Trusting Critique Groups
       Ideally, critique groups are supposed to help us to grow as
       writers. And they do for the most part, especially if your critique
       group is healthy and nontoxic.
       But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, one or two of our
       critique members will become unhappy with the group and
       problems can result quite quickly. There are a few common
       reasons why some critique members will start feeling insecure in
       critique groups:
            1.   One or two members keep having good news, in terms of
            publication or other successes. A kind of jealousy ensues
            and it is a small step to toxic relations after that.
            2.   One or two members feel out of place, either because they
            feel insecure or because they feel that they can’t match up
            in terms of success or perspicacity.
            3.   One or two members give negative criticisms that hurt the
            other members of the critique group. This can be very
            difficult for the other members to cope with.
            4.   Bad feelings start to ensue, forcing the offended members to
            not want their manuscripts critiqued any longer. And one
            pass leads to another until the critique group just simply
            ceases to be useful for the people involved.
            5.   Not all members of the group feel that they are putting
            enough time and effort into the critiques. This leaves the
            individuals who are putting a lot of time feel used.
       Any of these issues can hamper the trust that is necessary
       between critique members. If any one of these things occur, it is
       best to either try and regroup or simply leave the group and try
       and find a more positive group.
       ~ Irene


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