Thinking about feedback….
I am getting lots of drafts and so busy working my way through things. I don’t read fast so it takes time because I don’t skim read; I need to read each word in order to really understand and analyze what is being said, because I want my comments to be meaningful and helpful.
But feedback is not sending a draft for my approval. The approval has to come from you – you making something (writing something) you feel ‘proud’ of or at lease feel you’ve tried your best at. Its about being honest with yourself on one hand and not leaving bits untouched because you don’t want to shake your own story by fixing them at this point. It is also about being diligent finding out the procedure for writing in this way, noticing the books you have read how things lay out and how they are presenting such as how people have used citations and then thinking about why it is done in that way and what it says about what you are trying to make.
Feedback you ask for from me is to get another eye looking at the work you are doing. If you send something and feel you cannot move forward before I get back to you
1) Then feedback in that form does not seem the best form for the purpose you have. I would say you need to book a quick Skype call in order to discuss the specific points you feel you need input into before you can go on.
2) Or your use of my feedback is not really ‘feedback’ it is ‘passing the buck’ asking me to edit your work for you!!! So you can use me to decide what should be in or out of your final piece _ I can’t do this for you!! You know what you want to create.
So please feel free to contact me in different forms according to what you need from your feedback. If it’s a quick block you need to talk out – email or skype (set up a time via email or call if you see me on-line). Then also have specific questions – ask what you want to know. Be direct about what you want me to look at that is because I am another eye so you can direct where I look.
I think it is really important in the performing arts to be clear and to have thought about the role of feedback. A few years ago I realised that when I choreographed something I would ask for feedback from a dance agency for instance. Then I realised I would get quite down when it wasn’t ‘can we book this piece’!!! what they would say was things to ‘improve’ the choreography or general comments. But that response is not feedback. I realised what I wanted was to bring my work to their attention NOT feedback and that by asking fro feedback I was putting my work in the light of something that was unfinished or something I was unsure about. That made me think that you have to be really careful, direct and really want to hear the response when engaging with feedback. It is not there to reassure you, you are o.k.!!
What do you think?