Monday, March 08, 2010

Feedback

One unique thing about writing for Heartsong Presents Romance is the feedback sheets included at the back of each book. The reader is encouraged to tear these sheets out and fill them out, answering questions about what they liked and didn't like about the story.

This past week, I received my first feedback sheets. People were very nice. They made lots of nice comments. Only one person didn't like the book so much. Many people said they enjoyed it very much.

So which one do you think I thought about the most? The many who liked it? Nope, I thought about the one who said she didn't.

After a bit, I realized I was circling a dead-end drain with these thoughts. I decided to let it go. I decided to stop focusing on the negative, and take a look at the positive. I've got the names of some lovely ladies who cared enough about my book to write in and encourage me. So part of my to-do list this week includes writing some thank you notes.

Because nothing gets you thinking right like saying and being thankful.

Question for you: Have you ever gotten negative feedback that had your head spinning? What did you do to get your head on straight?

9 comments:

  1. Yep, I sure have. I probably do what you do, take a deep breath and try to focus on being thankful. Sometimes I do change the story based on the feedback, but you can't do that.
    Congrats on the good sheets! Only getting one negative is pretty awesome. :-)

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  2. Oh, yes, for sure! What is it about us that focuses on the one negative in the midst of a thousand positives? Not just in writing, but in everything. I do this with teaching, with day-to-day life....we really ought to put a stop to it.

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  3. I'm a pastor... you don't want to know.

    Actually, I take it all personally, especially if it's something from a sermon (this conversation happened just last week, in fact). I "know" I've obviously miscommunicated something; it just had to be my fault. Then I'll go back over those notes, maybe I'll listen to the audio. Then I'll ask the Lord to show me where I was off or wrong. Finally, I'll bounce the notion off my loving wife, Ann, who will tell me that the listener's perspective is way off base. Shoulda gone there first.

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  4. Yup. You need to step back because the first emotion felt is hurt or anger. Deep breaths and then reflect on what was said. Were the comments out of context? Sour grapes? Were you true to yourself? Did the best you could at the time? You can't change another only yourself.

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  5. I can relate and I feel things deeeeeeeeeply. I'm glad you turned your thoughts around. So much of the battle is just that.

    The pastor's comment cracked me up.

    What did I do...one gigantic grain of salt. Compared to my measure in my Savior's eyes nothing else matters all that much.

    Smile over those uplifting ones.
    ~ Wendy

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  6. Oh, I cringe when I think about getting those some day. I know it's part and parcel of the writing life, but it still doesn't make it any easier, does it? We can't please everyone. And I honestly don't think our books are meant to do that. (I'm telling myself this and will you please remind me in the fall once I start getting my negative reviews!?)

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  7. Yes. I have definitely received very negative feedback that totally threw me off my game. Thankfully I have two great crit buds to pick me up, dust me off, and get me back on the write path.

    Get it? On The Write Path?

    :D

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  8. I find it helps to phone a friend, and you know who you are. Sometimes just talking about it out loud helps put things in perspective. There will never be any pleasing all the people all the time, but I think we do need to listen and pull out what could be useful for the next time and then try to let it go. Always easier to say than to do though.

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  9. Awwwww, I'm so sorry you received a negative comment. I know exactly how you feel. I received a negative comment on my book (14 years ago) and I still--yes STILL--think about it. Crazy, huh? Don't do as I do... do as I say: Get back to writing 'cause you're good! :) Some people just have to spew negativity and venom. That's all they have to share.

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