Feedback

Book Blog - Time to ask for feedback

My book is now at the stage where I need to share it with people. I need to find out whether anyone will be interested in it. I need some views about the edit, about what to include, what not to include, what needs taking out, what needs adding in. What questions does it raise for people? 

I get to a point where I can’t see the wood for the trees. I see what I think is written on the page, rather than what is written on the page. It’s helpful to get other people to have a look at it. I find it useful to ask a range of people for their views.

I am careful in the selection of who to ask. Someone who is an expert writer, someone who is an expert on the subject I’m writing about, someone who doesn’t know the subject at all. People who will be kind and offer encouragement, while they challenge and critique the work.

The only way to get helpful feedback is to ask others to look at my work, but there’s a feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. 

This is an old familiar feeling. A tight knot in my stomach. Nausea, a sense of feeling a bit sick. It feels like the contents of my stomach churn around. Like clothes in a washing machine. It stops for a while and then starts again. Sometimes the feeling is stronger than other times. I can sense it, as background noise and at other times it feels loud and strong. 

I had this same feeling when I started to share chapters of my first book. It was much more powerful then. This time the feeling doesn’t have the strength. Doesn’t have the bite that it had then. I know it relates to the same kind of thinking.

Oh my God, what will people think of it? What if they don’t like it? What if it makes them think less of me? What will they think of me when they read what goes on in my mind? What if they think it’s stupid? What if they criticize it? Find fault with it? Worst of all, what if they are just plain not interested in it? 

It didn’t stop me last time, and it won’t stop me this time. I know that I don’t have to pay attention to this thinking, that it will pass. That I will ask people to help regardless of whether the thinking has passed by or not. I know that I will be glad that I did and the book will be so much better as a result.  


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