Mister Link®

Feedback Loop

I mentioned in a previous blog that I'm one of that group who often finds that inspiration for music and lyrics often seems to come unbidden and write itself, sometimes whole-cloth, out of seeming thin air.  It's that way for fiction and poetry with me too; the stories seem to write themselves.  But there is an important ingredient to creativity that I too often fail to think about or keep conscious: the role that feedback plays in the developmental and refining process of each work.

Why is it that songwriters often work best with collaborators, or when they hone their product in front of a small audience (or sometimes large audience)?  Why do writers and poets join writing groups with fellow authors? I think that most of us know the answer and that is that it easier to self-criticize and to take criticism when it comes in a small and otherwise supportive atmosphere.  Feedback also keeps the creative process flowing, helps resolve indecision, and brings new viewpoints into focus (even if we don't agree with them - it makes us think in new patterns). 

Sometimes the feedback can come from family, friends, lovers, or fans.  Sometimes it's constructive just to play a song for someone - even without soliciting a direct response.  When you see how someone reacts, it makes you think about the presentation, the patterns, and the sounds that you're crafting.  For fans, that gives them a powerful supportive role in the creative process that they may not be aware of.  Even the artist may not be aware of that feedback loop. Whether you love an idea, or you don't especially like something about it, your feedback can send an idea in new directions and create new possibilities for an artist.

Thomas

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