Feedback on your fiction is, on the surface of it, a sensible thing. You’re writing for readers, and people reading your draft and giving opinions is bound to be helpful, right?
Sometimes we end up feeling undermined or, conversely, falsely assured. Feedback can be useful at times, but for reasons that are often invisible to writers, may fail to help us. In pursuit of the deeper truth about feedback, here are some observations.
Motivation and self confidence
- We writers are in an insecure vocation. Connecting with readers can seem unfairly difficult, even random. In such an environment we may turn to others for feedback. But we may not be ready to handle criticism, and this can weaken our intention, especially if we are already lacking in writerly confidence.
- If you’re really ready to hear honest opinions, then it might be a good idea to get feedback. Personally, I tend to avoid feedback (except under strict conditions), because I find myself susceptible to doubt and confused by too much input.
- I know I’m being a bit contrary, but give it some thought. At a deeper level, you know why you want feedback, and you may well be right about whatever decision you come to. But: Sharer beware.