My name is Kali Anderson, I’m a Level 2 Judge from Roanoke, VA. I’m excited to say that I am a new regular contributor to the Feedback Loop! I previously wrote a guest blog but now I am happy to say that I’ll be sharing more thoughts and ideas through The Feedback Loop.
Today I want to talk about something that even I struggle with from time to time. So, without further ado (wink wink)…
When a Head Judge asks their team what are their goals for an upcoming event, there is usually a chorus of judges committing to writing some number of reviews. That’s step one. Saying. You are expressing to your fellow judges that you will write a review of another judge pertaining to their performance at this event.
That’s the easy part. But saying isn’t doing.
I believe that the act of sitting down to write a review is the hardest part of the process for most people. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and cat pictures all waiting for you on your computer when you press the power button. Or, maybe you keep getting text messages, your friends want to go to a movie, there’s a deadline at work looming closer, or you’re just plain “tired.”
Let’s try an experiment, shall we?
Set a timer for 30 minutes. Close every browser tab that isn’t Judge Center. Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. Lock your pet outside your room if they are too distracting (cats especially love to sit on your lap/laptop when you aren’t paying attention to them). Tune out everything from the outside world.
Open your notebook and reread your notes on the event. Reread your notes on the judge you are reviewing. Let your mind travel back to the event and relive the moments in your mind. Relive the interactions that you want to bring up in the review.
Now start writing. Don’t worry about formatting, spelling, or editing. Those all come later. Just let the words flow through your mind, out to your fingers, and onto the screen. Be brutally honest. Use inside jokes. Be overly excited. Put a smiley face somewhere in your text. Use too many adjectives.
When you are done writing it, read it. Don’t change anything yet. Just read the raw, unfiltered, unedited feedback that you are giving. This is the foundation of your review.
Now, read it one more time, and this time fix spelling and grammar errors. Look for better ways to phrase sentences. Go back through your work with an artist’s hands, and sculpt it to your liking.
It’s around this point that your timer should be going off. That wasn’t very long, was it?
By devoting 30 minutes of your time to this one task, you completed your goal, gave some great feedback to a fellow judge, and should be feeling a great sense of accomplishment.
In fact, I wrote this blog post in this same method. It only took me about 30 minutes to create this piece of content to share with you all.
Doing doesn’t seem so hard now, does it?