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Of Reviews and Knowledge – Part 2

This article is subjective based on my own experience and thinking. It's fine if you think differently.

In the previous part, I proposed this question: what to ask people to get reviews?

Instead of answering this from the beginning, I'm going to propose you another question: how can you reach a point where you don't need to ask for reviews anymore?

Maybe you read this question and you think, that reviews are an important part of the life of any artist, they are necessary, it's not possible to reach a point where you don't need to ask, you'll always have to ask.

Well, let's think a bit about it. Imagine that you are a 60 years old person, you have seen a lot in your life and you have read so many books in all these years, you have done a lot of research, you have even interviewed other people over the years to tell a great story. And then, for some reason, you ask for reviews, and you get reviews from teenagers saying that your story is bad.

Does that mean that the story is bad? What was explained in this case is a person with a lot of knowledge gets opinions from people with less knowledge. In this example, you can see how useless the reviews were.

It's not a matter of feeling that you are superior because you are older or because you did more research. It's a matter of knowing what you are doing. If you are crafting a story with so much dedication and people who don't have a clue of what you are doing to write this story start saying criticism based on things they don't know, this is not useful.

So let's go back to the first question. What to ask people to get reviews? The answer can be as simple as “tell me your impressions” to something specific. When “tell me your impressions”, you must know how to select what reviews are clearly useful and what is not. Maybe you think or feel that your writing misses something or could be improved by something but no matter what, you just can't find the solution. Maybe a review from someone who likes this style can help. But for this to happen, the author must feel that there is something wrong in the text, something hard to detect, and only people with enough experience reading this kind of text can attempt to see it. That's why I said that asking for “tell me your impressions” can be more useful than anything else.

Just to end, I just want to say these thoughts have come with the passing of time, and don't take them too harshly. It's very liberating when you think that everything is subjective and you don't need to like everybody. My attempt with these articles is not to make you think like me. I just want to give you something to think about, and whether you reach the same conclusions as me or not, that's another matter. Just think. If you want reviews, ask the correct questions, for that might give you the correct answers. But remember, “correct” is subjective. So, the reviews you get are also subjective. Always remember this, and you'll know when you ask for reviews, what to ask for reviews, what reviews are useful for you, and how you can let useful reviews to people.

I dearly hope these articles made you think and you have a nice time reading them. Wish you the best with your writing!

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