Since I work with politicians, am the election official in charge of a primary for over 50,000 registered voters three weeks from yesterday, I must add the following to Robin's theme:
If you want to be a politician, you need to try and please everyone (to get their votes) with the end result that you tick off a lot of people.
If you want to be a writer, you must try to please everyone (because you can't submit anything without feedback so you've got beta readers, critique partners, friends, neighbors, people in line with you at the grocery store, etc. giving you input) with the end result that your ms could wind up without the power and emotion to move anyone (and you are now bald from having ripped all your hair out from trying to conform to what everyone else wants your tale to be).
Hmmm ... seems like everyone needs to accept that if you can't please everyone, you should at least please yourself.
And keep your hair.
But seriously, I've received some good feedback from my betas and tremendous input from my online critique partners. Really. These people are incredible.
Remember that stupid $770 college class I worked so hard to get into last fall because it was a prerequisite for the creative writing class I wanted? But then I got into the class and realized that no way was it going to teach me what I wanted to learn, so I dropped it?
But then I found out about my online critique group (through Robin, btw) at David Farland's Writers' Groups. So I submitted my name to a couple of groups and was accepted by both of them? And now the members (one group is very small and not overly active, which is saving my neck--while the other one is very active and keeping me busy) are teaching me just the stuff I wanted to learn?
You know. The kind with real, live people actually sitting in the same room together.
It was a heady experience. They were all at the professional critique session I attended a week ago Saturday, and two of them were in my group. This should be interesting. I've gotten so used to the online format, there will be an adjustment to this live thing.
Do you belong to a live critique group? How does yours work? How often do you meet?
If you don't belong to a live group, do you have on online one? Are you happy with it? How'd you find out about it?