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Excluding my regular critique group (except during COVID), I’ve probably had over 100 professional writing critiques. Some harsh, some dismissive, some encouraging, some insightful, some throwaways. I’ve made a substantial investment in my writing career and I’ve learned a solid professional critique can put you on an enlightened path.

I think I have absorbed everything from the critique, and then on another critique, a new layer is added—or am I finally understanding what was suggested in an earlier critique? I’ve also learned how to ask the right questions after the critique:
Does this topic interest you? Do you have similar topics on your list? What do you see as similar? What does this remind you of?
If changes were made, would you consider this submission?
Do you have a suggestion who might consider this work?
Do you have favorite or suggested writing resources you could recommend that might help me further?
What is the first to-do for me from your critique.

I’ve also made mistakes in selecting professional critiquers:
They’re not attune or interested in my category (such as chapter books)
They have no interest in the topic matter/genre (i.e. paranormal, historical, environmental, anthropomorphic)

Sometimes you don’t get to pick your critiquer. But if you do, understand their wish list #MSWL, their current list, their own writing, and interests, to get the most out of your critique.

You’ll have a more beneficial writing development experience!

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