Okay, I admire the chutzpah (for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a Yiddish word for ‘ballsiness’ or ‘cheekiness’).

Just as it’s probably stretching the bounds of a relationship to ask a doctor friend to ‘just write a prescription’ or a lawyer friend to ‘just give some legal advice,’ it’s also putting me in an awkward spot to ask me to ‘just read and give feedback’ (never mind that I don’t have the time.)

Let me explain why. I don’t ‘just read’ anything. I’m a professional mentor and author. When I read with a view to giving feedback, I need to understand why the writer has written this particular piece, who it’s for (the intended audience) and what it’s for (a competition, a newsletter, a submission to a publisher?) Any feedback without this context is a little meaningless and unhelpful, don’t you think?

If I had the time to take on this sort of reading, I’d charge for it. But I don’t. Not unless I’m mentoring you. And to be mentored by me, you have to come on a writing retreat first.

My suggestion is to work out what kind of feedback you’re after. If it’s a structural edit, a professional manuscript assessor is the way to go (google them in your area). If it needs a copy or line edit, a professional editor is the way to go (google them in your area). You will have to pay someone to do this. Because it’s work, even if writing it was just fun for you.

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