Join a writing group, they said. It'll be fun, they said.
Hopefully your writing group won't look quite this intense, but the truth is, for them to be any good, they must be honest. Sometimes that honesty is quite brutal to our egos. No matter what, if there is a writing group, join them. Before you do though, check your ego at the door. None of us are as good as we could be and that should make us want to improve. That constructive criticism will help you polish your writing and help you overcome some of your bad habits.
Why is it important? The truth is, because we all read our work like we THINK we wrote it. Someone who is unbiased, or at least less biased than we are, will find the errors in what we thought was the perfect "Great American Novel". Our friends and family are great for boosting the ego, but sometimes we need our bubble burst in order to improve.
I remember my first foray into the "coliseum". I was fresh and excited and looking forward to hearing how wonderful the first chapter of my book was. Coliseum is the right term. After reading the first few pages, the half dozen other writers shredded what would later become a highly recommended western novel. "Lone Oak" is now a much better story with fans clamoring for the next book in the series thanks to their honest critiques.
These groups will also help you, should you decide to publish your work, in finding editors, publishers and book distributors. They can be your toughest critics, but they are also some of your greatest fans.
Signing off for now.
You can learn more about my works, or even order your own copies at, www.authorphilhardy.com.