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Week 44 – Feedback

I believe getting feedback for your writing is necessary. It’s a good idea to have someone else read your work before typing up a final draft and sending it out.

Who should you show your work to? You can show it to the person you’re living with or a friend. You can go to a weekly or monthly writer’s workshop. You can snail mail or e-mail it to someone whose opinion you trust. And finally, there are many editors in the world who are willing to read your work for a fee. As for me, I’ve done all the above.

The important thing is to have someone else read your work so you’ll know if you’re headed in the right direction or not. Another person can tell you if you left out any important information, if any words are misspelled, if you repeat a word or phrase too often, if you should delete or add something, and the list goes on, depending on who’s reading your work.

Be open to criticism, but not too open. Because a college professor criticized a poem of a woman I know, she never wrote another poem again. The flipside of that: a woman I once met wrote a story that a professor of hers complimented to no end. He told her she had great potential and couldn’t wait to read her next story. She said to me, “I felt like I couldn’t live up to his expectations and it crippled my writing.” The main thing is, don’t ever get down on yourself. If the criticism makes sense to you, take it. If it doesn’t make sense, forget it.