Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sharing my work on Facebook

This definitely took some guts for me. I'm not one who has ever been really great at accepting praise, especially when that praise surrounds my abilities to speak and write. I don't know why but when someone says something I said or wrote touched them deeply or some such comment I get a knot in my stomach and my eyes feel twitchy. It's dumb, I don't know why it embarrasses me so much, but needless to say, it was hard to ask for feedback for fear of the compliments.

So I shared my imitation essay "Fill me with lonliness; Drink it as love" on Facebook and got quite a few responses back. Here are some comments I got back:

  • This is lovely and painful all at the same time. It definitely resonates with me (and, probably, many of us). You have a fantastic writing voice that very effectively evokes images and emotions. The obviously deep emotion of this piece is wonderful and heart-wrenching. On a more technical note, there was one line that I had to re-read a few times to understand what you meant: "It feeds off of white noise making me state more obvious." Maybe you could re-work this phrasing to make it clearer? Otherwise, the writing was spot-on for me.
  • "Pregnant with homework" was a bit jarring at first, but maybe you meant to do that. Lovely writing, though. The concept behind the title is profound and inspiring. Also, I covet your ability to express a lot in few words.
  • Natalie, your words are so beautiful as always. And your specific example of your younger siblings were so emotion-provoking that I wanted to reject them. I hated that I could relate to it. (All these are because your writing is so good, btw.) One thing that made me confused a bit (until I had read the whole thing and then started over again) was that you used "loneliness" as the answer/topic, the first two paragraphs making the readers guess what you're talking about, but then you go into talking very specifically about your younger siblings, not just a general loneliness. I felt like there were sentences that were referring to general loneliness that everyone feels, but there were paragraphs that were specifically about your siblings. " It's loneliness, and I am really good at it." is such a bold one-sentence paragraph but it doesn't mention your siblings at all. So I'm still not 100% sure if you want the whole essay to be pointing to your siblings or not. I'm not sure if this makes sense to you. Maybe this was just me. But I still really loved how your words put images in my head and made me feel the love you have for your siblings.
I even got a comment with someone thinking I was pregnant because of the way I used the word in a description. Awkward . . . And finally, one of my favorite comments was a friend I had in high school who messaged me telling me that she was going to skip over my post but felt like she needed to go back and read it. She said she was glad she did, that she needed to know someone understood, and she thanked me for the opportunity to read it. She offered to read my work any other time and to just talk if I needed to. 

Yes, I found awkward phrasing, typos, confusing ideas, and even a too-narrowed focus with my general-to-sibling shift, but overall I found that my writing could touch people I had never expected to ever even read it. So embarrassed or not, that was pretty cool.


  1. Isn't it interesting what others can find in our writing? There are times when I think I've shared something clearly and then having someone else read it shows that I wasn't as precise as I thought I had been. I also think feedback is important because of the praise we receive. Even if we don't think we've earned it, it can be encouraging and I know it helps me keep writing.

  2. It's funny cause I loved your phrase pregnant with homework! I thought it was descriptive and and clever/humorous at the same time. I don't know if this makes a difference but I've noticed when I read a piece of my work to someone who could care less about the writing style I always get compliments but when someone reads it who has a analytical/writing background I get critique. I definitely appreciate both but I wonder who sees and understands my work better, the simple reader or the experienced?

  3. Good question Paige. I wonder. I personally think I prefer experienced critique because I care about style. But then again, knowing the emotional effects of my writing is very important. (Thanks by the way for liking my "pregnant with homework" phrase. I was trying to be funny while shocking while bitter so I guess it worked. ;) ).