1 min read

Fear of Feedback

As David says, people are terrified of feedback in the same light as they're terrified by public speaking. But feedback is crucial to improvement. The problem is that a writer has to be receptive to the feedback for it to be effective.

A feedback giver should be empathetic when giving feedback.  Feedback should be a conversation. Where are you confused?  What parts interest you?  By showing your interest, you help the writer create something more interesting.  But the writer has little control over the editor.

Most feedback is a series of "to-dos".  Change this sentence, move this sentence, delete that sentence.  After spending hours writing, the last thing a writer wants to see is where they made a "mistake".  It can feel like a personal attack.

You can take feedback badly or you can use it to improve your writing. I'm reminded of this quote from Viktor Frankl in Man's Search for Meaning.  “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Judge the feedback on whether it improves the readability of the essay and whether it conveys your ideas more clearly.  Don't take the feedback personally.