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Feedback or Backslapping

Most of the poets who contribute to WOL enjoy receiving feedback and/or are just happy to know that someone has read their work and given it a 'like'.

From a pro-active point of view I am always a little surprised that there is very little constructive criticism and suggestions for changing some aspect or other of the poems offered.

I have started putting poems on to WOL that are not finished, choosing to edit them in situ (something I would never have done previously) eventually placing the finished articles on my personal wordpress blog.

So I suppose my question is this. As there is such a deep resource of poets active here on WOL, why is there so little critique and so much backslapping (albeit backslapping is very welcome too).
Tue, 22 Sep 2020 10:12 am
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Hi Graham, it's a great question... When I first joined in 2009, users were much more inclined to give feedback on what worked and what didn't as well as correct typos and suggest improvements.

Sometimes, those were hard to hear but it was a great learning curve for me and encouraged me to take a lot more care in my writing and proof-reading before posting.

I think a combination of wanting to be supportive, nice and perhaps a lack of confidence or fear of irking other members might put people off making those suggestions.

I come here to share my work and to be inspired and delighted (and challenged) by others - not to sit down with a red pen and tell people where they've gone wrong. So, perhaps for me, it's laziness. I also don't want to endlessly troll people who have issues with spelling...

If there is an occasion I want some constructive criticism on a poem I tend to specifically ask for it in a post script and people are usually obliging! 😃
Wed, 23 Sep 2020 10:50 am
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Tom, that is a good point about asking for the feedback.
Wed, 23 Sep 2020 02:06 pm
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I've learnt that you can make the most harmless remark and people (not just the author) will jump to put you straight. This deters the constructive criticism that I think would be very helpful. Perhaps there could be a concerted effort to go ahead with the comments and just take the flak, perhaps over time the culture would evolve to an adult level.
Thu, 1 Oct 2020 09:49 am
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