Well clearly I should never sign up for a blog hop where I need to post daily updates the week before I'm helping out with a large art show! Uber bad timing on my part. So right now what I'm most I'm thankful for is everyone's understanding for the long delay between posts. :-)
This post is dedicated to my critique groups and partners. I've been a few over the years and they've really helped me grow as a writer. Plus I've made some great friends. Through them I've been exposed to a wide variety of writing, which is always a good thing. And been pushed and prodded to finish and submit. And been part of a discussion on... hmm, given the number of YA authors on this blog, probably should skip that one. :-)
So, thank you RWU - Romance Writers Unlimited (now defunct, :-( ), Critique Circle, (and, um, one which Daw used to sponsor but I can't remember the name of...) and ERA (Erotic Romance Authors - who are looking for members if you're interested!) plus my new partners who are helping me out (you know who you are). Getting non-family, non-judgmental feedback is so important.
Which leads me to my writing tip:
Learn to take criticism. Seriously, if you can't take criticism as a writer you're in the wrong profession. Because with a good critique you will have, NEED to have, people point out what's not working so you can fix it. And sometimes, no matter how much you think it's just fine, it isn't.
I'm not saying it doesn't hurt sometimes. It can be quite painful. But you need to step back, look at what they are saying, read what you wrote *through their eyes using the filter of their comments* and figure out a) what you need to fix and b) how to fix it.
The other thing you need to do is not think your work is awful because someone points out an area which needs work during the writing process. Holy cow, everyone revises and edits. EVERYONE. Steven King, JK Rowling, John Green, Herman Wouk. Just because someone thinks you need to clarify/boost/skip an area, work on a character, evaluate the story arc, rethink your conflict doesn't mean you're a terrible writer. It means they want to help you make your story even better. And you can do it! So go forth, find someone to give you feed back and write an even better story!