Why writers should help writers #amwriting

I came across the video below during a leadership training course. At first there¬†might not seem to be an obvious connection between writing and leadership…but stick with me ūüôā

The  Ted Talk reminds us how important positive feedback is. All too often in life we focus on what is wrong. How often is it that bad service prompts you to complain? And how often after good service do you take the time to tell the company or individual? All too often it is the complaint that drives us to action, and all too often we fail to praise what is good.

Most of us will be quick to point out that we offer good feedback sometimes, but do we offer it often enough?

Feedback on Writing

Writing a review is such a simple and easy way to show the writer that you enjoyed their work. Sure you can drop a star rating on a book¬†in amazon, and that’s great, but there is nothing quite as magical as someone’s words‚ÄĒtheir words‚ÄĒof praise.

Feedback on blogging about writing

I have lost track of the number of fantastic blog posts I have read about writing, sure I read books, but an amazing array of little gems comes from the blogging community too. Often these ideas and insights don’t manifest change or impact immediately, or perhaps the magnitude of the change or impact is only realised later down the track. In the video the recipient took¬†four years before they¬†thanked¬†the person who changed the course of their life.

Nobody understands how hard writing is as well as another writer. Nobody understands the dedication, commitment, and sheer endurance you need to even finish a book, let alone publish it, as well as another writer. And no one understands how much time we give willingly to studying the craft as well as another writer.

If you are a writer, whatever your skill level, you have a voice and knowledge to share so please keep sharing it. You may never know how powerful your words are, or the impact they may have, but be reassured¬†they are. And if you enjoy a book or blog post then let’s let the author know.

I would like to close by thanking everyone who has taken the time to comment on my posts. I cherish each and every one of them.

I hope you enjoy the video ūüôā

The critique partner – writing

Getting people to read your books isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It took me a long time (like years) to let go of work and let people look at it.

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So having been brave and offered up my soul, what sort of reactions do I get from my nearest and dearest?

Here is¬†a couple of examples, mostly because they made¬†me chuckle for different reasons…

My Dad.

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My Dad is an avid reader, as in he consumes books by the bucket load. He is eighty-nine now, and has been chewing through books of every genre for his entire life.

Soooo a good critique partner? Well, yes, sort of.

The book I am working on now¬†is a scifi/ fantasy. Probably not my Dad’s ‘cup of tea’, he’s more your crime/ thriller, but he does read a lot of pure scifi too, and he has read an enormous number of the classics. Now you may expect loved ones to be gentle in their feedback, maybe even overly gushy? Nope not my Dad – his response to my first draft book was that it was ‘quite good’.

Am I deflated by this? Well to put it in context, I once put a short story on a review website, my first 2 reviews were a 5/5 and a 4/5 and then my Dad reviewed it and gave it a 3/5!

It’s a good job I don’t have any kind of ego to crush!

We both had a good laugh about it, and I feel comfortable that my dear father is the last person to give over-the-top praise. He is really good at sticking with a book he starts, and reading it properly,¬†and even with¬†poor ones he will persevere all the way through. So with this in mind, since¬†he read my¬†full story in draft mode and thought it was ‘OK’ then this gives me a bit¬†of hope.

My husband.

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My husband is not a reader Рat all РOk I probably need to qualify this. His idea of holiday reading is a kindle full of technical books on being a CIO, general technology, IT architecture, as well as a diverse collection of other fact based genres including things like psychology, fitness and nutrition. He is like a well oiled fact-crunching machine, and he chews through this information based food fest with the same gusto that my father embraces the latest Tom Clancy offering. He mixes this incredibly dry kindle read list with the odd bit of mainstream in the form of Dan Brown, but he openly admits to having a poor attention span for fiction.

Soooo a good critique partner? Well, no, possibly not the best critique partner.

He managed to read my¬†short story, and his response was ‘It doesn’t sound like you wrote this’ – make from that what you will. He managed to read the first two chapters of my main book and his response to that was ‘The chapters are too long…I like Dan Brown…he has¬†really tiny chapters…there’s a cliff-hanger¬†at every page…you should make it more like that!’

I have stopped trying to get him to read it…