the smaller the draft, the more thorough the feedback
1 min read

the smaller the draft, the more thorough the feedback

Software engineers, myself included, exhibit funny behavior when leaving feedback on code. Given a ten line code change, we leave ten comments. But given a thousand line change, we leave a single LGTM—looks good to me.

r/ProgrammerHumor - REVIEWS 10 LINES OF CODE: FINDS 10 ISSUES. REVIEWS 500 LINES OF CODE: "LOOKS GOOD TO ME" made with mematic

When I interned at Flexport, I was taught quick to break my changes into small chunks, so reviewers can leave useful feedback.

But I forget this when I'm writing words instead of code.

This week, I gave my writing workshop a 2000 word draft, while my friend gave our workshop a 200 word draft. His shorter draft got twice the comments mine did! And the comments were able to be far more grounded in the text.

To get better feedback, I want to try the following:

  • Send passages to friends over text periodically
  • Test ideas and words with friends out loud, like a standup comic would

I don't have full time peer reviewers for my writing, but I'm going to get creative.