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Sharing creative work... help me chill


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I wrote something very personal (an essay) and worked pretty hard on it. After a couple of drafts, I felt brave enough to send it to two friends whose opinions I trust. I have heard nothing. I sent it two nights ago. 

 

I'm struggling. I know people are busy but I feel super vulnerable right now. Would it be so hard to write a quick "got it, looking forward to reading it"? When do I follow up and ask if they received it? 

 

Now I'm regretting sharing my work. Ugh. Help talk me down.  :crying:

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Did you send a note along with the essay? I mean, do they know you're seeking feedback?

 

I did. I said that I welcomed their input.

 

I'm not really wanting pages of feedback (I know they are busy). I guess I just would imagine that anyone who specifically chooses to show me something they wrote or painted or sculpted is looking for some kind of feedback (or at least acknowledgment that I saw it).

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Please don't take it personally.  I edit material, and sometimes receive writing samples from friends.  It isn't unusual for it to take me a week or more to get around to even opening documents.  To be honest, sometimes I don't even open the body of the e-mail if the preview reveals that there is an attachment included that will require more than 5 min to handle.

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I hate that vulnerable feeling. It's bad enough when it's something written for a client or a boss and the response is silence, but when it's something personal? Yeah, that's worse. It's been two days? I'd probably follow up with a quick "Just checking to make sure you got the essay. Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks."

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I wrote something very personal (an essay) and worked pretty hard on it. After a couple of drafts, I felt brave enough to send it to two friends whose opinions I trust. I have heard nothing. I sent it two nights ago. 

 

I'm struggling. I know people are busy but I feel super vulnerable right now. Would it be so hard to write a quick "got it, looking forward to reading it"? When do I follow up and ask if they received it? 

 

Now I'm regretting sharing my work. Ugh. Help talk me down.  :crying:

Be patient. I've got two chapters out with a second beta reader right now and it's been almost two weeks. I've got a partial manuscript out and it would be surprising if I heard anything back before 12 weeks. 

Sometimes it takes a while to digest the reading and decide what to do with it. Same thing goes for when you get your feedback. Read it, let it process and don't revise until you've had time to think about it.

 

Also, chocolate helps. 

Edited by Critterfixer
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Thanks everyone. I’m sure you’re right ( haven’t had time yet, I need to be patient). The email that I sent was very breezy because I didn’t want to make a big deal about it or for them to feel pressured. So I probably didn’t really honestly communicate what a big emotional risk this feels like.

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Assuming they're good friends, I think it's fine to say, "I know you probably just got busy, but I'm so nervous about getting feedback and I'd love to hear what you thought if you've had time to read it." I think we all do ourselves better when we just put it out there for our friends. I wouldn't assume anything at all about their lack of response.

 

If you want honest feedback, then I think you should say that. If you really just need to hear that they read it and support you writing, say that. It's really okay.

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1.  They may not even have opened the email yet.  I just realized I hadn't looked at emails in 4 days.  Too busy.  And OOPS there were a few really important ones that had come in.

2.  If your message was super breezy it may not even be very clear to them that you ARE truly expecting some feedback and that you were hoping for something relatively quickly (I consider under a week for this sort of thing pretty darn quick; even teachers where it is part of their job can take weeks to return written material that includes feedback).

3.  Huge hugs.  I know how stressful it can be to put something so personal out there for others to look at.

4.  As Rosie questioned, how big is the gap between what you are hoping they will say and how you would feel if they gave feedback that did not meet that expectation?  Could you handle it?

5.  I would write back, make it plain that you know they are busy but that you are feeling VERY vulnerable right now and having a hard time focusing on other tasks.  Ask specifically if they have time to read through it in the next few days.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Assuming they're good friends, I think it's fine to say, "I know you probably just got busy, but I'm so nervous about getting feedback and I'd love to hear what you thought if you've had time to read it." I think we all do ourselves better when we just put it out there for our friends. I wouldn't assume anything at all about their lack of response.

 

If you want honest feedback, then I think you should say that. If you really just need to hear that they read it and support you writing, say that. It's really okay.

 

I think you're right. They ARE close friends. I should be honest about how I'm feeling.

 

I'm honestly open to any kind of feedback (except maybe scathing criticism). 

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1.  They may not even have opened the email yet.  I just realized I hadn't looked at emails in 4 days.  Too busy.  And OOPS there were a few really important ones that had come in.

2.  If your message was super breezy it may not even be very clear to them that you ARE truly expecting some feedback and that you were hoping for something relatively quickly (I consider under a week for this sort of thing pretty darn quick; even teachers where it is part of their job can take weeks to return written material that includes feedback).

3.  Huge hugs.  I know how stressful it can be to put something so personal out there for others to look at.

4.  As Rosie questioned, how big is the gap between what you are hoping they will say and how you would feel if they gave feedback that did not meet that expectation?  Could you handle it?

5.  I would write back, make it plain that you know they are busy but that you are feeling VERY vulnerable right now and having a hard time focusing on other tasks.  Ask specifically if they have time to read through it in the next few days.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

So to #4 (and Rosie's post), I don't think my concern is for them to say lots of nice things about my writing. As I said, it was a really personal essay so I am more wanting to hear that they "got it" -- as in, "wow that was a ___ experience, I feel ____ about it." (Not exactly that, but you know... like if I wrote about having a miscarriage and or losing my mom... it's not so much that I feel exposed as a writer -- although I do -- but that I feel exposed as a PERSON.) Does this make sense? 

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Did your friends know this was coming?  Did you ask them ahead of time if they were ok with reading it and giving you feedback?

 

I know I would feel pretty awkward if I got an email with a personal story in it and was expected to give feedback. Did you say you wanted feedback on the contents of the writing, or the mechanics of it? I don't write or have anything to do with the writing industry. I am dyslexic and very few people know that about me IRL. I don't hide it, but it doesn't really come up in most situations. I didn't even homeschool my kids in their writing beyond basic worksheet and diagramming.  I outsourced it all because I didn't want to mess them up.

 

It is possible that I would read it and not reply. Planning to mention it in passing the next time I saw the person. 

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Did your friends know this was coming? Did you ask them ahead of time if they were ok with reading it and giving you feedback?

 

I know I would feel pretty awkward if I got an email with a personal story in it and was expected to give feedback. Did you say you wanted feedback on the contents of the writing, or the mechanics of it? I don't write or have anything to do with the writing industry. I am dyslexic and very few people know that about me IRL. I don't hide it, but it doesn't really come up in most situations. I didn't even homeschool my kids in their writing beyond basic worksheet and diagramming. I outsourced it all because I didn't want to mess them up.

 

It is possible that I would read it and not reply. Planning to mention it in passing the next time I saw the person.

They are writer friends who know I’ve been writing more essays recently. This was not out of the blue and they were fine with the request (I did touch base with them as advised).

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They are writer friends who know I’ve been writing more essays recently. This was not out of the blue and they were fine with the request (I did touch base with them as advised).

Oh, good.  Also glad to hear that they have both responded!! Hope you get some great feedback!  

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