3 Ways to Writing Well and the Importance of Feedback

Completing a recent book in a genre new to me, I was reminded how important it is to seek out feedback, critiques, or comments from others. There are standards, as evidenced by the massive number of rejections new writers will often collect on their way to publishing.

I’m a member of a writers’ group that often jokes when someone mentions repeated rejections, “Oh, now you only have (x number of rejections to go) until you reach 100.”

One hundred is the mythical number needed to somehow achieve published status – or a decision to make changes – or sadly, give up.

If you are one of the many people who wish to become a published writer, improving your writing is a constant. Every writer I know keeps books like Chicago Manual of Style and other reference books to create better results.

What should you do if you want to write and receive valuable feedback to achieve your best work?

  1. Find a critique group. Look online for “meetups” or for critique groups that might be accepting new members in your genre. Or, ask at your library or look up literary groups in your area.
  2. When you find a group, polish your work to the shiniest possible quality. Don’t expect potential critique partners to fix grammar, punctuation or spelling for you. Only then should you submit a book for someone else to review. Expect to review others’ work! It’s a two-way street.
  3. Consider joining a coaching workshop. (See – http://bit.ly/1O6VwmM – for my group that’s starting soon – with a group cohort component, one-on-one coaching and group sessions.)  Since you’ve come to my website, please contact me if you’re interested in a special “scholarship.”

No matter what course or path you take, be confident. And, when you critique others, be honest, but fair. Give them the feedback they need to improve their work without destroying their spirit. You’ll be in their shoes someday, too.

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