I love feedback. It temporarily silences the voices in my head.
My awesome cousin gave me some much-craved feedback on my latest complete novel yesterday, and it seriously made my day! I mean, I chatted with her in the morning, sent her the manuscript via email during the chat, and by evening when we came back from dinner, her thoughts were waiting in my inbox...
her thoughts on the entire. middle grade. novel.
You can't pay money for that kind of service! And she's a student at a competitive university, so I expected her to take her sweet, scarce time. Yeah, she's awesome! Obviously! I mean, we are related. ;) But I can't take credit for her awesome--that's hers alone.
Why did this make my whole freakin' day? Why do writers crave feedback so much?
If you're a writer, you're slapping your forehead in that 80s universal sign language for DUH!
We crave feedback because we get sick of talking to ourselves all the time. Writing is lonely if you don't have access to a community of writers for commiseration and encouragement. Sometimes family members don't understand why writing is so important to you. They assume you're just looking for fame and fortune, or can't keep a regular job. Even if you have a regular job, you're a dreamer. A weirdo. Well, I'll just give you the lyrics to one of my favorite Disney songs:
Look there she goes that girl is strange, no questionDazed and distracted, can't you tell?Never part of any crowd'Cause her head's up on some cloud
No denying she's a funny girl that Belle
[Bookseller:] Ah, Belle.
[Belle:] Good Morning. I've come to return the book I borrowed.
[Bookseller:] Finished already?
[Belle:] Oh, I couldn't put it down. Have you got anything new?
[Bookseller:] Ha Ha! Not since yesterday.
[Belle:] That's all right. I'll borrow . . . . . this one!
[Bookseller:] That one? But you've read it twice!
[Belle:] Well, it's my favorite! Far off places, daring swordfights,magic spells, a prince in disguise -
[Bookseller:] If you like it all that much, it's yours!
[Belle:] But sir!
[Bookseller:] I insist.
[Belle:] Well, thank you. Thank you very much!
Look there she goes that girl is so peculiarI wonder if she's feeling wellWith a dreamy far-off lookAnd her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle-lyrics from this site
Sorry, got a bit carried away posting lyrics and dialogue. LOVE that scene. They should definitely do a live action film version of this musical.
So feedback. Yeah. It's important. Do you have a critique group yet? Why not?
The voices in your head are important to your craft, but feedback is worth all the socially accepted schizophrenia in the world. You can quote me on that. ;)