Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The importance of feedback and how important it is in the grand scheme of things...

Well, that was one heck of a long title for a blog entry.
Try bing the writer dealing with the devil on her shoulder whispering..."The minimal feedback means you suck!"
Then there is the angel on the other shoulder that whispers..."No news is good news."
To which the devil responds by running across her back and kicking the angel on the other shoulder right in the shin.
I've warned you before that trips into my head are dangerous!
As anyone who has been within earshot or a click of a mouse on a computer from me probably already knows... I am a writer.
How well I do that is yet to be determined.
As someone who creates something from scratch just from a mere thought in my head, it is a difficult task to open yourself up to the outside world. Especially when all you hope for is praise or at the very worst, some constructive criticism. Anything to help you improve in your craft.
I don't know how it is for everyone, but I personally thrive on feedback.
How do I know if I'm hanging the picture straight unless someone's behind me shouting... "A little more to the left!"
You would be surprised how many houses don't pass inspection because some idiot didn't do something right. Okay, so maybe building a house isn't an accurate comparison to writing a novel, but in a way it is.
There must be a strong foundation, and for Pete's sake, don't spare any expense when it comes to the plumbing!
The design should be clear and the material of the highest quality. Then comes the roof... That sucker better be awesome and better be able to weather a storm.
Then there's the contractor who helps the designer put it all together.... "editing" for those of you who don't know how this metaphor is all coming together.
When the house is complete the job isn't, no, no. You can't sell it without some grass and trees and a big pretty sign out front.
After presenting the house on the market you finally wait for the sell. Buyers come along and pause, interested but not quite sold on it... so the seller waits.... and pretty soon, the grass starts to turn brown and the paint starts to flake and before you know it, it feels like a you've made a huge mistake and you've built yourself a house that nobody wants to live in.
That's where a good neighborhood with a strong homeowners association comes in handy and makes you fertilize and keep the interest flowing..... and if all goes the way you planned you sell the house and the family who moves in lives happily ever after.
Now you wonder if maybe, just maybe you could make a career out of building houses. How you come to that conclusion depends on what the person who bought your first house thinks about it and what they tell others.
Was the kitchen big enough? Should the flooring have been Pergo or real hardwood? Were two full bathrooms good, or should you have added that 1/2 bath at the end of the hall?
You don't know unless you get feedback.
Now why couldn't I have just said that?
Hello!!! I'm a writer and that would be like offering one of those pre-fab homes that are built in a few days in some warehouse and you wouldn't get what you came here for....ME!!
That being said, if you read a book or magazine article or whatever, and you're moved by it and enjoyed it.... say so!!
If you hated it or were left feeling cheated .... for goodness sake, say so. At least then the writer/home builder can work on the wiring, tweak what needs tweaking and build a better house with all the bells and whistles everyone wants in a good home.
For most writers ... no news isn't good news at all... it means the devil won and the angel is hiding in a closet somewhere with an ice-pack on her shin.
So, at the risk of raising insurance rates for all the devils and angels living on shoulders across the world... speak up and give someone your feedback!!


  1. I feel you, Robin. We all have the same worries, I think. Us writers, we want to know what we've done right, what didn't work and what needs some fixes.


  2. Agreed and well said Robin. It would be nice to get feedback, good bad or ugly! ^_^!!

  3. Great post and I am with you all the way!

    One thing I want you to try to remember though is why you do what you do. Why did you fix up the house? Why did you put all of your blood, sweat, and tears into it in the first place? Is it because you were bored one day or wanted to make a killing and roll in the profits? Or did you do it because it is something that you love, something you need to do for you?

    I have always been told that if you want to write, write for yourself. If you love science fiction, write about the alien planet story YOU love. If you melt at a steamy romance then write a steamy romance that makes you melt.

    When it comes down to it, in the end the ONLY opinion that matters is YOURS. If you are happy, excited, and proud of what you've produced, than you have done everything you can. People will either fall in love with it or they won't. You can't try and please people because as soon as you change what you are doing to suit one demand, someone will come back and tell you they liked it better the other way.

    Bottom line...if you love it, there is going to be someone out there who loves it too! Don't compromise your self and your passion ever! Comment or no comments, sales or not, believe in your instincts. You were given this talent for a reason...

    Besides, you rock as an author and as a person. To hell with anyone else. (lol!)


  4. Robin--Great post!

    Amy R.--Good reminder. We authors have to excited about our story, otherwise, how can we expect anyone else to be excited about it?