The Writer’s Most Valuable Tool

What’s your nomination for the most valuable tool in a writer’s kit? A good dictionary? An up-to-date thesaurus? I’d opine that it might be something less tangible, like a supportive partner or an effective local Writer’s Group. Top ranking between those two—in my book—goes to the latter.

I experienced the value of our local Writer’s Group as I did my first reading at a meeting. It didn’t sound nearly as good as it had when I read it to myself! Since then, I’ve realized it’s a principle; a piece rarely sounds as good as it reads. The opportunity to read aloud (and thus become less enchanted with one’s own genius) is the first benefit of a local Writer’s Group. The second benefit is the critique they offer. A group can always come up with suggestions to make the work better. The third (and greatest) benefit is the things they don’t say. As I read, their eyes tell me if the piece accomplishes it’s goal. If they register enjoyment, if I see lights come on, the piece is singing. If I don’t see things like that, it’s back to the ole drawing board, Wiley.


One Response

  1. Sounds like a good tool to have. Surprising how others view a work differently than we ourselves do.

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