…now she’s mine.
Yep, my Wicked Luvs, getting a new critique partner is a lot like dating… with a bit of something that looks a whole lot like stalking thrown into the mix.
I spent the last few months researching potential critique partners. I didn’t make my need widely known, so I was extremely surprised when I started getting, um… requests… from strangers. After the fifth email, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I asked. “Hey, I’m not sure we’ve met face-to-face or have discussed our writings online. What made you ask me about partnering up?”The person told me he found out through my former critique partner.
Still more surprised, I emailed my former critique partner—who abandoned me just to go and do lifesaving HIV/AIDS and Hep C research. I mean, really? What’s the world coming to!—Anyhoo *breathe, witchy writer, breathe* my heartless abandoner was as dumbfounded as I was. Later, after I gave him the names of the people who had contacted me, we figured out that they were members of the same writing forum. My former critique partner posted something about feeling really happy he would get to work with a population in need, but blue about having to put his writing on hold for two years or longer.
I was sharing my frustration with a non-writer friend. She couldn’t understand why I was being so particular about who to partner up with. If you write, you already know the answer. There are so many things one should consider before starting this kind of writing relationship. Here are just a few I kept in mind during my search:
- Will this be a 50/50 relationship?
- Do we enjoy and understand each other’s genres?
- Are we at similar points in our writing careers?
- Do our weaknesses and strengths complement each other?
- Will this person know, at a spiritual level, that coffee is the “Nectar of the Gods”?
Months into my search, I spotted her! She was “Singing to the Bones,” chanting of “The Witch & The Blackthorn Spirit,” of “Oath-Breakers,” standing still “Between Breath and Bone”… She was leading The Order to the Twilight Star and writing A Book of Worlds. I was gasping with anticipation…
I didn’t approach her right away. I read some more… My patience taught me that I also enjoyed the taste of her nonfiction, what I know about her worldview, her sense of humor, her witchy ways, her love/lust/admiration/hunger/respect for words.
Last night, after discussing horses, old injuries, honest children, relationships, hiking, New York and Washington D.C. ridiculous traffic, storytelling, life… we cyber-shook on it.
Anyone who follows my personal blog have probably seen her around, or read me rave about her writing. If you haven’t had the pleasure, let me introduce you to my friend and new critique partner, Ashtoreth Eldritch.
My dearest Ashtoreth, I’m wishing us luck, productivity, and boundless words ;-)
How do you go about forming this kind of working relationships, my Wicked Luvs?
art by Sandara