit of time telling me how funny the story was and how I should continue it.
And that's one of the awesome things about critique groups and community--the encouragement, even when we're looking at our work and thinking "wow, this is terrible." The total surprise and faith when we're at rock bottom. It's a huge help, and I think it's totally underrated in this hermit-y artsy profession.
So, yeah. If you haven't yet, I still highly, highly recommend trying to find a trusted critique group or creative community. Despite the introvert-struggle of dealing with people, it's totally worth it.
Emily is constantly struggling with the see-saw of dealing with other human beings, but she couldn't ask for a better community around her. You can't have them. They're all hers.