Many writers will tell you that one of the most important aspects of becoming a talented writer is find a good critique partner. I would have to agree.
When I began toward my goal of becoming a professional writer, I became involved in a forum abundant with creative talent. With their help, I became a better writer. The forum closed and unfortunately so did the ties I had with the group. The closure was unexpected and there was no way to find a way to contact the critique partners I had come to rely upon, but the experience was great.
I have continued on and managed to become a member of another critique group and supplement that relationship with a great critique partner. With their help, I continue to grow as a writer.
You may be wondering, "How do I find a critique group?"
One way is online. There are many writing forums on the Internet and they are a great way to reach out to other writers. You may be lucky enough to find there are groups locally you can join for in person interaction. Or, you could always start your own group.
You will need to decide whether you want to find a group or an individual. One critique will give you one opinion of your writing, but will allow you less work when only having to give feedback to that one person. A group will give you multiple opinions but you will have to give feedback to multiple people. Give each a try and decide what best fits your time allotment and helps you the most.
Remember, you don't have to stick with your first choice of partner. You may find that you don't click with that particular group. Politely bow out and find one you do click with. It is important to find a group that helps you and does not hinder you. Accept criticism gracefully, but don't let someone beat you down. There are some writers out there that will strive to kill your spirit. Weed through them and find a healthy group to be a part of.
Do you have a critique group? How have they helped you along the way? Do you travel this journey alone? Is that working for you?