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  • Writer's pictureIan Brooks

Baby Got (Feed)Back

feedback diagram with a happy, neutral and sad face

Have you ever received feedback on your work? Have you ever opened yourself up like a tin can and put yourself through the ordeal of getting someone to critique the novel or manuscript or short story you’ve been working on for so long?

And I’m not talking about your parents or your family or your closest friends. They lie. They sugar-coat things. Unless they are somehow involved in the publishing world or are maybe even writers themselves, they won’t be suitable for feedback, despite their best intentions.

Getting true feedback though, from a writing group or a knowledgeable individual, can transform your writing and breathe new life into your work.

But be warned, it’s not easy.

Even the gentlest of criticism can feel like someone is punching you in the gut. The instant reaction is to go on the defensive. “Yeah, but my thinking here was X and that makes it ok” or “Y is the best line in the book. I know it doesn’t fit but it’s so good that readers won’t mind”.

And the excuses go on and on and on. But really we’re only kidding ourselves.

The truth is that if you’re lucky to have an experienced eye cast over your work, you should make use of it. Yes, there will be things you hear that you don’t agree with and that’s ok too. You don’t have to take every piece of advice given. It’s all down to personal preference at the end of the day. But there will be some things you just can’t argue with. (Spoiler: you’ll still try.)

But this is a golden opportunity to improve. And people aren’t giving you feedback to tear you or your work down. Quite the opposite. They do it to build you up. To make you better.

That’s how we should view feedback. Not with sadness for the view of how our work looked in the past, but with excitment for the possibility of how it flourish in the future.

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