As I set about writing this post for Week Four of ‘What I’m writing’ I can’t help smiling. The last three weeks of the linky have gone so well and we’ve had more people joining in every week! Your posts have been so interesting and inspiring and the comments have been amazing. Our little community is already a lovely place to be. Thank you so much to everyone who’s joined in (and to any new linkers, welcome!) Chrissie is hosting today so if you’re here to link up, please head over to Muddled Manuscript.
So, this week I’ve been mulling over more questions (I’m always pondering something or other). I keep finding myself thinking ‘oh I must ask the #WhatImWriting people about that’ as though I get to sit down for a chat over coffee and cake with you every week. I wish I did! There’s so much I want to ask, but to avoid this post going on till Christmas I’ll just stick to one subject this week: Feedback.
I rarely request or receive any feedback on my work. I’ve never shown the first draft of my novel to anyone (though I will when it’s finished, of course) and only show my husband work if I’m going to submit it… and I’ve made very few submissions. Obviously, I publish work on my blog and get feedback that way but I’ve never requested ‘constructive criticism’ which has meant that the lovely people who comment all say nice things.
When I first started blogging a year ago I was pleased when anyone commented at all, and for ages I was so nervous about publishing my work that there’s no way I would have courted anything but the most kindly of comments. Now though, I’m wondering if it’s time to break out. If I’m ready to risk hearing more. Dare I publish my flash fiction and ask ‘what do you really think?’
As nervous as the idea of hearing what people really think of my writing makes me, I’m aware that feedback is what helps us improve. How can we ever learn from our mistakes if no one tells us what they are? I could be missing out on a huge development opportunity. But is my blog the best place to ask for constructive criticism?
What do you do? Do you get feedback regularly from friends or family? Have you submitted work and got feedback that way (I know some places will offer it)? Do you ask for (and receive) constructive criticism on your blog? What feedback methods are your favourite? Am I weird for even worrying about this?
I’d love to hear what you think.
Oh and just to update you on the challenge I set myself two weeks ago – I managed the limerick I aimed to do and wrote not merely one, but two pieces of flash fiction but this month’s word count for my novel is a teeny three thousand words. I didn’t even manage the five thousand I set myself which was a much smaller number than I’ve done in any other month. Sigh. But you never know, maybe I’ll have a creative burst tonight! I can but hope.