Feedback, depending on how it is used, can either be a great asset or a great detriment to a musician. That squealing, high-pitched sound is cool if you’re Eddie Van Halen; not so much if you’re, say, Paul Simon. Whether it fits or not, though, the concept of feedback is always the same: A loop is created, which causes sound to be amplified over and over and over again, creating either a screech or a deep, booming roar, depending on the frequency.
In the “normal” world, feedback can also be a positive or a negative. If it is offered and accepted in the correct manner, it can greatly improve a situation. If it is resoundingly negative and harsh, or if the person receiving it does not accept it, it can be toxic. In either instance, though, it is required for a reaction.
I am a person who thrives on feedback. Does that mean I always enjoy the feedback I receive? Absolutely not. I’ve gotten downright mad about some of the feedback I’ve received. To me, though, that is better than being left to wonder. Positive feedback gives me tremendous confidence. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I feed off of it. The only trap I fall into regarding feedback is that too many times I let it define my worth.
What do I mean by that? Well, ironically, much of what I do is feedback-reliant. Take writing this blog, for instance. Yesterday, I wrote a post about light therapy, and near the end I asked for comments on the effectiveness of this. As of the time of this writing, I have received zero feedback. Sometimes I read other people’s blogs and compare the number of people liking their posts to the number who like mine. I want that continuous loop. Sometimes I want it too much.
Believe it or not, I did not write all that to attempt to manipulate you into commenting on or liking my posts. I wrote all that because I have noticed that as much as I crave that feedback, I am horrible about giving it myself. I’ve watched other successful bloggers form great networks and lasting friendships through interaction. I haven’t really done much of that. I have a few regular readers and “likers,” but there’s no one really promoting my stuff, and I don’t really promote anyone else’s sites either.
So feedback, I’ve come to learn, is indeed a continuous loop, and as frustrated as I may have been at different times over the lack of it I have received, I have also realized that many times I am the one not completing the loop. I’m the one not offering a pat on the back. I’m the one not following your blog when you follow mine. I’m the one ignoring your questions while asking you to answer mine. I need to do a better job of connecting the loop.
Let the feedback begin then.