Cheerleaders vs Critique Partners

Category: Writing Life, Feedback & Critique

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This weekend my best friend from university was in town for a visit. We went to school for Television, me focused on screenwriting, her on the business side of the industry. She’s always been my biggest cheerleader, genuinely thinking everything I write, even the shit I came up with in first year, is great.

Cheerleaders are important people for writers to have in their lives. We tend to be neurotic self-doubters so it’s vital to have someone who doesn’t think your decision to be a writer is stupid, insane or unachievable. Cheerleaders have faith you’re going to make it and love you even when you fail.

But only having cheerleaders read your work isn’t helpful. I love my bestie, but I can’t go to her for constructive criticism. I need critique partners for that, people who will tear my work to shreds and reveal the weak spots. We all need that. But the trouble some aspiring writers run into is they don’t realize the people they’re asking for feedback are cheerleaders and not critique partners…

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