We may not always be able to afford an editor, but we can ask readers (including but not limited to other writers) for feedback on fresh work or work that feels stuck, when we feel ready. I say when we feel ready because the job of the person giving feedback is not to stroke our ego but to give an honest assessment (what works, what needs work). It won’t always be easy to hear, but, if we’re committed to craft, we will need to hear it and at least consider it; even if we ultimately decide that it’s just another opinion and not one with which we necessarily agree.
Oh, and when asking people for feedback, unless you’re a part of a writers’ group where that’s the buy-in (and even then there are no guarantees), understand that they may either refuse or fail to follow through because …well, the cold, hard truth of it is people have lives…and sometimes not even best intentions is enough. But if they do take the time to read and give us feedback, especially when that feedback helps us to see the work more clearly, well that’s a gift. And gifts deserve a thank you. So (though this has been done several times over in person) thanks to everyone who has ever given me any kind of feedback (one or one, or in writers groups, workshops, classes…paid, unpaid, formal, informal) even if it had me kicking walls or lying in a puddle, it continues to help me grow.
All of that said, just a reminder that I’ll be holding the first of the year’s writing workshops under the Jhohadli Writing Project Saturday 24th January right here in Antigua for an EC$50 fee per hour. The session will run for about two hours. Space is still available. Contact me if you want to join us. I mention this as it’s particularly ideal for people seeking feedback on works in progress (in that you may be stuck half way or even a third of the way through, or have a first or even a few drafts and need a fresh perspective).