Giving feedback is HARD.

I mean – I can’t be alone here; I’m definitely somebody who’s taken (probably far too much) influence from ‘internet critics’, who range from blandly neutral to scathingly (often hilariously) snarky, and because blandness doesn’t appeal to me I tend to go for snark instead. As a result, a lot of my reviews – especially of films – tend to be very acerbic in nature. It was something that I’d hoped to keep out of this blog in particular, but I do feel it slowly leaking in through sheer force of habit, and I’m not a fan.

That’s not quite ‘feedback’, though; ‘feedback’ to me implies that I’ve been asked to provide it, rather than just offering up an opinion on my own initiative. I go the opposite way with feedback, generally, in that I’m too afraid of hurting people’s feelings (mostly because of aforementioned habitual acerbic snarkery) and end up giving rather non-critical feedback – or I’ll veer too far the other way, trying to compensate for my too-nice ‘default mode’ of giving feedback and ending up being far too harsh, getting too personal – all the things that I pretty much insist nobody should ever do if they agree to give feedback on my work. Which I felt myself starting to do today, providing feedback on a friend’s work, and thus erased all of my comments and started over, opting to give a more general overview and base it on my reactions rather than trying to give suggestions or instructions. And apparently he found it constructive, so that’s very validating, and I’m grateful that he entrusted me with his work – I definitely know how hard that is. But it’s always a process of second-guessing myself, seeing if I’ve been hypocritical in my approach to providing said feedback when measured against my own needs as a feedback recipient, and wondering if what feedback I’ve given is actually in any way useful, critical or constructive.

And as such, I am once again very grateful to those who have given me feedback on my work, because it’s really damn hard and consumes far too much time. So, if any of you wonderful people are reading this: thank you again!

It’s also something I don’t really apply in making notes on my own work; I go to snark city on that shit, and while I find it rather amusing at the time, I do wonder if it has some kind of negative psychological effect on me when I go back and read it. Or, should I say, if I go back and read it. Because plenty of the time I just make the notes and then leave it. Which is fine in terms of getting my head clear and organising my thoughts while reading back over my stuff, but in terms of having long-term application, like acting as guidelines for things I want to change – I don’t know. I guess I’ll find out once I’m done with these character maps.

Oh, I finished the second (and largest) character map last weekend, so that’s pretty dope. Then I was sick on Monday so I missed half of my lectures for the week and it’s been a pretty fail week academically-speaking overall. I will give myself an off-week, because sick happens, but I didn’t get any more revision done in that time.

What I did get done was reading Beautiful Creatures, and holy gourds is the movie better than the book. Not as much better as, say, Twilight, which was almost unrecognisable, but still definitely better. It told an actual story, for one thing, a story in which there were stakes of some kind and …

And there I go again; the snark has gone from hunted to hunter. And I will review Beautiful Creatures, because it’s actually quite remarkable. It’s one of only two novels that I’ve read in one sitting since the Harry Potter era, the other being Mockingjay, and while I have huge issues with it, it was strangely engrossing, and anything that can hold my attention that strongly deserves to be talked about.

Said review will be my earnest attempt to actually give a critical, non-snarky analysis and review of the text. I’ll see how I get on. I mean I want it to be interesting to read/fun to write as well, so … yeah. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to expand my humour portfolio a bit and find ways of expressing myself other than vitriolic derision played for laughs.

Which – I mean I still find it funny. But I would really like to be less bitter, and you are what you eat. Or something. It’s not who you are inside, but what you do that defines you. So you’re not what – wait, but eating is doing something so …

Fuck it; Beautiful Creatures review coming in probably over the weekend, maybe even Vampire Academy because it’s been sitting in my drafts for ages and I really do want to talk about that book – and until then, I have a week’s worth of study to catch up on. Yay.


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