Bleeding Heart: Do I Critique for Free?

This is the next stop on the Mystery Writer’s Rolling Blog Ink. Today’s topic is “Do You Critique for Free?”

Writers are a funny lot. We need the support of other writers because we work alone. It’s the nature of our work—and it’s difficult for us to see it clearly. We are not like  doctors or flight attendants, coming into contact with people every day and knowing whether or not you’ve failed.  And yet the other person in our work, the reader, is key. It’s why we do it. So another pair of eyes looking over your manuscript is a necessary gift.  It’s good to send our drafts to trusted colleagues and friends who will critique our work. By now, I’ve developed enough friendships with other writers who I trust to send my ideas and manuscripts to. And I try to reciprocate.

But for a writer I don’t know to contact me out of the blue and ask if I’d critique their work? I’d love to help. And my bleeding heart knows exactly where they are coming from. But I am at a point in my career that time is money and money is time and all that. It’s a bitter pill for me to swallow. But I have valuable critique skills and will not do it for free. I can’t justify taking time away from my own work to critique something for free. It’s simply not feasible.

But that said. It doesn’t have to be money that this writer offers me. It could be a service, like proofreading or, um, a really good massage. I will also take food and free publicity in lieu of money. And while I’m wishing…a vacation would be nice. If you have a beach house and would like me to have it for about a week, I’ll critique your manuscript. heh.

I love the barter system. But what about you? Do you critique for free?

Please check out the other writer’s on today’s tour:

KT Wagner:

Kathleen Kaska

Nancy Lauzon

6 thoughts on “Bleeding Heart: Do I Critique for Free?

    • Mollie Cox Bryan says:

      Thanks, Nancy! Maybe I should’ve listed the appropriate foods? Good chocolate would be at the top of the list!

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