Monday, February 9, 2015

Something Old, Something New

I have my own blog that I post on in phases. I started about two years ago and got in the habit of sharing my posts on Facebook so sharing on Facebook in this experience wasn't new for me. However, I had never asked for specific feedback let alone any feedback; I have always just posted and gotten "likes" and "That was great!". I chose to share my essay "The Helping Hand". When I asked for feedback this time around, I didn't get responses very quickly. I did get "likes" but it took a few days for anyone to respond as if they were wary of giving feedback or something. Thankfully Sunday night I finally received some feedback and the wondering what people thought was over. Here were some of my responses:

-Great imagery. I found the Egyptian princess analogy very entertaining. Very easy to follow and clearly written.
-I enjoyed this post because it is so relatable to us all. How many times are we guilty of rejecting the helping hands around us because of our own pride. I think it's important for us to remember that when we deny those around us the opportunity to help, we are denying them the opportunity of serving.
-I felt like I was with you every step of the way.  Your descriptions made your essay very relatable and realistic.
So what I gleaned from these responses is that my post was relatable and descriptive.  Though descriptive is an aspect of writing, only one person commented specifically on my writing.  I know there are aspects of this short essay that need polishing and revising yet no one seemed to suggest aspects to work on.  It made me wonder two things: These people are close to me so are they afraid of making suggestions in worries of offending me? I appreciate critical feedback so maybe next time I will specifically ask for suggestions.  Secondly, if their main comments were on my content and not my writing, which is more important: the way a story is told/written or the story itself?


  1. I have some of those same questions. I wasn't sure how to ask for more productive feedback from people who aren't necessarily used to being critical of me. Well, at least not directly to me. :P I found it difficult to find those who would be critical as well as feel comfortable reading my content, so I understand your frustration. As to your second question, I think it's both. When someone is verbally telling me a story, it definitely matters the way it is told--if they don't tell it well, regardless of the storyline, then I lose interest. But if it's a really good story, even if they are awful at telling it, I can at least hang in there. Does that kind of answer your question?

  2. An interesting final question. I've asked it myself many times. I think there's been an unfortunate trend the past couple decades to choose media for its quantity instead of its quality. Maybe great writers (like we hope to be or become) can help reverse that trend. Yeah, honest feedback is tough--most aren't willing to give it for fear of hurting feelings. I guess that just means writers need tough skins. :)

  3. Those are interesting questions. Sometimes I wonder if people just don't know how to offer literary critique or, like you mentioned, are they too worried of offending the writer. In which case I would love to publish it to any reader of mine that I take critique like a champ, please dish it out. Also, depending on the reader, I do think that many people cling to the content instead of the style. I mean take any popular piece of fiction: young adult dystopia for example.

  4. Yeah I agree that it's hard to know where people's criticism is coming from. I think that's the beauty of sharing our posts as a class on this blog- we're all English majors and can give more constructive, knowledgeable feedback, but we're all still pretty nice. :)