The biggest influence in making me a better writer has been finding people to partner with. I have a group of friends on LiveJournal who are all writers, and we formed a closed, friends-only community to share our work with each other, provide critiques, share inspiration, and challenge each other. More than anything, these people make me strive for excellence and productivity, and their critique of my work only makes it better. They are able to point out my strengths and weaknesses, and I am able to do the same for them. Often they will spot a flaw or hole in a story that had completely escaped me. Their assistance over the past year has been invaluable, and I will always be grateful to them.