Thank you Patrick for this piece.
I’ve written a lot of different types of work; hundreds of investigative reports; award winning screenplays; and written a book or two. I’ve taken dozens of writing classes and been a member of endless writing groups, none of which have been satisfactory so far. The reason for leaving the groups was because of criticism — most people were too scared to offer solid notes.
I don’t need to know that my writing is lovely or good or intriguing. I need to know where it slowed, where it faltered, how to make it better. Which darlings need to be killed off and so on.
No story, whether it involves fiction, a list or how to make the best pizza, can ever be truly great when written by a person who has not received some kind of honest feedback. Sure, it’s good to say something nice about a piece but by golly, if a person asks for feedback, the assumption is they’re asking about how to make it better, not what did was good about it so their ego is stroked.
Sure, it would only be my opinion, but I have years of experience to back up that opinion. And, I’m always all about the story.
So again, thank you for writing this.