I thrive on feedback. I've always known that (and I think it's inherent for writers), but I realized today how true it is.
Early on in the writing of my novel, I fed chapters to my parents and two friends. The most objective, unbiased views they weren't, but the praise and comments they returned to me gave me the boost needed to keep at it.
Somewhere around the middle of the manuscript I slacked off, though, and wouldn't let anyone see my progress. The culmination of my work and ideas came to be too encompassing, too detailed and in need of, I knew, eventual editing. Realizing I wanted no one to see it until it was as close to "perfect" as possible, I opted to keep the rest of the book to myself.
And then this week, out of nowhere, the opportunity for a sort of beta reader (proofreader) presented itself. I'm not sure how detailed the feedback will be, but so far I've gotten great comments. The most exciting? The reader has asked questions of me, of the story; questions that prove she's getting from the plot exactly what I'd hoped the audience would take away - even early on. It fills me with glee! Satisfied and giddy glee! And desire to keep working with my edits, to push forward with my goal.
It's just reassuring, you know? Like, it's proof that I'm still doing the right thing. No matter how much I question my talent, question my potential, this little bit of feedback tells me I'm on the right track.
Feedback, I love you.