There may be people who never feel the need for feedback. Perhaps even Trappist monks occasionally feel let down when they spend the day in prayer and no-one says at the end “Well done.” If you cook a meal, and I don’t mean just heat up a readymade, you’re encouraged to repeat the performance if it’s greeted with appreciation. Even as the daily cook in our household of two, I know I like to hear some kind of response, even if it’s just the question, “Is there any more?”
Yesterday, 26th April, I received the consultant’s report after a CT colonoscopy on March 31st. During the wait, I’d felt reasonably confident the result would be clear. Yet it is all too easy to fill silences with imaginary bad news. So I was relieved to learn that the scan showed up nothing untoward. Better than this was the consultant’s style. His letter read like a kindly schoolteacher’s summing up of the term’s work: “the bowel was well prepared” … “this is a reassuring investigation”. It made me feel like a praised pupil and led me to think about feedback, how useful it can be, not just for morale but for guidance.
This morning I played around with something that turned up in the (possibly) haphazard way that happens when we log onto our emails. Google suggested I create a form. So I’ve come up with a feedback form for “White Lies”. Whether this will be useful or not remains to be seen. I’ve had good reviews posted on the novel’s Amazon page but many readers don’t bother. Others are given the book or borrow it, so they are not ‘verified purchasers’ and therefore not entitled to post a review.
The form may be a way of capturing the response of more readers. Or I might ditch that form and compose another one for all my novels. Here’s the link: https://goo.gl/forms/IJoDTVzRVZJdNKwm1. If anyone has a view on the questions I’ve chosen to put on the form, I’d appreciated feedback.
At the same time I became involved in a LinkedIn book group discussion. Someone asked how he could get reviews for the short story he’d just published on Amazon. His request was not worded well. He wrote, “We’re there any funny parts.” I found myself eager to point out how the apostrophe altered his intended meaning. Later, I worried that I’d been harsh on a newcomer. I hope he can accept what I consider was constructive feedback.