January 22, 2019

Getting Feedback Never Gets Easier

Readers' feedback is absolutely invaluable to the overall quality of a story. Receiving this feedback is inevitable if a writer is serious about creating a completed product, and considering this feedback—whether or not we ultimately choose to incorporate it into the work—does improve our writing, especially when the feedback includes criticisms and not only compliments.

Knowing this intellectually does not, unfortunately, change the trepidation we feel when giving our book to a reader for the first time, the anxiety we feel as we wait for a response, and the insecurity we feel when reading critiques and comments. I've written before about receiving reader feedback—from a friend!—for my first novel, Mending Heartstrings. Still now, 5 published books and uncounted critique rounds later, receiving reader notes hasn't gotten any easier.

The anxiety starts when I send the story off, but invariably gets so much worse when an email with notes pops into my inbox. What if the reader hated it? What if the work I thought was almost done actually needs months of more revising? Or worse, what if it's actually a worthless waste of time, storage space, and (occasionally) paper?

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