Do you know what’s worse than a long-time lockdown? A constipated editor.

Bad editors fart filth all over your precious Work. They’re notorious for stopping fragile creative exploration – and creative progress – quickly and brutally. Worse?

They often smile as they inflict murder and mischief.

So, what do we do about these terrible turd birds?

This summer let’s cut three questions from our story lines.

Delete this feedback question #1: “So, what do you think?”

You’re asking for approval and/or praise. You’ll likely get neither. Or lies mingled with pity. All 8 billion of us are cursed with a negativity bias. Even the nicest people feel more confident pointing out what they didn’t like than what they loved. Set yourself, and your feedback fairy, up for love.

Delete this feedback question #2: “What didn’t you like? I sure don’t like how I….”

This question begs for bloodshed. You’re asking the person to respond from a negative, nasty and critical space. Plus, by sharing what you feel vulnerable about, you’re inviting them to fart on that piece of your Work too. If you ask this question, I hope you’re wearing a helmet! Don’t do it.

Delete this feedback question #3: “Where can I improve?”

Full stop, Story Sister and Beacon Brother: You’re giving away your power. Most people want to clone themselves, on page or stage, so they’ll always “improve you” and your Work by making you sound and act just like them. Are you a clone or a clown? I didn’t think so. You’re a freaking star.

As much fun as it is to point out problems, guess what? I have solutions to offer up against feedback fairy attacks.

Remember, the whole purpose of asking for and receiving feedback is for the purpose of transformation and reclamation. You want your Work stronger, braver and more “you, you, you” creation.

Ask your editor and/or feedback crew the following questions as they review your Work:

What’s hot? What really stood out? What parts of the piece did you really, really love

See how you’re looking for love here in all the right places? You’ve set an editorial lens and frame that’s positive and seeking (and not destroying) all the goodness and strength in your Work.

What’s missing? What didn’t you understand? 

Clarity is power on page and stage. By getting clear on what’s not clear, you’ve increased your story superpowers by 300%. (I madethat percentage up.) You’d be amazed at what readers and listeners don’t understand. Help them.

How does this piece make you feel on a physical, emotional and intellectual level?

Avoid leading with this question since it’s deep and contemplative inquiry. A non-response means your feedback person is a robot! Emotion is the potion when we’re looking to influence and inspire.

Is there one idea, paragraph or sentence that stands out loud and proud?

Make this question your own. (“Loud and proud” is weird.) Consider what you want your audience to feel, think and do. For example, if you want to inspire your audience, ask which part of the Work was most inspiring.

What’s the best thing about this piece in your opinion?

That’s right, sweet storyteller. In the end, as in life, other people’s opinions do NOT matter as much as your own. Whose show is it? That’s right. You say or scream: This is my show.

Yay to making our Work better – and acting like a super champ and creative pro – by asking for and receiving feedback.

But no more feedback from people’s butts, okay? Never, ever, ever sacrifice the heart of your Work because someone else “knows better.” They don’t.

Sort through the fairy feedback dust, sprinkle the best and flush the rest.

Sending you everything kind and lovable, sweet storyteller. We’re almost there,

♥ Shannon