The gift of feedback

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I have realised this week how much I absolutely love getting feedback on my writing. Compliments are nice of course, especially useful for storing up and peeking at when confidence is low, but ideas, advice, opinions – they’re like gold-dust.

I’ve had some incredibly useful feedback this week. Some interesting thoughts about the opening of my novel (if you haven’t seen it then I would love it if you’d take a look), and also a long and detailed email from a novelist friend of my agent who was kind enough to read my second draft.

There’s a sense of pride that bubbles up as I read what people have to say about my writing. It comes from the fact they’ve read it, for a start, which is pretty awesome in itself. But then they’ve thought about it, and applied a critical eye that’s so, so hard to do to something I’ve written myself, and offered up their own ideas about what could make it better.

Even if I don’t agree with everything they say the feedback is still invaluable. It starts a chain reaction in my mind, a network of ‘what ifs’ that cuts through the editor’s block that I find so much more insidious than its first draft counterpart.

I have to admit that after the cautious optimism I felt this time last week I’d actually hit a bit of a wall. I felt overwhelmed by the task of once again picking my manuscript apart, and began to doubt whether I was capable of it.

But then the new wave of feedback came in, and alongside that I was asked to write a post for Faber Academy about why I write, and I remembered that it is all about pushing my comfort zone, about confronting my fears and daring to do it anyway.

And so I will.

 

Writing Bubble

 

25 thoughts on “The gift of feedback

  1. maddy@writingbubble

    I read you Faber Academy post and was so impressed that you’ve written both your books since Arthur was born and had written the first by the time he was six months old! Go you! “Feel the fear and do it anyway” is something I often say to myself when I think my fears are holding me back. Keep on facing yours as I’m sure it will be worth it. Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

    Reply
    1. sophieblovett Post author

      It is so important to recognise what you’re afraid of and face it down. One of my favourite quotes is ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’, and I definitely feel like I’m living up to that at the moment! x

      Reply
  2. Emily Organ

    It’s great to hear that feedback on your writing has given you some new optimism. It’s valuable feeling what people think, even if it isn’t always positive. Constructive feedback which you can do something with is the most useful. I like your Faber Academy post and I can completely identify with becoming a parent and wanting to show my children I’m not ‘just’ a mum.

    Reply
  3. Chrissie@muddledms

    You’re totally right. Having someone say they love what you’ve written is great, but it’s not useful. If you want to improve, you have to have honesty, even if it’s not what you want to read. x

    Reply
  4. Mummy Tries

    Loved your post over at Faber hon, what an honour to be asked to write for such a well regarded institution! Feedback is great, I know some people take it as rejection but I look at it the way you do. All ideas to make the book the best it can be are welcome for me xx

    Reply
    1. sophieblovett Post author

      I was really happy to do that post – both for the chance to get my writing ‘out there’ but also just because I needed to remind myself of all those things I think. It’s so hard to get really decent feedback – I’m just determined to make the most of it now! xx

      Reply
  5. Morgan Prince

    Great to hear. I haven’t got to this stage yet and am both excited and apprehensive about it. Just the thought of someone reading my words scares me to death! Could you pass some confidence my way? That would be great. 😉

    Reply
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  7. littlehouselea

    Feedback is brilliant isn’t it? It’s so good to get and can give you renewed excitement about your work. Off to read your post at Faber now! 🙂

    Reply
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