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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Under Scrutiny

It is interesting that so often people enjoy the idea of Writing Blogfests and some confess that they 'started their entry only to decide their piece was not ready and therefore did not enter it...'

I wonder if this is a fear of public scrutiny that stops the aspiring author from submitting their work for others to judge?

For those of us who have submitted work for others to read, would we agree that:
  1. While the first time can seem rather harrowing it was worth it?
  2. The more we submit work the easier it becomes?
  3. The more we submit work the better our writing becomes?
  4. In order to become a successful author we must submit work for others to read? 
I've had some great feedback and some shocking feedback! 
(some of which I believe was the work of Trolls)

I understand that as a rule of thumb:
  • If many make the same comment about a piece of writing, then the author should take it into consideration. 
  • One off comments can be viewed a little less seriously, 

However, in my experience there are some who appear to make their comments after reading others' comments, rather than reading the piece of writing. Consequently they don't express their own conclusions/ reactions to your work, but a distorted view through anothers' interpretation. Therefore, it is best to withhold immediate access to comments, until a certain number of people have given their views.

What are your thoughts and experiences?


  1. Feedback is very useful to a writer, at least good, critical and constructive feedback is.

    Overly negative remarks can be harmful, as can a lot of empty praise.

  2. Good points, Maddy. I agree. The first time I submitted a piece of writing online i was a nervous wreck. If you state it's your first time, you can only hope commenters will be kind. And they were.

    Online feedback can be harsh and sometimes unduly so. There is no need for that. I always believe you should send an email to the writer if there is anything too negative to say, but you can't account for some people being cruel.

    RFW is a case in point. We used to encourage feedback, but we did have feedback wars, with some comments completely out of hand. We lost many writers as a result so then we gave more guidelines. The result of the extra guidelines was that commenters were afraid to say anything of value. Difficult.

    As you know, RFW had over 2,000 views of individual challenges, yet so few participated. Maybe there'll always be people who will observe, learn, and may or may not eventually bite the bullet and be game to post for feedback. This really helps a writer become an author.

    My new venture to follow RFW will focus more on the whole deal - with special emphasis on proofreading/editing before publishing.

    Sorry for the windy reply, but you are speaking of things I've been pondering.


  3. I know that when I crit I try not to read what others are saying just so I won't be influenced. While I think some people are swayed, I also think it's good if several people pound on the same point, so you know it's not a 'one off.' If someone said to themselves, "Well, that person already said this, so I won't," you'd end up with a lot less feedback.

    In terms of that 'one off' stuff, yeah, it gets less weight, but I'm also a big believer in 'resonance.' If what that person says really resonates, like I know they're right, even if no one has ever mentioned it before, that gets a long, hard look from me. I hope I'm making sense. It's early.

  4. Patsy, yes some good points there. We can become blinded by too much gushing praise and wounded by harsh criticism. Yet feedback is so useful to maturity as a writer.

    Denise, no not windy, you make some very valid points.

    Jeff you make some great points about resonance and those who decide not to make a point cos others have already made it.

  5. I definitely am willing (and able) to submit writing excerpts, though I always feel a bit nervous in doing so and even after numerous read-throughs before posting, I'll still read the posted version at least a few times after posting to make sure it's tolerable (in my self-critical opinion) for public consumption. And yes, sharing one's writing is definitely worthwhile and NECESSARY for the writerly growing process. :)

  6. Hi Madeleine,

    I agree with Denise. It's hard to put your work out there for feedback but also necessary.

  7. I think we all have to start somewhere. The more we submit, the easier the process gets.

    The sting of trolls is bad at first, but that's another thing to get used to and writers are notorious for developing thick skins.

  8. Feedback is difficult to take - even if it's positive, I have a hard time accepting it!

  9. Hi, Madeleine.

    So nice to see you back...

    I agree... we all know that feedback is very important. I take great care in what I say to a writer. I want to help them not offend them...

    As writers we need to get out work out there, no matter how frightened we are. That's the whole point of writing to allow others to feel our thoughts and emotions.

  10. Thanks Michael, yes very true and eloquently put.
    Talli, yes, I can understand why some never read the reviews of their work.
    Medeia, yes the rhino hide. We do need those as writers.
    Nas, yes it is so necessary, I agree.
    Trisha, oh I can empathise about checking through stuff even after it is posted. Somehow I see it with different eyes when it is presented for others to read. :O)

  11. It was nerve-wracking at first, but I've learned to put my work out there.
    And I welcome any constructive criticism because I want to improve, as long as it's delivered in the right spirit. I've also realized that not everybody will like what you write. However, there's no need for a commenter to be rude and mean. Tact is essential.
    Writer In Transit


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