Thursday, July 26, 2012

Give it time

Becky Levine wrote a fantastic post on dealing with feedback. As she says, "Don’t always assume your initial reaction to a critique comment is going to be your final reaction."

It's been my experience, too, that while some critique comments instantly make sense, immediately spark me to revise, others take more time. One of my least favorite experiences as a writer is facing feedback that I don't know how to respond to. Seeing that something isn't working, but not knowing how to fix it. As Becky says, sometimes we just have to give it time.

Part of being a writer is knowing when to back away from a project and let some deep part of our brains work away at the story for a while. Knowing when to wait. Knowing when to open our minds and consider other possibilities, other angles.

6 comments:

  1. I really identify with this. This was really hammered home for me when I participated in a writing collective/workshop last year that required a quick turn around for revisions. It almost incapacitated me from finishing that novel, that I had to pull out of the program. I eventually finished it, but it's still simmering.

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    1. It's important to go at our own pace whenever possible.

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  2. I find if I wait 24 hours and then read the feedback out loud and discuss with my husband, I see things much clearer. I've backed away from my WIP and have been letting my brain work on this revision for the past week. I have too many questions in my mind and not enough solutions yet.

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    1. Some comments speak to me right away, but many take longer. 2-3 days is common for major revisions, but I've sometimes taken a week or longer to see how to respond to something.

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  3. Sometimes when I get feedback that presents a challenge, it's because I know adhering to that one piece of feedback for one area of the story will affect other parts of the WIP as well. That's why it sometimes takes me awhile to process a critique too.

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    1. Ohhh yes. When we can foresee that ripple effect and how much work it's going to be, it's not easy to accept that suggestion!

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