Feedback Anxiety

I sent the complete draft of my latest book to my editorial board. My editorial board is composed of friends and family who have an interest in my writing. I depend on them to give me feedback, including pointing out typos, awkward sentences, and factual errors.  I am a memoirist, so it’s important to get the facts straight.  For the most part, they are fans of my writing and they eagerly devour what I offer them.  I can count on their critique to be enrobed in praise.  It’s the embodiment of Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar.

One member of the board is less interested in sugar.  Kurt R. A. Giambastiani is interested in writing. He’s a novelist. The Fallen Cloud saga is compelling and fun alternate history. I respect his storytelling, but I am a bit awed by his prose.  Clear, compelling, and full of powerful images and ideas. He’s got serious game. He agreed to read my writing and offer feedback on the condition that he will not praise that which is not praiseworthy and he will point out flaws as he sees them.  It’s a daunting proposition, but I have benefited from his editorial insights. He’s made me a better writer.

The book is out there in the email boxes of my friends, family, and Kurt waiting to be read and reviewed.  I sit and wait. Each day I check my inbox to see if anyone has words of encouragement or advice.  Each day that goes by leads to my increasing anxiety.  Waiting hopefully for the “likes” to roll in after making a clever post on Facebook is hard enough, but waiting for my editorial friends to respond to my latest 150 page recounting of my life is emotionally arduous. Have they read it? Do they like it? Are they not responding because it’s really that bad? How long does it take to read 150 pages?

The waiting is bad enough, but the first hint of feedback from Kurt is brutal. “I have lots of notes,” he said. Ugh. I hope my Mom likes it.

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