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north carolina writers group

These past few weeks have surprised me. I have struggled more with maintaining momentum now than I did when I was drafting my short stories!

If you’ve been following along with my story collection planning, you might remember I finished the rough drafts of all 14 stories last month. My goal for the next quarter was to run three critique groups each month. That would help me cycle the balance of the stories through critiques before I dig into revisions and send them off to editors.

But I hit a snag.

I carefully structured everything in my plan to realistic standards. I used to manage two critique groups every month. I figured, Why not three? Well, three is just too much for me. As soon as I’m finished prepping critiques for one group, I’m reminding another group to send in their files, while simultaneously starting to read submissions for the third group.

And, I’m still typing one story per week from all my longhand drafts! I’m one week behind now.

So I’m revising my plan: I cancelled one critique group.

I estimate that each critique group takes me 5-8 hours of administration, reading, and feedback time. By cancelling one group I will be able to use that time to finish typing up the stories and gather the critiques to navigate the necessary changes for revisions. I was stuck on a critique carousel! Now I’m glad to be involved with “just” two monthly groups, and have time back to digitize my stories.

Hopefully by the time I post my April update I’ll be back on schedule and will have a full collection word count to share!