I've ben in a good mood because of it all too! I was able to sit at my new desk with a coffee and my compute and just do what I love. Plus I had the company of a really good snuggler most of the time even if he stayed in his own bed.
So here goes...
When you spend hours plotting, drafting, editing, networking, blogging, promoting, the hours feel shorter than they should.
But there's still something we writers can never forget to make time for. Something we should never take for granted. Our critique partners, those people we trust with our chaotic and wonderful words too early for other eyes, those people who cheerlead us to keep going when we really don't think we can anymore, those people who become family, these are relationships to hold onto forever.
Critique partners are essential, vital to the writing life. Give them thanks, a hug, a kiss, something to show your appreciation and friendship.
I love my CPs today and every day. I love my first reader of every word I write, my beta readers, my friends who just read my words for fun. I love my paying readers, my winners of contests. I love anyone who put their time and energy into reading words I've worked to put onto a page.
I'm not one to pick favorites (wait, that's a total lie, I totally pick favorites) but my CPs are some of my favorite people in the world. Without them I would not be the writer I am today. I can't even guarantee I'd still be a writer without my CPs.
Places to find CPs:
Twitter (the online writing community is huge)
Facebook (ditto - three are lots of writing groups on Facebook)
In person writer groups
Conferences or workshops
Through your current writing friends
Any other way you can think of
Things to consider and talk about before:
Do you have similar writing styles or typical genres? (this can be good with the answer of yes or no)
Do you edit similarly?
Are they brutal or too nice? Will they be honest while being kind?
Do they work as fast or slow as you?
Do they value similar things in writing (plot, character development, pace, etc.)?
Do you get along on a personal level?
This is hopefully a relationship you have forever and can you see working with them long term?
General CP tips:
*Try trading a few chapters or pages before committing. That way you can see both writing style and editing style from each other.
*Keep the lines of communication open at all times, and be honest. Be kind when you can, but don'e like to spare feeling. Say what needs to be said, but say it in a respectful way.
*Be realistic with timelines. It's totally fine to edit and read slowly, and we all have lives with drama that comes up. So if you need more time that's OKAY, just be respectful and warn your CP.
*Have fun with each other, and be friends if you can. You are letting that person into really weird parts of your brain and heart, so make it fun and as awkward as you can :)