I did something brave recently.
Asking for feedback is something I don’t normally do. Half of it is due to me being confident enough of my writings, half of me is not prepared to hear any negativity about it.
I am always border lining on confidence and doubt when it comes to my writing. After having the reading aloud exercise during the writing workshop I attended, I started getting more brave to hear feedback – to be honest I have no problem with the good, it’s the not-so-good ones that I have a problem digesting. I’d like to believe I’m getting there, though.
All this while, my writing strength is actually stronger in Malay language compared to English language. With that I interned in a Malay newspaper where I had to write news articles everyday. Alhamdulillah, I have always been good in writing in my native language even if I don’t speak it as proper as it should be. But as a writer I’d like to always learn and develop my language skills and writing style.
I really admire Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, whose careers as professional storytellers allowed them to touch the hearts and reach out to so many through their “30 Days 30 Mosques” project in Ramadhan few years ago (the website, 30mosques.com, is no longer available). The way they wrote the stories about the different Muslims all over the state made me feel touched, made me think, made me laugh. My favourite story was “Nor’s Letters”, an inspiring and touching real-life love story of David and Nor. I also love Yasmin Mogahed, her writings are amazing and truly connects to the heart. The first article I read was “Why Do People Have to Leave Each Other?” and it continues to be my one of my favourite articles ever. And then of course, J. K. Rowling; Harry Potter practically accompanied my secondary school life. When I grow up I want to be like them; write and share inspiring stories.
Back to the feedback, since it was my first time participating in the challenge it was an accomplishment to actually even finish it given the weekly deadline. Afterwards I asked my sister and close colleague to read it (I know, even though I only asked two people, that is something coming from me) and…be a critic. Some of the points they shared were:
- Story is very narrative and descriptive
- The flow and content is good
- The part on the prayer could be more powerful if it was a dialogue
- Needs to be less descriptive and more engaging, more touching
- Lacks emotional aspect
Fuhh. That was really something huh? I must thank them for being honest with me. I guess if I were to have a talent, for now, it would be the ability to bounce off feedback immediately (instead of like going round in circles and come back in a week or so…)
Now I need to go acknowledge my bravery, take it all in and go write some more.
P.S: Any feedback gladly welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Inspired by Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect?