(this is attempt six at a start, let’s hope it takes).
But I just left the group, after having been involved since shortly after the inception.
Not because of any thing any members did. But because my time is getting crazy and only looks to get more crowded as we head into summer and out-of-school madness with the kids.
Thing is, in my experience, a solid critique group is more than just posting pieces and commenting on them. It’s the chit chat & camaraderie which the members engage in, in addition to the quality of the critiques, which make the group viable. I feel like I have barely time to write and could not commit to the time needed to be involved at a level I feel I would need to be involved to be part of the group.
Part of it too, is that the group is Erotic Romance Authors. So while I’m always up to critiquing a hot scene 😉 , that’s not really what I write. Sure, I have the occasional ‘hot’ scene if (when!) the hero and heroine have sex the first time in my paranormal romances, but after that initial one, not so much. When I write in other genres, such as fantasy or even YA fantasy, sex is off the pages in the former and non-existent in the latter.
While I’ve gotten some great feed back, this group was never a great fit. When faced with a time crunch, much as I hate to leave the group (some of these writers I’ve known for over ten years through previous critique group incarnations) it was time.
Being the wonderful group they are, I have an open invitation to re-apply (if they have room and if I veer off to write steamy romances). In the mean time I’ll be plodding along, working with beta readers (not nearly the same, but uber helpful), and trying to stay on top of life, much less my writing, over the summer.
On the other hand, if you are not a newbie (preferably with at least one publication under your belt – in this instance self pubbed does not qualify), write *hot* romances and are open to reading and critiquing all levels of heat and combinations of partners (very important as there are several m/m and menage writers), you might want to keep an eye on the ERA portal to see when/if they post they’re accepting membership applications. I highly recommend them!