Herbert Lui writes about his experience getting writing feedback from editors:

My editors were giving me comments and suggestions on all of these posts, but I noticed a tension: as I accepted these changes and resolved comments, they would effectively disappear into a basement-equivalent dropdown menu, never to see the light of day again. I would lose the majority of the feedback that I received.

But it’s difficult to learn from your mistakes if you don’t reflect on them. He then starts logging the feedbacks he receives:

So the next time I took in an editor’s feedback, I decided to set up a new, separate, doc. This would be my editing log. … It’s great to have a record of these changes, and provides a starting point for me to take in my insights and patterns. I’ve started applying the logging idea to other parts of my life.

I don’t have a “writing coach” myself, but I’ve been getting writing advice from ChatGPT and I have experienced the same issue. Although ChatGPT is a hit and miss most of the time, it sometimes gives useful advice on my writing, I apply them, but I usually don’t learn anything. I would improve on writing if I logged the advice I get from ChatGPT (or others) and reflected on them.

Herbert Lui closes with a very important insight on his “logging” experience:

I like that it slows me down. That’s the whole point. I can’t just click-click-click and accept changes quickly; I need to slowly and manually copy and paste edits, and my brain can respond to spotting the differences in the before and after, which I can then write down into a note.


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