Things To Remember When Asking For Feedback

By on November 14, 2017
Things To Remember When Asking For Feedback - Writer's

One of the most useful ways you can help yourself improve your writing is to ask for feedback. Having someone who isn’t as close to your work as you are, read and critique it, can help you see both where you are going right and where you are going wrong!

However, asking for feedback can be pretty nerve-wracking. If you have poured your heart and soul into your work it’s no wonder you might be feeling a little sensitive when it comes to discussing it. However constructive or indeed pertinent another’s comments might be, it can be difficult not to take feedback the wrong way (unless it’s just gushing about how amazing your work is of course!).

The best way to combat this is to do some preparation before you ask for feedback, to think carefully about exactly what you are asking for and whose opinion will be most beneficial to improving your work.

Here are some things to remember when asking for feedback:

Don’t choose someone close to you.

It's going to be difficult to get a genuinely constructive critique of your work if you ask someone close to you. Your mum, your partner, a dear friend - they aren’t going to want to hurt your feelings and are more likely to look at your work with rose tinted spectacles on anyway. Ask someone you can trust to be completely objective - if you are not just looking for an ego boost that is!

Opinions are subjective.

You’ve got to face facts that not everyone will like or ‘get’ your work - and that’s OK. If someone fundamentally disagrees with what you have done or simply doesn’t ‘like’ it, it doesn’t mean your work has no value. So remember to take even the most professional opinion with a pinch of salt.

Be clear about what kind of feedback you want.

Be specific about the type of constructive criticism you want, give examples if necessary to be even more obvious. You can also make it known what kind of feedback you don’t want. The clearer you are the more likely you’ll get the kind of feedback you can actually use.

Remember you don’t have to follow their advice.

It’s great to get the opinions of others, and hopefully, you will be able to take on board their feedback and use it to improve your writing. However, it is good to remember that you don’t have to! Your work is yours and yours only. You can make it exactly as you want it to be!

Only ask for feedback when your work is ready to receive it.

Wait until you feel you have done all you can to improve your work before giving it to someone else for feedback. If it’s not up to standard and full of glaring errors and mistakes it will be hard for them to get past that and their review will be much less helpful than it could have been.

Remember, they are doing you a favour.

At the end of the day, unless you are paying for a review or critique, this person is doing you a favour and trying to help you - it’s always good to remember that, no matter what sort of feedback they give!

It’s great to get feedback, to strive to learn more, to have a desire to improve our writing and make it the best it can be. Just remember that negative feedback doesn’t mean you should give up, and positive feedback doesn’t mean your work is perfect. As long as you are always trying to grow, always trying to improve as a writer - that’s the most important thing!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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