Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I appreciate and value feedback.
Always have. I guess that's why I was always a teacher's pet, or an employee/colleague people tend to enjoy working with. I listen to feedback, both good and constructive, and decide what to use for future use. I'm secure about receiving feedback. Never defensive. Don't take things personally. (Don't like it when someone talks to me like I'm 5-years-old, but can handle those situations when they happen) Because I know it's the "work" that's being feedbacked, not my existence as a human being. I know some people have different views on feedback, take it in different ways, and I appreciate that.
I know that for every book, every movie, every television show, and every piece of art produced, there will be a million different ways the work is perceived. Two people can see the same thing/incident, and have two different stories to tell about it. That's a given. And that's the beauty of the human experience. One thing can be perceived in different ways... and all those perceptions can be "right" based on whatever has influenced the perceiver's point of view.
Got that. Cool. Fine. Dandy.
I like and appreciate reviews. Both good and constructive ones. It helps me see what people perceive about a piece of work... and hopefully, how that work is resonating in their life. Hopefully, the reviewer is thinking about how that work may or may not have meaning in their life, and explains in very thorough ways how that connect or disconnect happens for them personally.
And it also makes me wonder about where feedbackers and reviewers come from.
Are they closet writers, singers, artists, performers... and their work has never been published, recorded, displayed, or contracted for performance? Are they happy or unhappy with the state of their finished or unfinished work? How do their particular life experiences with race, class, weight and gender issues shape how they view work by people perceived to be like them or different from them? Are their views shaped by larger, political issues such as writing a positive review about one writer, singer, artist, performer so that the awards selection committee they serve on will reward with an award? Or do they snark at a work because they realize reviews can make or break others' perceptions, and they just don't want a work to succeed?
Just something I'm wondering about lately on the subject of feedback. What do you think? fs