July 17, 2019

When Should You Listen to Writing Feedback? Part 2

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
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Last week, I discussed the need to find critique groups or partners. The rest of the post explored a few guidelines on how to discern what's valid and invalid in the feedback you receive.

If you missed last week's post, you can find it here:

When Should You Listen to Writing Feedback? Part 1

Although I covered four tips last time, I have four more to share this week:



Do take time to understand the personalities of the person or people giving feedback
A group offers the ability to gain several viewpoints on your writing. Sometimes, one person will say something and everyone agrees on that point. Sometimes, you'll get differing opinions. Feel free to ask the other members if one reviewer says something that you’re curious about.

Everyone in our group provides something of value, but I've learned to rely on different people for different needs. When I first joined the group 12 years ago,  I listened to and took almost every suggestion given me and learned the hard way that everything is not always right. Now that I know something about the personalities of our group, I know how to evaluate their feedback.

Do listen to the feedback of a novice writer
Sometimes a fresh perspective is exactly what you need. Just because new writers don’t have a lot of experience doesn’t mean they don’t know when something does or doesn’t work.

Don’t accept a novice writer’s feedback without careful consideration
I know. I'm contradicting myself but stick with me. Even though a new writer offers new perspectives, they don’t always know the understood guidelines. A warning flag that their feedback might not be useful is if they think everything is great or fine and more experienced writers disagree with their points.

Do thank the person giving you feedback
Whether you like what you’re told or not, you should thank the people who give you feedback. They took the time to give you their opinion. Make it count by acknowledging their efforts.

Are there other points to consider?

I could list more guidelines if I worked at it, but in the end, you decide what suggestions you accept and what you don’t. It’s a subjective market, and not everyone will notice the same thing.

With that in mind, I'd love to hear how you decide what feedback to listen to and what to ignore? Please share in the Comments.

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