What can put a writer who is engaged, excited, committed and making real progress into a tailspin that leaves her/him deflated, defeated, demotivated and questioning if s/he can finish this piece and if s/he should write at all?
What can push a courageous writer away from a topic or particular piece of writing s/he was passionate about exploring? What can keep that writer away from that piece/topic/genre for years and, in some cases, forever?
What can distract a writer from her/his original vision and send her/him on a wild goose chase writing something someone else thinks s/he should write?
What shuts writers up and shuts writers down?
If you’re thinking “rejection,” you’re in the ballpark. If you’re thinking “rejection disguised as ‘constructive criticism’ from people the writer thought were her/his peers and supporters” aka “critique” or “bad feedback,” you hit it out of the park.
Recently, I’ve coached several clients around and through difficult issues raised by feedback. Feedback can be helpful, but more often than not, it’s the wrong kind of feedback, requested or given at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.
Even well-intentioned feedback can be harmful. And when it’s malicious, it’s unexpected and profoundly damaging. And yet, writers continue to think they have to have it and that “real writers” can “take it.”
I’m going to write a series of posts on feedback and guess what? I want your feedback! No, actually I want your input. There is a significant difference between feedback and input and I may write about that.
Please tell me what questions you have about feedback and what your experiences have been. Have you received good feedback or bad feedback, or both? How has feedback helped, how has it hurt? When does feedback work, when is it best avoided? Have you been the receiver, witness or giver of feedback?
Questions, opinions, defense or indictment, long or short stories about feedback, please send them all via comment here or email me at Rosanne @RosanneBane.com (just take the space out before the @). Let me know if I can quote you and if so, whether you want to remain anonymous or be referred to by your initials or name.