FRIDAY NOTES & NEWS: How Do You React to Feedback?

BY NANCY KAY CLARK
CommuterLit editor

EVEN THE most experienced writer can have a hard time accepting feedback. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bit my tongue, so I don’t launch into a full-frontal defence of my work, explaining to my poor hapless beta-reader that she’s fundamentally misunderstood what I was trying to do. 

I stop myself from pushing back, regardless of how much I want to, because there is great value for a writer even in the most negative feedback. It tells us, if we are only willing to listen, what we have failed to convey in our work. I mean, there’s a reason why my beta-readers have misunderstood, right?

Now, not all people give feedback with the best of intentions. Some can be vindictive or spiteful. However, more than likely you are not choosing your beta-readers from among such people. And there is a difference between being blunt and being mean. I know my beta-readers offer their feedback from a desire to see me improve and succeed as a writer. I’m sure you trust your beta-readers just as much.

So, instead of becoming defensive, I try to ask more questions in order to pinpoint exactly where and how I can change the text to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. What do you do? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Contributor News

Sharon Frayne’s YA novel, The Sound of a Rainbow, which won the 2020 Muskoka Novel Marathon, has just landed a publishing contract with Latitude 46 Publishing. The novel will be launched in 2023.

Connie Lynn Cook‘s new novel Follow the Money, a Diana Darling Private Investigator Novel is a rom-com mystery. It’s available to purchase online. 

Jill (MJ) Malleck‘s short story, “Daredevils Attempt Falls” was published online in Issue 15 of The Temz Review.