Recently I’ve seen a number of posts on the subject of giving feedback to writers / artists / creators, and I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own.
First a confession: For the longest time, I was really, really bad about leaving feedback. Not because I didn’t enjoy the stories (I did) or because I didn’t think the writers deserved some appreciation (they do!), but purely because as a reader, I really had no insight on what it’s like on the other side of the “Comment” button.
Now that I have started sending my own writing babes into the world, I have a very different perspective (and am now trying my best to leave feedback on everything I enjoyed). So I thought I’d make a little reference guide on “What I (the Reader) Believed Writers Think About Feedback” vs. “What I (the Writer) Now Know They Really Think”. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself somewhere in there, too…
Reader comments: I loved it 🙂
The Reader believed: Eh. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.
But the Writer knows: I am so happy to hear that, thank you for taking the time to tell me!
Reader comments: This was so funny / sad / hot!
The Reader believed: I know. That was the point. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.
But the Writer knows: I made you have a feeling! I made a thing and it touched you! YesYesYes! Thank you for taking the time to tell me that!
Reader leaves kudos / comment on a story that is older than two weeks
The Reader believed: Geez, that one’s ancient. Why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.
But the Writer knows: Someone is still reading and enjoying that story! That is so awesome! Thank you for taking the time to tell me that!
Reader leaves kudos on every story in the series / comments on every chapter in the story
The Reader believed: That’s a bit creepy. Please don’t be a stalker.
But the Writer knows: They read one thing and liked it so much they read the others, too, and they liked all of them! Thank you, lovely person, for making my day!
Reader writes long, burbling comment full of exclamation marks!!! and emoticons :-))))) because THEY LOVE IT SO MUCH
The Reader believed: What are you, three? If you expect me to take you seriously, try talking like an adult, please. Also why are you bothering me? I have important writer things to do.
But the Writer knows: YOU BEAUTIFUL TREASURE OF A PERSON I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO TAKE YOU HOME AND FEED YOU CHOCOLATE FOREVER
(Okay, so I haven’t actually had that last one happen to me, but I imagine that is what my reaction would be. Except I probably wouldn’t be quite so restrained.)
Anyone else have that experience? Feel free to add your own 🙂
This is absolutely dead-on accurate. No comments mean you probably thought it was OK but not worth the effort to type something about the story. Kudos are wonderful, don’t get me wrong! But comments? There is nothing like hearing something you wrote touched someone enough that they felt compelled to write something back to you. Even if it’s “I really liked this.” or “This was cute.”
if i see your name a lot i might write for you, writers are so needy, we’ll take anything that isn’t go die in a fire as a massive compliment, and go die in a fire as a minor compliment