Getting feedback on your writing…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about getting feedback….

Do you like the idea of getting feedback on your writing or does the whole concept of other people “judging” your work make you feel uncomfortably nervous?

If you subscribe to the Nervous Nellie school of thought, I suggest you read a blog post by Scott Young. Headlined “How to get feedback,” the post offers many useful suggestions about how to make the process less painful and more useful.

I particularly liked Scott’s conclusion in which he said:

“Often it is not the information itself, but our emotional reaction to it, that causes us the most problems with feedback…. The best approach is to just push yourself to get a lot of feedback and get it early in your work. This takes the sting out of getting it later and forces you to see it for what it is: information to help you improve, rather than an assessment of you as an individual.”

I also appreciated Scott’s full disclosure style in which he noted that researchers have found that in as many as one-third of cases, the impact of feedback can be negative. The bottom line? Don’t eschew feedback. Just be careful about where you get it.

His tips, which are all practical, include finding a peer group for practice, doing more of your work publicly, taking a class with an expert, using objective metrics for your work (I like ProWritingAid), and trusting your own gut.