Where to go for writing feedback
So you’ve done what Auntie Rach has told you and you’re now pretty certain that it’s time to get some feedback. Let’s have a look at the different options available:
Join a writing group – there are so many benefits to doing this, chief among them being that you’ll have someone to share your writing journey with, good and bad.
It’s not always easy to know where to go for feedback. Luckily in the age of the internet, you can barely move for places, groups and communities who would love to read your work.
The tricky part is figuring out what kind of feedback works best for you.
Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of writers talk about voice.
“Oh, I love this book, it’s so voice-y!”
“The agent rejected my manuscript because they couldn’t connect to the character’s voice”.
“Every character had the same voice. I couldn’t tell them apart.”
So how exactly do you define a story or character’s voice? What do people mean when they say a writer lacks voice or writes in a really voice-y way?
Winning used to mean everything to me.
I was brought up in a household where if I wasn’t the best in my class, I wasn’t anything. I went to school with kids who would literally tear one another’s faces off over a football score.
I live in a country that was so big on ‘winning’ that it enslaved half the world.
The creative industry I work in is reminiscent of Game of Thrones for all the backstabbing, politics, sycophants and uneasy alliances it’s filled with. From all of that I take this very important lesson:
Winning is overrated, and isn’t half as important or beneficial as you think.
I hate writing.
At least right now I do.
The problem is that I dwell too much on the end result. I want the end result – a finished, polished story – right now.
All that other gumpf in between – the typing, the self-doubt, the numerous, numerous revisions – makes my teeth itch. Sometimes when I’m in the thick of that stuff, I enjoy it. Right now, I loathe it, which means that I unfortunately loathe a rather sizable part of the writing process.
So many writers I speak to deal with the conundrum of loving writing and hating it at the same time. So what can we do about it?
Do you ever daydream about all the productive things you’re going to achieve once you get some free time? That short story you’re definitely going to write? Those query letters you’re going to send off? That pile of books you’re going to blast through? You’re finally sorting your life out, and it’s going to be GLORIOUS.
Saturday morning rolls around, and you’re either still snoring your head off or skulking around the house like a pyjama-clad zombie. The rest of the weekend’s filled with ‘must-do’s’ that get in the way of what you really want to do. We find ourselves feeling like crap, again, because we felt like we’ve made zero progress towards our writing dreams. AGAIN.
First, stop beating yourself up. Life demands a lot from us, even in our spare time. We’re busier than we’ve ever been, and there’s more noise in our ears and eyes and heads than there’s ever been. Every minute is overloaded. How can that not get exhausting?
This world keeps us busy, there’s no doubt about that. However, there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. The good news is, you could have only five minutes to spare, and you can still get something done that’s worth your time. Here are fifty ideas to get you started…