Win-Win Situations

I got to spend part of the day yesterday with my long-time friend Jeneal. Since she just recently moved, we both travel quite a distance now to attend our monthly writers group. It’s a win-win situation. We get inspired and trained in our craft in the evening but squeeze in some girlfriend time during the day. Since we both missed the December meeting and Jeneal missed the January meeting, yesterday really hit the spot. I actually had to restrain myself from squealing when I met up with her at the local Barnes & Noble :)

Not only is Jeneal my dear friend, but she is my critique partner as well. Pretty amazing really. God blessed me with her friendship many years before we started sharing an interest in writing. Now our friendship is sweeter because of our bond as writers, and our writing relationship is sweeter because of our friendship. Another win-win situation!

This past year I’ve been learning that a critique partner or group is absolutely essential for writers. A set of fresh and objective eyes can catch all kinds of mistakes (punctuation errors, wrong words, repeated words or phrases, awkward sounding sentences, etc.) as well as make suggestions on how to make a piece stronger and better. Yes, writers need a thick skin. Having problems pointed out is not always a fun process, but it definitely produces a better end result as we weigh the input and refine the work.

Jeneal and I have helped each other with critiques time and again — and I’m not just talking about our writing. Our solid friendship allows us to speak freely with each other about other areas of our lives, too. We can say things like “Do you really think that’s a good idea?” or “Maybe you could try this instead…” If one of us points something out to the other, we know it’s coming from a spirit of love, and we treasure the advice. I’m lucky to have a few friendships like that.

What about some of you? Comment and tell me how critique is valuable in your work and if you have someone who is serving you in that capacity (yes, it’s a service!). Or possibly you are the one providing critique. I’d like to hear about how someone’s advice has helped or is helping you.

Think for a moment, too, about your friendships. Do you enjoy a close friendship where you can freely give and receive advice? If not, why not make it a goal to develop one. Everyone needs this kind of win-win situation in their lives. Be prepared, though — you may have to restrain yourself from squealing sometime at your favorite meeting spot :)

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

*My photo


  1. Cheryl & Jeneal- so very glad you

    two got to connect & spend some

    wonderful time with each other.

    Friends are one of the very

    precious things that God blesses us

    with on this earth.

    It makes not only your day great

    but your whole week.

    Later, Teri

  2. Yes, Teri, it was great to get to spend some time together and actually have time for our “writer” talk, too :) We need to cook up a plan to get the three of us together again somehow!

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