Monday, July 12, 2010

Can You Handle It?

How do you handle feedback?

If it is good, do you celebrate with the dance of joy and chocolate?

If it is negative, do you cry, pout, and stomp your feet?

Jennifer Brown Banks outlines ways to lessen the sting of constructive feedback.

Her post, How to Handle Constructive Criticism helps us keep a good focus and move our writing forward. Good stuff! I was encouraged by her insight.

What about you? Do your goals and calling help you press through and move ahead?

Happy Writing!

Karen

45 comments :

  1. I want to learn and do better so If I get remarks from an editor I try to apply them to my work. The pouting comes from those rejections without reasons attached. They don't help me to grow as a writer, just as a detective :)

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  2. Even if it's really tough, I love to get the feedback. I might cry initially or walk around with the weight of the world on my shoulders! :-) But eventually I pull myself off the floor and get to work, knowing that I want to do whatever I can to make my books better!

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  3. Exactly, Karen. My goals are what help me take a deep breath and use the feedback constructively. I love to hear what others think. :-)

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  4. I definitely love feedback. Even on my blog, I love reading the comments. It's great to know what people are thinking. Getting feedback on our writing helps us improve and gets us out of the box. Thanks for all your posts, Karen. Susan

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  5. I welcome it when it is constructive and meant to improve the work. Feedback is essential for getting my novels where I want them to be.
    ~ Wendy

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  6. Well, isn't THIS timely as I'm about to go through my final edits (b/f galley proofs) for The Rhythm of Secrets?????

    I like to say I welcome criticism. We'll see if I do what I say...or what I do!!!

    P

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  7. I am getting some comments back--good and bad--from my beta readers now and yup not always fun but part of this process. I always take something away from it and improve!

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  8. Carol,
    It is frustrating when there's no feedback, but as you said, it sharpens your detective skills!

    Jody,
    I agree. It is hard to swallow sometimes but once you process it, you can move forward:)

    Jessica,
    Yes, being goal oriented in this way is a good motivator. Chocolate probably helps too:)

    Susan,
    That's a good point about comments. They are feedback, and a good way to tell how the blog is doing.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  9. Wendy,
    How true. Input is so important, and essential for reaching our goals.

    Patti,
    Aha! Well, you will have to let us know how you make out. I am sure all will go well:)

    Terri,
    This is true, we can always come away with something. Moving forward, aren't we? :)

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  10. It's hard sometimes not to get emotional about your creation when someone criticizes it, but I'm thankful for the positive strokes as well as the constructive criticism as it only can improve my writing.

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  11. Writing is kind of a lonely job - you can't see the people who are reading your work, so if you never hear from them, you have no way to know if you're connecting or not. Thus, feedback seems pretty important.

    Feedback addiction, however, is certainly a hazard of the job. So is insecurity. I feel very vulnerable when I write; I'm putting myself out there for people to judge, rightly or wrongly. I wish I had the hide of a rhino when it comes to negative feedback, but I've not yet managed to find a rhino suit. Rats.

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  12. the older i get the easier it is to accept negative feedback. but of course i've always grand at accepting positive feedback! go figure!

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  13. Hi Karen .. once I get to that point, which I hope to be sometime in the relatively near future, then I'm actually longing to learn .. because I certainly muddle sentences and words up .. my syntax is all haywire too I suspect. A good English grammar lesson is what I need!

    So I hope I'd accept things constructively .. hope being the operative word! But I wouldn't be having a punch up though or fisticuffs with the bear.

    Enjoy your week .. Hilary

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  14. Karen:
    I have trouble with this. The last rejection I received upset me. It was to a magazine to which I subscribed. The letter started out "Dear Reader,".
    I never receive anything but the standard," Your story doesn't fit our present editorial needs."
    I am leary about sending anything out because of these non-constructive responses.

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  15. Hi Karen -

    I'm a firm believer in the "spoonful-of-sugar-makes-the-medicine-go-down" method of critiquing. Unfortunately, I haven't always been the recipient of this type of feedback.

    If comments are given with love, it doesn't sting as much.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  16. Donna,
    It is a challenge to swallow some feedback but like you said, it only helps us in the long run. I like the positive feedback too:)

    Rhonda,
    Very good point. We can sit and write and it all may sound fabulous, but outside input is really necessary for a good balance. If I come across a rhino suit, I will let you know! :)

    Life is Good:)
    It does seem easier to roll with things as we get older, doesn't it? Okay, so I am better at the positive feedback too...:)

    Hilary,
    I think you write nicely - mechanics can always be fixed. We are always learning, aren't we? You enjoy your week too!

    Cecelia,
    The rejections I receive are much the same way. Hang in there and keep submitting! As Carol Alexander said above, it makes you a good detective!

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  17. I do appreciate feedback, but I have to say that many times too much of it can become confusing. It seems that there are so many points of view, and I can let myself get anxious.

    However, I do try to concentrate on the feedback I know that God is urging me to listen too. If I wait for His cue, then it makes wading through opinions easier.

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  18. Great tips for rejection in general. Not everyone is going to like everything I do..... :O)

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  19. Susan R.,
    I know what you mean. "A word fitly spoken..." I call the feedback I give to my students "constructive input". The purpose is to help them move forward:)

    Alisa,
    It can be a lot to take in sometimes, can't it? Thankfully we can be led by the spirit to help move forward. Time and perspective are a big help too.

    Diane,
    You know, this is true, and that's another good thing to keep in mind. That can help us keep a healthy perspective as well.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen :)

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  20. This is one of the most difficult dilemmas that writers face. We have to work with the criticism so it makes us better, rather than bitter, and sharper rather than suppressed. We have to become more and more like ourselves in our writing. This means we have to take the input of others and work that into our art and make it part of our product.

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  21. Well, I've never cried real tears, but I've sure felt the rock hit the pit of my stomach. Most of my rejections have been diplomatic, no real meanies. The acceptances make up for them, and I always do a happy dance!!

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  22. Cassandra,
    Well said! I think you are correct, and I never thought about it quite like that:)

    Lisa,
    The acceptances are sweet, aren't they? I never tire of seeing my name in print:)

    Thanks and blessings to you both,
    Karen

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  23. I can't wait to check out that link. Received some contstructive criticism this morning that I needed, but it didn't make it easy to swallow. In the end, I'll sit my butt in a chair and improve no matter how much it hurts. Obedience is extremeley difficult! Thanks, Karen!

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  25. Heather,
    The right input is such a great thing, but I think it should be administered with chocolate to help things along. What do you think?
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  26. I'm so new to writing that I welcome all comments, especially the ones that I can learn and grow from. Here's a great quote:
    We must not let criticism go to our heart. We must not let praise go to our head.

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  27. Susan,
    Excellent quote! Thanks so much for sharing it with us:)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  28. I'm always open to feedback--I want to improve my story and seeing it through someone else's eyes helps me see where it falls short. But don't be too hard on me! Thanks, Karen, great question :-)

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  29. I'd like to think I take feedback - even criticism - well. However, it all depends on the spirit in which it's given.

    Feedback that's constructive & helpful, as well as linked to something specific, is a gift. If it's mean-spirited and meant to hurt ... not so much!

    It also reminds me to check myself BEFORE I give it out. Hurt or help? Sometimes it's not clear.

    Blessings,
    Kathleen

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  30. Kenda,
    It's good to be open to feedback, and I agree, the delivery of it is a big factor:)

    Kathleen,
    This is another good point - how do we deliver feedback? Something to think about.

    Thanks and blessings to both of you,
    Karen

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  31. Karen...I am trying to adopt a healthy attitude to the feedbacks, as I know every bit of it will help me grow.

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  32. My skin is a lot thicker for negative feedback sp I usually take it eagerly so I can fix what I wrote. :)

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  33. Well, I have a love/hate relationship with feedback - it kind of depends on where I'm at, and what it is like . . . I like the ones where the "spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down," and I'm not fond of the "this does not suit our needs at this time," kind of thing. The worst feedback I've received was insulting with no sugar, so now I'm thankful for the bland stuff.

    The best feedback is both positive and negative with a helpful pointer in the right direction - that kind of feedback is something I love.

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  34. Rachna,
    It does help us grow, you're right, and even the more difficult feedback can help challenge us to move ahead.

    Jennifer,
    Good for you! I'm all for moving forward too:)

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  35. Tyrean,
    I think we all prefer that prudent and tactful kind of feedback. It sure does make moving ahead easier!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  36. Karen,

    What a lovely surprise to be referenced here. :-)
    I've enjoyed the feedback and various viewpoints.

    Keep up the good work!

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  37. Jennifer,
    It was a good post, and worthy of sharing. I'm enjoying the dialogue here too.
    Thanks for coming over to see me and the gang:)
    Karen

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  38. If I am grumpy, forget about negitive feedback. But normally I'm fine with it. Isaw on your blogger profile that you are a homeschool consultant. That's cool. I'm homeschooled. Did you homeschool your kids? Cool bear picture. Though I'm glad I was not the person who took it!
    God Bless,
    Victoria

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  39. Oops! I didn't notice I wrote the same thing twice! Sorry! It got messed up in the beggining of my first post so I thought I'd lost it. Oops! Sorry about that.
    Victoria

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  40. I'd like to get more feedback than I currently get. Negative feedback should be a helpful learning experience as long it is not only for malicious intent. Positive is always nice, but sometimes I question the sincerity.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  41. Victoria,
    It's no problem at all:) I can relate, if I am not having a great day, feedback can be harder to take. A little time works wonders for my perspective. And yes, I homeschooled my three kids K-12; it was a great journey.

    Lee,
    I hear you; I guess we need to use discernment for feedback just like anything else. I imagine most is well intended. I think that's one reason I'm thankful for a good community of bloggers/writers that I can trust for input.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  42. Good thoughts, and great picture to go with it!

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  43. Warren,
    Thank you! It's a great topic, and I am glad Jennifer shared her thoughts. The picture seemed fitting somehow:)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  44. I want feedback, I need feedback. Good feedback always is great and it inspires me to keep going. Of course I like my reader to pinpoint what I did right, so I can keep it up. When it's bad, I welcome it, but pouting does ensue when backs are turned! LoL

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  45. Lindsey,
    I want feedback too, the more specific the better. I am sure that you work to improve more than you pout!
    Thanks for coming by:)
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!