I've written previously about how great it is to have a critique partner, but I've never talked about how wonderful it is to BE a critique partner.
I think the most rewarding thing about it is the fact that someone is trusting you with their writing. I am very protective of mine and it takes me awhile to share it with someone I know. In fact, I still only show a few people and even fewer on a regular basis. The fact that someone is willing to hand over their baby to me and let me hack at it with a pen is pretty awesome.
I love editing other people's work- it's one of my favorite things to do. Even if the work is terrible (which my critique partner's never has been), it's still fun to go through and make suggestions. I feel like I'm really doing something. It's even better when it's good and I just have to make small changes.
Recently, my critique partner was getting some writing ready to submit for publication at his college. He e-mailed me and told me that he was submitted one of my favorite pieces of his. This was exciting enough, but then he wrote that he had attached it so that I could edit it one last time- he trusted my judgement. That was incredible.
If you don't have a critique partner- a steady one- I think you should get one. It's rewarding on both ends :)
In other news, my two essays are done, which means that I'm almost done work for the entire school term! I have lines to memorize for a performance, but writing-wise, I am FREEEE! April is full of European exploration starting on the first, and I can't wait!