Writing used to be a really solitary thing - people sitting in far off lands, just them and their typewriter versus the world type thing. But if you are any kind of artist at all, you know that before you can improve there has to be critiques.
I have the good fortune to be involved with a great group of critique partners who meet every two weeks to visit about pages, plots, characters and other life things. And it is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Second, we meet every two weeks. That means that I have to get at least 10-15 pages done and as good as I can every two weeks to be prepared. Deadlines are a beautiful thing, and I can't just let things slide and slip away. There are obligations to be met.
Third, I get to read their stories. There is something about reading the works of other writers, in whatever form, that is inspiring and mentally stimulating. I'm not writing in the same genre as my CP's right now, but I still learn so much about what I could do with my characters and get to be amazed by what they are writing.
Sometimes people don't always get to have someone live by them who is willing to meet regularly. Enter the wonderful world wide web. There are many sites where people are trying to meet to form online critique partners and have great success even though they don't meet physically. In fact, if you are looking for a partner right now, I'd love for you to meet in comments section below - tell what you are writing, a couple of your favorite books and maybe we have have some meetings of the minds :)
What do you love about your critique partners? How did you meet yours? What are the best things for you as a writer and a reader?