Arrows and Honey: How to give, ask for, and analyse feedback on creative projects

Arrows and Honey: How to give, ask for, and analyse feedback on creative projects



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Owner of MeredithsWriting

Message Meredith
MeredithsWriting made this item with help from
Rebecca Stewart, Melbourne, VIC

We all know that getting feedback is an essential part of the creative process but receiving feedback can feel like a fraught experience for the creative who has just shown their new work to someone.

“If you have to shoot an arrow of truth, first dip its point in honey.” – Paulo Coelho

'Arrows and honey: how to give, ask for, and analyse feedback on creative projects' looks at what constitutes useful and constructive feedback, analyses the major feedback giving sins, and lays out some provocations to help you shift your thinking around the experience of giving and receiving feedback so that it becomes more positive.

Most of us have received feedback that has made us cringe and feel disheartened. The popular take on this reaction is that most of us have egos that don’t want to hear anything but praise for our creative work. And maybe there is some truth in that.

But over the years, especially in my work as an arts administrator, performer, and creative mentor, I witnessed creatives giving and receiving feedback to each other. And I have grown to realise that many of us are actually quite bad at giving feedback, that the cringe-inducing reactions were not always down to the vanity of the creator but rather the brutality of the feedback-giver.

Giving feedback is a privilege and responsibility. There is a skill to it, to achieving a balancing act whereby honesty about a work-in-progress’ flaws and strengths can be expressed so constructively that the creator feels inspired and reassured by that same honesty.

There is even something of a skill for asking for and analysing feedback. Creatives can make life a lot easier for themselves if they are mindful and specific as to how they frame a request for feedback, and then filter out the useful feedback from the inappropriate.

In my mentoring work I have talked with people who were left discouraged or confused by non-constructive feedback. This has inspired me to write a resource – a collection of notes – to help people with the feedback-giving process.

Reader feedback:
"Are you a person who is asked to, or expected to give feedback to others in your role?

Then have I got a fabulous book for you to add to your library, and wisdom to integrate into what you do ...

“Arrows and Honey: How to give, ask for and analyse feedback on creative projects” by Meredith Lewis .

It’s a short book that packs an almighty punch in provocative thought, wrapped in humanness with doses of practical kindness. You won’t think about feedback the same, ever again.

This. Is. A. Must. Read.

In fact get copies for everyone in your team. Meredith’s insight and wisdom could be a game changer in how you create and interact with each other.

Meredith has once again influenced my thinking, and I have some personal changes to make in how I give and seek feedback. #PositiveImpact #Gratitude


It’s also excellent reading for people working on something creative and seeking feedback." - Helen Palmer

"Highly recommend this resource that helps you consider how you give and receive feedback. Meredith has created lots of resources you can buy and download to put into immediate use. Her uniqueness comes from a creative and empathetic approach that fosters respect & understanding." - Helen Blunden

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