Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on self-publishing my first book in print. I worked on bits and pieces of the book over the last few years, but put off the final touches because I couldn’t find the time. Now that we’re coming up on the end of the year, I got a bolt of energy that pushed me through completion of the workbook. I plan to have it up on Amazon by the end of this month. Getting constructive feedback on the book has been incredibly helpful in the process of making it. Here’s why:
Benefits of Constructive Criticism
It Takes Your Head Out of the Clouds
Creatives can get into a trap where we’re creating for ourselves. We want to be unconventional and we believe the masses will someday catch up to our genius. Whether or not you should create for yourself or create with other people in mind is hotly debated.
My take on it is, there’s a time to focus on creativity and then there’s a time to focus on getting across your message clearly. If you want to sell something, being clear is going to help you. For example, the first draft of my book’s back cover had a description I wrote in somewhat long-winded language. I got my friend’s take on it. He thought it was confusing. He had a point, and I went back to the drawing board to make it better.
When you create in a bubble because you fear constructive feedback or rejection, you’re missing out on an opportunity. I’ve skipped getting feedback before for these reasons, but I’m seeing a marked improvement in my work because of the critiques.
Throughout the process of writing and getting feedback on the product, I’ve found myself getting more and more motivated to push forward with new ideas and projects. Usually, people give feedback in a sandwich. They tell you something they like, followed by something that could improve, followed again by something that they like.
The encouragement I get for the things that are working makes me feel good about the hours I’m putting in. Improvements to the book mean I’m making progress in my mission of offering quality products and information to my customers. Constructive feedback given in a positive way is valuable. Don’t let feedback hurt your ego.
It Gives You Outside Perspective
Lastly, I’ve learned feedback is important when teaching people how to do something. My budget workbook is a how-to guide. I’ve been working in the personal finance space for almost five years. I know the ins and outs of budgeting, credit card terms, savings accounts, and more.
These are things I want to make sure I’m explaining in my book clearly to people who aren’t familiar with the topics. The next step for me is sending out copies to people to get their feedback on how easy it is to work through the book. I’m hoping to get their outside perspective on the flow and experience of reading. Outside perspective is golden. You can’t create a product that’s useful in a vacuum without asking their opinion.
With all of this said, there is a difference between quality feedback and unnecessary feedback. There are trolls online who pick at people for no reason, and people who offer feedback that’s not useful. Always consider the source when deciding whether or not to consider feedback.
Republished by permission. Original here.
Photos from Due