Feedback is a Gift

But it often feels like this.

But it often feels like this.

I recently had some great feedback on a story I’m working on. The specific comment I received was actually something I had wondered about myself. “Should I worry about that?” I had asked myself. The feedback said, “Yes.” If it is a question someone else has, I better look closer at it.

Now, I was fortunate. This feedback came from someone who had just told me that everyone was delighted with my picture book. Then several sentences later, she said, “It isn’t a problem for me, but some asked…..(enter feedback here).”

I told myself that this was a good thing. That I could look at it. That I should look at it and see if there was something I was missing. There was. I got up early yesterday morning and sat and looked at my dummy book spread and pondered how I could change the story to address the feedback. I noodled over it. It had already been marinating for some time. Why would that character do that? And then I saw it. It was a much easier answer than I was afraid it would be. I had to draw or redraw 4 of the spreads, but I could rearrange some of the others and the result is a much stronger story and a stronger character. In fact, I think I will redraw a few more spreads to strengthen the character even more. She might just steal the show! It was a gift.

Fortunately, most of the book is still in the sketch phase. I’ve only finished 2 spreads in the whole book. Which is another gift. Whew.

Well, that was all well and good and I sat down to write this post when I got some feedback from my husband on a different aspect of the same project. I had even asked him for the feedback.

Of course, I disagreed with him. Mostly because it is my project. But I tried really hard to stop. And Listen. His feedback could also be a gift. I found it’s a lot harder to take feedback from your spouse. I already knew that, but I had just been patting myself on the back about how good I had been able to take feedback from an outside source. I thought I had arrived. Let the feedback roll in.

It rolled in and I was surprised at my resistance. But I tried really hard to listen to his feedback. To wonder. To make sure I understood why he felt that way. And he might have a point (sh..don’t tell him I said that.) And as I stopped and listened, I had another creative idea for an additional story. What if…. and I used his concern to answer that question.

When I looked at my project through his eyes, I saw possibilities. Ten minutes later, we were seated in front of a computer when together we had a moment where we both saw the possibilities of my project and where it could go and we were both excited.

And that is always a gift.

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