14 January, 2008

Most People Don't Know How to Give Feedback to Writers

Bamboo Nation:

" Works-in-progress are sacred ground. And in the past I have taken enough writing workshops myself to know that people piss on that ground all the time. I mean, have any of you ever taken a fiction class? I don't think I've ever encountered more self-hating artists with a thirst for blood anywhere else. The Brutal Writing Workshop has been parodied in enough films for me to know that it's a common phenomenon.

As explained in my recent post, one of the greatest challenges that writers face is finishing what they started. Many will cite lack of time as the number one factor that keeps them from getting to the end, but I actually think it's the internal critic that is the most problematic. When it comes to working on first drafts, self-criticism leads to self-defeat. And in a group of your supposed peers, the wrong kind of feedback compounds the problem. If you are full of self-doubt about your work, others tend to pick up on that and see it as an invitation to kick your literary ass. "

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