The Career Author Podcast: Episode 126 – Peer-to-Peer Feedback

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

Although we value our fellow authors, giving and receiving feedback with them can be fraught with problems. It can be difficult not to respond emotionally when a peer criticizes our creative work. And yet without feedback, we become stagnant and don’t grow.

J. and Zach discuss why feedback is important as well as the etiquette involved. After an introduction from a recent episode of the Tim Ferriss Podcast with guest Brian Koppleman, the career authors provide guidance on how to ask for feedback, how to give it, and how to receive it.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why Koppleman decided to give Tim Ferriss feedback on his blog
  • Why it’s okay to be upset when you get feedback you don’t like
  • How Olympians respond to feedback in public
  • How to ask for feedback to get what you want
  • How to give honest feedback without being cruel
  • How to gracefully receive feedback
  • When to discard feedback
  • When to ask for it again

Also in this episode, J. shares a relevant blog post from Seth Godin.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: How do you give and/or receive feedback?

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“I tweaked a few things” – https://seths.blog/2020/04/i-tweaked-a-few-things/

Brian Koppelman on Making Art, Francis Ford Coppola, Building Momentum, and More (#424) – https://tim.blog/2020/04/23/brian-koppelman/

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5 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 126 – Peer-to-Peer Feedback

  • Morning guys.
    Interesting way today J. Totally agree. I would never give someone work for feedback unless it is nearly finished; taking it to extremes, here’s my new Gothic Romance “It was a dark and stormy night…” What do you think?
    Some really good advice today. Worth summarising on a data sheet.
    My experience. A writer asked me to comment for free on their “novel.” It was a story set in a fascinating recent turbulent historical period; but it wasn’t a story; it was a random collection of mostly, but not always, sequential events. I asked them whose story it was, and I suggested a couple of avenues they might consider to pull it together to which their reply to me was, “but it’s true.” That was the end of my editing career; although I would help out friends if they thought I was able.
    It reminded me of being a teacher writing school reports and attending parents evenings. An old and bold colleague told me at the beginning of my career; “Cut the crap, give them numbers and let them make up their own minds.” So I filled my reports with data, and It worked; it saved me from drawn out conversations about “what I meant by…”.
    Feedback is about the work not the writer; it’s not personal.
    Great show.

  • How I give and receive feedback has changed over the years. When I first started receiving negative feedback, I took it hard. One time I got home from my critique group and cried, saying I’d never write again. Then I pulled up my big-girl pants and went back to writing. Now, the blow doesn’t sting as bad or for very long before I get back to it.

    My critique group, which is me, two published writers, and one editor, has agreed that we will focus on the big stuff, developmental editing-type issues. Copy and line editing can always be fixed later and is really a waste of our time. If I notice something like a repeated word or something like that (one of my partners often overuses gerunds), I’ll simply use the highlighter function in Google Docs to point it out. We make our comments and suggestions in Google Docs and then meet every week in person (or Zoom now). If I find a substantial problem with someone’s work, I’ll wait until we meet face-to-fact to explain what I found. I think it eases the blow too, because then we can brainstorm together on how to fix it.

    As for positive vs. negative feedback…I don’t believe in only giving negative feedback. While I agree that ‘ataboy’ isn’t helpful, I do think it’s helpful to point out what the writer is doing right. I think it’s just as important to know your strengths as your weaknesses. If I know what my strengths are, I can continue to do that and even make it better, rather than only focusing on what I’m doing wrong. Besides, only focusing on what is wrong is depressing.

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