Monday, November 4, 2013

I Promise...

... we've all had this happen: you upload a post on your blog, then go about the business of writing and waiting, working and waiting, eating and waiting.

Two hours pass and there's no visitors. Not a single comment. Maybe you wait two more hours, check after lunch, dinner, before bedtime, first thing the next morning, but ...


So what do you make of that?

You sent it out on all the wires, right? Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads ....

Receiving no comments is not personal. They aren't ignoring you. They're caught up in life's dramas, just as you are. They may have even read your post, loved it, but (for reasons that probably have nothing to do with you) didn't have time to comment.

Writers care. That's why you're on their Twitter, Gather, Facebook, or Farcebook, as Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar likes to call it. That's why you're on the wedding list, maybe even in the wedding party. It's why you're invited to dinners, baby showers, barn risings, to the neigbour's to see the slide presentation of their trip to Roswell, to your brother's-in-law colonoscopy party, or any number of other events you sometimes wish you weren't invited to.

Nobody thinks they're the only one who can't respond at that precise moment. They're expecting that if you don't see a comment from them, you won't notice because you'll be swamped with comments from all your other blogroll buddies. How many times have you thought that same thing yourself?

There are always reasons for a lack of response. You're new. You have no one on your blogroll. Your timing is bad. Something momentous is happening at work, or on the news. Your blog post was swallowed up by the bigger picture. Or they planned on sending you an email and forgot.

Again, trust me, it's never personal.

For whatever reasons your post didn't receive a comment or at best only received a few, it doesn't matter. It shouldn't stop you from ever posting again. Simply lift yourself up, brush yourself off, and next time someone on your blogroll broadcasts a post, take a moment and check it out. Even a simple and sincere: "That was interesting, thanks" goes a long way.

Besides, it'll say volumes about you, the blogger.

If you ask our Ninja Captain how he does it, receives hundreds of comments every post, I bet he'd say it's because he takes the time to reciprocate. It's all about fellowship. In other words, it's that wonderful old saying, "Do unto others..." my blogging friend.

I promise.

 ~ ~ ~

Now for an all-important message:

The first Wednesday of the month is coming up and that means our official IWSG Day, Insecure Writer's Support Group is upon us. IWSG is a group dedicated to supporting and encouraging all writers of all genre. If you'd like to learn more, if you're tired of crying in your soup alone, click here

If, like me, you live a solitary and sometimes insecure writer's life, you'll meet some terrific like-minded writers. It's definitely made a difference in my life.

~ ~ ~

Joylene Nowell Butler lives in Cluculz Lake, BC with her husband and three cats, Garagee, Marbles, and Shasta. She is the author of mystery thriller Dead Witness and winner of the IPPY awards 2012 for her psychological thriller Broken But Not Dead.  You can learn more about Joylene at her blog.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I often remind myself that we just never know when our words are going to be received by someone right when he or she needs to or is ready to hear them/read them. We just have to hang in there and have faith that our words will land - somehow, somewhere, someday. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's right - it is a give and take.
Sometimes bloggers don't notice comments. Sometimes you won't get a response or a return visit. But most bloggers do respond. And appreciate the effort it took to write a comment. I know I appreciate every comment I get.

J.L. Campbell said...

So true, what you've said here. Sometimes, it takes me a while to get around to everybody who left a comment, but I try to reach out. I know that with NaNo on this month, a lot of writers are hunkered down trying to knock out the 1700+ words each day. Like you said, it's one thing or another that keeps us busy.

Jen said...

Fantastic post! I have to remind myself often that people have lives...just like I do. I don't get around to as many blogs as I'd like because life happens. It's the same for others. Sure it's hard when you post something you love and no one responds. But, as you said, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going! And for heaven's sake! Keep reading others' posts! It's all about give and take.


Unknown said...

Thanks Joylene!
I love to respond to those that comment. When I started I didn't even Blog, so I would just leave a comment to let the author know I was there and interested.

Pat Hatt said...

Yep, have to give to get, can't just sit on your arse and expect comments up the wazoo. haha

Suzanne Furness said...

I always think of it as ebb and flow. Sometimes you write a post and get quite a few hits but no comments - maybe the post didn't interest the visitor, maybe they clicked on it by mistake or maybe they just didn't feel like responding. All fine as far as I'm concerned because on another occasion comments roll in and may lead to other conversations. I do agree though that you have to participate and reach out to others if you want to build good connections and regular blog buddies!

Great post!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@Madeline,so true. It takes time.

@Alex, you are a great example of how comment making works.

@Joy, I think it even gets worse as we get older; at least I'm finding it that way.

@Jen, yes, it's about give and take, for sure.

@David, obviously your parents did right by you. Good form.

@Pat, yet, there are authors out there who expect exactly that. Strange, eh?

@Suzanne, that's been my experience too. I keep remembering what my mum used to say, "good manners go along way."

Andrew Leon said...

What I hate are the people that are always looking for the "magic pill" to bring people to their blogs but who never visit or comment on other blogs.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It is really true. I remember when I started and being discouraged with no comments. I really appreciate the people who visit me often.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I started blogging over eight years ago and I would be thrilled when I got one comment. (Usually from a friend on Deviant Art who followed my blog.)

Jennifer said...

I'm happy to get one comment per post. At least I know someone is visiting and reading.

dolorah said...

This is timely for me Joylene. Not because I didn't receive enough comments on a post, but because I visited a blog that complained about the lack, and had a comment on one of my post that stated the unfairness of my high comment count on my "trashy" blogfest entry while the commenter only got a few on her "cutesy" post. My email comment suggest reciprocity not content was the key to obtaining viewers/comments; and not just waiting for the comments to appear first before going out and "blogging".

I've had my share of posts that garner few comments for whatever reason, but that never stops me from visiting my followers or other blogs I follow that catch my interest. I know I'm not inclined to comment on every post in the blogs. I figure if I'm fickle sometimes, other bloggers must be too.

But if I have a consistently low comment number, I know its my content I need to change.

Have a good week Joylene. Ii liked this post very much.


Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Joylene,
You brought out a good point here especially for the newbies. Wait patiently and do your job, post it and visit other blogs and read and post constructive comments, people will surely drop in. Good one.
keep writing
keep inform
best regards

Julie Flanders said...

Excellent post and so true. I think the give and take is so important and actually it's one of the things I love the most about blogging.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@Andrew, I know what you mean; I've met a few. Amazing that they feel no obligation to comment, but expect many on their posts.

@Susan, yes, me too. It's made all the difference.

@Diane, when I first started in 2008, I made my friends and family read and comment. LOL. They were so glad when my followers starting growing.

@Jennifer, I agree. We have to write with that one reader in mind.

@Donna, thanks for sharing your story. I can relate.

@Phil, right on. Thanks.

@Julie, I agree. Thanks.

L.G. Keltner said...

It can be frustrating when you don't get much response to a post you worked hard on, but it's true that people are busy. As writers, we need to write even when there isn't much of an audience. If we aren't persistent, we'll never get to where we want to be.

Donna McDine said...

Terrific post, one that has certainly made me feel better. Before I took on my current personal assistant job, I was a much better reciprocator of visiting and commenting.

BTW, thanks for visiting and commenting on Susanne's blog of her review of my book, Hockey Agony. Much appreciated!

All the best,

Elizabeth Seckman said...

That was interesting, thanks ;)

Seriously, good post. I just stopped by the blog to rip the picture for the IWSG post tomorrow and you sucked me into your post.

Now, I must go steal some pictures.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Great post, Joylene. It's a good reminder too :)

Anonymous said...

I need to stop by my followers' pages to see if they have blogs so I can contribute comments to them.

Michelle Wallace said...

You are so right Joylene.
It's all about give and take. And I think that quite often, bloggers have good intentions of visiting, but life gets in the way...

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@LG, I agree. The important thing is to keep posting.

@Donna, best of luck on your new book!

@Elizabeth, happy thieving. LOL.

@Lynda, thanks!

@Debra, nice thought!

@Michelle, do you notice how the first Wednesday can often be the worse for hectic interruptions?

TBM said...

Very wise words. I used to panic when no one commented on a post, but now I'm more relaxed. And it is a relationship. You can't expect others to comment if you don't invest the time. I've found the relationships I've built with bloggers to be quite rewarding and supportive.

Intangible Hearts said...

You have lots of comments Michelle!

Toi Thomas said...

I used to feel intimidated about leaving a comment on a page that already had so many, but on a page with none- not so much. Sometimes I leave a comment just because no one else has, but like you said, sometimes I am too busy. I like the idea of give and take, but tend to lean toward give. I don't always expect to get back.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@TBM, I agree. Thanks for commenting.

@Desert, Yeah!

@Toinette, love your attitude.