High quality feedback is hard to find, no matter the creative endeavour. In my capacity as a freelance writer, I’ve been a part of many a frustrated conversation with my peers about the fact that no matter where we turn, the feedback we receive is either wholly negative, or cursory at best.
These conversations happen with such regularity that we began to dub them “Freelancer Support Group,” and it occurred to us that it would be valuable if we were to put together a community of like-minded creators seeking truly valuable feedback.
The trouble with the feedback that we usually receive is that it tends to take one of three forms:
- Online comments – for the most part, these are either vitriolic morsels of hate, or positive but perfunctory acknowledgements.
- Responses from editors – Generally the most positive feedback we receive from editors is simply that they publish our stories with few to no changes. Aside from that, it’s either short rejections, or sweeping changes. This isn’t their fault, it a fact of the compressed time that comes with the job, but it doesn’t do much to help a writer to improve themselves.
- Feedback from family and friends – “Good job,” and “great post,” are positive responses, but ultimately all they really tell us is that they read the post. Honest or not, family and friends have a social obligation to positively respond to your creative work, which makes it hard to view it as a source of edification.
Feedback Loop was built as a response to this, a collective of creatives that believe that our current social framework for feedback is broken, who wish to enter into an environment where feedback is open, honest, and focused on building people up, not breaking them down.
Members of Feedback Loop understand that positive feedback is a key part of responding to a piece of creative work. It isn’t a tool to help soften the blow of the the more ‘important,’ ‘valuable,’ or ‘necessary’ negative feedback, but rather it is key to helping people to improve. We hold fast to the truth that positive feedback directly leads to creatives being able to positively assess themselves and their own work, to know their strengths, and to learn how to cater to them.
The simple way to do this is to ensure that when you’re giving positive feedback, you don’t just tell the creator that you liked their work, but why. Tell them what exactly it is about their creation that you enjoy, what it made you feel, what it taught you, how it suits the form they’ve chosen. Anything that occurs to you.
Negative feedback will certainly continue to exist — it’s important that we also ensure that people are helped to identify their missteps, but it will not be the cornerstone of the collective.
Most importantly, Feedback Loop is a safe space for creatives to make themselves vulnerable to their peers. It’s a community in which feedback is delivered with the sole purpose of helping its members to better themselves.
If you would like to join Feedback Loop, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll ensure that you’re added to the tool that we use to facilitate communication. Come join us, and help us make feedback something to celebrate, not to fear.