|A to Z Blog Challenge: Day Twenty-three|
If the weather is bad or schedules just don't jive, your critique group might want to try a write-in. My group did several of these this past winter. What is a write-in? You basically don't go out, you write in.
First, we decide on a two or three hour window that everyone is available. Then we agree to start at a certain time, let's say 9 a.m. for example. We check in at 9 a.m. via email and begin writing for one hour. At 10:00 a.m. we check in with each again via email. At this point, we either exchange what we worked on via email or we share it in Google Docs. We spend the next 30 minutes or so critiquing each other's work with general comments, this takes us to around 10:30 a.m. Then we write for another hour based on the feedback we received from each other. At 11:30 we stop again and share our works in progress. Then if time allows we spend another 30 minutes commenting.
This process worked well this winter when bad weather kept us from traveling to our meeting place. Our time was already carved out so we wanted it to be productive. In other instances, when the day of the week or time of day didn't work for us, we figured out a time that allowed us to work from home.
The guidelines for our write-ins are flexible and can depend on what each one of us wants to accomplish, which we usually state before we start. The important thing is that we use our time productively and sometimes that means not going out but writing in.
Linda Bozzo has published more than 50 nonfiction books for the school and library market. For more information about Linda and her books, you can visit her website.