Indie Life: To Critique or Not To Critique?

There are a lot of great things about being an indie author (namely creative control), but there are challenges as well. Let’s be honest; sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. So we hire designers, editors, and sometimes even marketeers. (Yes, marketeers is a real word. I promise.) My point? Being an indie doesn’t mean going it alone. Sure, there’s plenty of trial and error, but there are also a lot of great resources out there for writers. I recently stumbled across CP Seek, a website dedicated to helping writers find critique partners. How awesome is that?

I have a kickass team of beta readers, but I can’t help but think that what’s missing is a critique partner, someone who not only understands plot structure and tropes and character archetypes, but who shares the ups and downs of writing. (Writer’s block, anyone?) In the past I’ve been nervous about dipping my toe in the crit partner pool. I wasn’t sure if I’d have the time or the perspective to be a great partner, so I held back.

I’m starting to rethink my position. After all, I’ve been reading and writing my whole life (more or less) so how hard can it be? (Kidding!) Seriously though, I’m working on my third manuscript and I’m more comfortable with my writing and editing than ever before, so this feels like the next step. And if I can help a fellow writer along the way? Bonus!

I’m definitely going to check out CP Seek, but if there are any writers out there with helpful hints for finding the right crit partner, I welcome the feedback! I’m just getting started, but I have a feeling this is  going to be a lot like dating or, you know, finding a great pair of shoes….

10 thoughts on “Indie Life: To Critique or Not To Critique?

  1. Thanks for posting this. . .you’re one of those people who tends to enlighten me on the stuff I “don’t know”. I’ll have to check this site out too. 🙂

  2. Thanks for bringing SP Seek to our attention. Sounds like it could be quite useful.

    When you find the right critique partner, share with us how you did it. I’m in the same boat. Tried a writing group, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. There’s something to be gained by working one on one that you just don’t get I a group.

  3. Yeah, it is a lot like dating. Just less predictable.

    Although I’ve felt the need for a critique partner I’ve never moved in that direction. I couldn’t expect someone else to critique as much as I write, and I simply do not have the time to return the favor. So better not to get started.

  4. I really, really need crit partners, but I’m not going to move in that direction unless and until I feel I can give as good as I get. Right now I just have too much going on to give a crit partner my whole attention.


  5. I’m glad you posted about this site too! I’m looking for beta readers. I like critique ‘partners’ rather than being in a critique group a lot better. I feel like a partner is a lot more flexible. As far as finding one, like the others said above, it’s like dating. I would recommend swapping a couple of chapters first, to be sure you like how it’s going and that you’re a good match. That’s my tip. 🙂

  6. CPing is a hard but rewarding part of being an author. I’ve found it to be tremendously difficult to find CPs you click with, but when you do it’s magic. The only thing that’s taught me more about writing than CPing is reading.

    The best thing I’ve found is starting of trading a chapter to see each others styles/personalities. If it doesn’t work for either person, being able to walk away. And if you’d like, I’d be willing to swap. Just let me know if you’re interested. Either way, good luck finding someone(s)!

  7. Hi! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to
    go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

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