Conclusion of the series, “Your Critique Partners”
If you are fortunate to discover the perfect critique partner, do all you can to nurture that relationship. Saturday Evening Post editor Holly G. Miller and I have been professional colleagues and critique partners for more than thirty years. We’ve coauthored seven books, and we’ve team-taught writing workshops more than 250 times. Humorously, Holly will say that it is a good thing she and I live one hundred miles apart because sometimes we are so bluntly honest in evaluating each other’s work, it takes a day or two to heal from the wounds. But, the point is, we can trust each other to give precise, accurate, valuable evaluations. We don’t pull punches. Yet, we also are quick to praise the other person for well-written passages.
These days Holly and I work together maybe three times a year, but we stay in touch via technology during the interims. Professionally, we are equals, but we are not clones. She is a female from the East Coast originally, has a very rich background in journalism, and is left-handed. I am a male from the Midwest, have a doctor’s degree in classic literature and linguistics, and am right-handed. We bring different skill sets and perspectives to the table when we critique each other or teach together. If you can find someone like that, you will be blessed.
Developing a turtle-shell hide is one of the qualities that make a writer succeed. We all need to have our writing evaluated by competent second readers. Usually, they will make us look better than we really are. I’m certainly all in favor of that, so I’m going to get my wife to proofread this piece, and then I’ll submit it to my editor.
Dennis E. Hensley, PhD, is director of the professional writing department at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and a Christian Writers Guild board member. His 54 books include:
- Jesus in the 9 to 5: Facing the Challenges of Today’s Business World
- How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It
- Man to Man: Becoming the Believer God Called You to Be
- More Than Meets the Eye: Finding an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life
- Alpha Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours
- Surprises and Miracles of the Season: Devotions for Christmas and New Year’s
- The Power of Positive Productivity
© 2014 by Dennis E. Hensley. All rights reserved.