Writing groups and mentors

I just sat through my second webinar about writing, and the assorted details that go with that topic. In both of these I was told to find a writing critique group and a mentor. The critique group should have a many times published author for a leader, and the mentor should offer straightforward and constructive criticism of the work.

Where is the best place to find these humans?

Should they be focused on my genre and should I expect to pay for these services?

I’m curious about the experiences of others who have done this. How large was the critique group? How often did you interact with your mentor?

I persevere in my attempt to do my best in my writing and have learned a lot from these sessions along with the things I’ve found online and in print.

Educating myself about this started with why I want to write. My honest, from the heart response is I’ve always written. In fifth grade I wrote a story about toilet paper! Writing happens, it’s getting my work out that is the focus of all of this effort.

I would love your comments.

Cheers!

-N

What a feeling

I just finished my edits on my manuscript. I had several scenes to rewrite and after completing those they flowed well and the scenes had much more power and added to the story. I had held off writing one chapter since it was very important to the development of the characters and plot line.

The feeling I had once all of it was done was great. I wandered around the house saying out loud “I finished!!” Yet it isn’t really finished. I know need to have some objective critiques done before I feel it is actually done. But right now this first step is made. As I looked it over, stopping in different places to read and absorb what I have written I felt good about it.

Turning it over to someone else to critically pick it apart is a bit of a troublesome thought. Of course I think it is what I want it to be yet I know I am not objective. My biggest concern is the POV. These are still my words and I know these characters as if they are real people. To me they are. I have had some help from my husband. He is an avid reader and his male perspective is valuable. It was also my first step in having another person look at a work I consider a part of me.

I guess my feelings are pretty common and I know I want to share it with readers. The time will come when I give up the words to the world and wait to see what others think. In the mean time I will continue to push it through all the steps to make it the best work it can be.

-N