Illiamna and Magpie at CU 4/16/10.

For a dedicated lone wolf, I’ve become quite good at sharing the sandbox. There is value in having a community of like-minded peeps.

My sandbox is filled to the brim with critique groups, guilds, and artists of all kinds. But it is the critique groups—Boundless, BLT, SDA and the as-yet unnamed group—that keep me grounded and reminded that we are all equal, we are all learning. I love that each group is different in makeup and in goals.

Do you have a critique group? If not, I would strongly suggest looking around for a group or even starting your own. It doesn’t have to be formal, just a sharing of ideas and talents in a nurturing setting. Having a supportive sandbox crew can be just the launch pad you need to reach greater heights.

And if the launch isn’t perfect . . . sand can make for a soft landing.