On Giving & Receiving Notes
How do you know who's feedback on your work to trust?
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PUTTING THE NEWS IN THE NEWSLETTER
✨You guys!! I’m so excited. This newsletter is officially a Substack Featured Publication. If you’re new here from Substack’s recommendation, welcome. We have a kick-ass, engaged community of creators. I hope you have fun, learn a thing or two, and enjoy reading my writing. I’d love to meet you, so respond to this email to introduce yourself if you feel so inclined!
✨My post “Embracing The Down Cycle” was also featured in Fortune Magazine and on Substack Reads last week. I feel lucky and honored (and a little intimidated?) to see this space growing so much.
✨When I first got staffed on The Morning Show, I listened to’s podcast on my commute almost every day, so it feels very special to now be a guest on the show! We chat about how we present ourselves in our work, outlining, group writing, how-to books, and why we like the process.
✨Join my upcoming TV Pilot Lab at Script Anatomy! Tuesday nights from March 21 to May 16, 6:00-10:00pm PST on Zoom. You’ll take an idea and turn it into a pilot in only 6 sessions! (We have 3 weeks off for writing). If you need deadlines, help with structure, or just the support and push to get over the finish line, this is the class for you. It moves at a professional pace and operates like a writer’s room, with each student presenting their story, and us pitching on each other’s ideas. Drama & dramedy writers only. $855
✨The Greece retreat is sold out! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waiting list, and please specify if you want a certain type of room, or if you are open to any.
A FEW RECOMMENDATIONS:
Daily journaling. It felt so impossible before I did it. I’m supposed to wake up every day and squeeze journaling into my already busy morning routine? Yet for the past month, I’ve journaled 3 pages (almost) every morning as part of The Artist’s Way, which is the most consistent journaling practice I’ve perhaps ever had. I’m sorry to say it, but daily journaling is a game-changer. It’s lowered my anxiety, connects me to the root cause of my feelings, and brings me closer to myself. On days when I don’t journal, I’m noticeably more irritable. The best part about it? It’s free self-care. You don’t need to pay for a meditation class or a massage. You simply need to bring your pen to paper every day for 20-30 minutes. If you can’t do it in the morning, that’s fine. Do it at lunch, or before bed. For me, committing to this practice has been a nurturing act of self-love that has genuinely improved my life. (I’d say it took two weeks for me to notice a difference, and now, I REALLY notice it).
The Oral History of Party Down, to honor the new season of Party Down coming to Starz and Hulu this Friday, treat yourself to this conversation between Adam Scott, Ken Marino, and Jane Lynch.
And lastly, I recommend Ayesha Siddiqi’s advice to a 30-year-old who spent years in a deep depression and now is suffering from regret over “wasting time”:
Time to dig into this week’s topic, which is focused on the craft and process of writing:
WHO’S OPINION ON MY WORK SHOULD I TRUST?
It is our job as writers to practice discernment when seeking outside opinions on our work, so our projects don’t end up like this pizza:
Asking for notes and feedback is a crucial part of the process, and it will improve your work if you can learn what feedback to accept, and when to push back.
There are some tried and tested rules: If multiple people are giving you the same note, it’s a story problem that you should address.
But often, lots of people give you lots of different notes, causing you to Frankenstein your story into something messier than it was when you sent it out for notes. Aka, the pizza script. In order to avoid that you must deeply know what you want to say with your work. You must constantly ask the question what is the story ultimately about at its core? Does this note get me closer or further from it?
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