Many of those who post at OurEcho would like to find ways to grow as a writer. I had an article published today at the Institute of Children's Literature website. Even though at a site for childrens' writers, the article is geared toward all writers. It discusses the benefits of an online critique group. Because of contract rights, I cannot reprint the article here, but if you are interested in learning about online critique groups, you can read the article at http://www.institutechildrenslit.com:80/rx/ws10/whyjoin.shtml
It's not easy to have your work critiqued by others. A tough skin is required and the right attitude as well. Harsh criticism of a written work by group members is always meant to help, never to hurt. I have been in a group like this for several years, and my work has been beaten, dragged through the mud, slashed and torn to shreds at times. But it has also received praise for the good things. I learned to look at my work through the eyes of others, and I grew as a writer. I also learned valuable lessons when I was critiquing the work of the other writers.
I hope that I will never stop learning and growing in my writing life.