Why is Feedback Important

Why is Feedback Important for Writers

Why is Feedback Important for Writers?

Have you been to a ballroom?

Or a dance studio or gymnastics club or a musical room?

During their training sessions or rehearsals, one thing is always common.

The coach or trainer is always stopping the rehearsals to make certain corrections.

For a person who is learning to dance, they could have seen the pose to be – the left leg tilted backward, the head facing the right side with the two hands playing, dangling in the air in a wave like manner.

But in trying to achieve that, the left leg wasn’t properly tilted. So were the hands not properly placed to achieve the desired dangle.

The job of the instructor is to help such a person achieve the desired pose starting from where the person stopped or what the person was able to achieve.

The instructor says

“Tilt the leg further”
“Bend a bit, then move your hands in”
“Don’t stay stiff, relax your arms”
“Tilt your head to the right properly”
“Good! Good! That is more like it.”

The instructor does this as many times as he needs to all through the rehearsals. He knows that whosoever comes to learn from him is not an expert. So he treats them as such because his work is to guide.

To help the person get better and he does it by giving necessary feedback.

The feedback is then registered in the head on the dancer who becomes cautious of it in subsequent delivery until it becomes a natural process.

Writing is like that.

You might think you have written it best, looked through it over and over again until someone comes around to say, “hey, I think you should have done this better”

“Don’t you think, x is more appropriate?”

“How about we try x here instead of y?”

Feedback is an important aspect of creative work of which writing is a part.

Writing involves a lot of things including but not limited to clarity, logic, intrigue, syntax, persuasion, etc.

You might write an introduction that seems perfectly okay to you but on giving to a friend to review, the complaint is “the introduction did not get my attention”

Feedback is never to be toyed with.

In receiving feedback however, there are certain things to note.

1. Not everyone can give feedback. A professional writer can be very bad at giving feedback to a written piece. A poor writer can be very good at giving feedback to a written piece. However, a general rule of thumb is to seek feedback from people who have skin in the game
2. Feedback should not be limited to one person. Always share your work to more than one person to review for you
3. You are not your work. Your work is not you. Learn to separate it. That you received a negative feedback doesn’t mean you are a bad person or that you are not good enough. Do not tie your self worth to your feedback
4. Always implement the feedback you get. It is not for the next article. It is first for that article that it was given.
5. Sample the feedback you get. If 5 of 5 people says your introduction is bad, you better rework it. If 1 of 5 people says your introduction is bad, you don’t have to rework it.

In all, writing is a social experiment. It is not a private work. Writing is fun when you introduce people into your work flow. Don’t underestimate the power of people in your writing process.

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