January 2017: Feedback

 This is my first blog of the new calendar year and certainly not the last, as I intend to write eleven more this year (one for each month). Last year I published my first book: ‘The Universe of the Lamppost’. Hopefully soon, I will have published: ‘A different world of school’ and then I can look forward to writing and publishing a new book after that.

  In today’s blog, I would like to talk about the importance of feedback in writing and how valuable this can be, as you progress as a writer. At present, I have a proof -reader reading my second book: ‘A different world of school’. Already this has provided me with some initial feedback on what could be improved; I take this seriously and make sure that I record any feedback I receive from anyone. I see feedback as being two-fold: firstly, there is feedback on the good aspects of the book and secondly, there is feedback on possible developments to make when writing future books.

  In terms of positive feedback, after publishing: ‘The Universe of the Lamppost’, a friend  commented that “It was brilliant”. This was obviously great news to me, but what exactly they had found fantastic was the question I wanted to ask them. If, as a reader, they could highlight the strengths so that I could  make sure they would feature in future books.

  In terms of feedback for development, I do not necessarily see this as criticism but as room for improvement, as with anything, there is always room for improvement. For instance, a point about my first two books was raised by a reader, which I  will need to take into account in my third book. Even if most feedback is positive, it is important not to have the thought “Ah, it was mostly good feedback with just one minor point from someone”; the chances are that if someone has found an area for improvement, there is a strong likelihood someone else may do so too.

  Like all writers, I aim to please the audience for whom I am writing. There is no perfect book, although there are many books out there, which are fantastic. It is important to realise a book will never be 100% perfect but you can only do your best in writing it. In this, it is important to listen to others, as they can probably spot areas for improvement in your writing better than you can It is also important to gain as much feedback as possible, as you will receive different views from different people and as the saying goes “two heads are better than one”. Even for these blogs, I will ask someone to proof read and then feed back to me.

 

Jonny Pardoe

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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