Why is Feedback Important?
“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Issac Asimov
As with any human being I only have one brain and one perspective and that’s extremely limiting when it comes writing. As a writer you’re trying to reach out and make a connection with your readership and the best way to ensure that you’re able to do that effectively and in fiction also be entertaining is to get feedback from readers. My writing thrives off of feedback because when I finish a first draft of a piece I’m never happy with it, and I can’t always understand why. Then when I get feedback from my alpha readers or my critique community it often sheds a light on what it is I didn’t like.
On a more personal level feedback is incredibly motivating and confidence building. I like so many have struggled with self-confidence. In the few stories I’ve written in the past year I have gone from believing that nothing I wrote was worth the bytes it took on the cloud to making a blog. Now this doesn’t mean that I haven’t taken my lumps of people who don’t like the things I’ve written, and taking criticism is a part of soliciting feedback. I’ve got another post about that entirely. However, if I gave joy to even one person with the work that I do then that’s enough for me to keep going.
One of my favorite examples of this was in the case of the Hunter series I had a lot of feedback from people that writing about vampires and vampire hunters has become a tiring genre for readers with a recent flood of books since the popularity of things like Twilight. I completely understand that feeling, but this was a story I wanted to write so I wrote it. In a round of feedback I had several critiques that told me they hated the genre but liked my story in spite of wanting to hate it. It made me laugh and was actually one of the best compliments I think I had ever received. One commenter went so far as to say that my writing was too good for the genre and that I shouldn’t write what I think is popular but write what I love. I’m sorry sir, but I love vampires and vampire stories since my dad showed me my first Dark Shadows episode.
Now, I don’t apply all the feedback I get. I know the story I want to tell and sometimes there are pieces of feedback that I just don’t think will tell that story. I always welcome feedback from all sources and I think that it can only make me a better writer. So if you have feedback please feel free to send it along via comments, twitter, or facebook.