AN HONEST READER

There is a special bond between a writer and a reader.  It’s a very intimate relationship bound by words and the power of human expression.

In any deeply personal relationship, people are, I would hope, going to feel safe voicing their opinions.  But if I’m going to be completely honest, which is the point of this blog, after Dairy Queen was published, I was surprised when a reader would email to tell me there was a misspelled word on page 103 or a misplaced comma on page 96.  I appreciated it, but I was surprised.

But I was sad when a reader misinterpreted a passage and thought that I was being racist.  And I was startled when a reader sent a long email questioning the inherent value of my work.  “How did I ever get published in the first place?” she asked.  “Did an editor even read your book?” she wondered. I quickly realized that this was not coming from a terribly disappointed reader but a very frustrated writer.  And after a bit of emailing, I had found another author in her genre who had agreed to help her with her manuscript.

OK that brings us to today. I received a comment from a reader who has decided to no longer subscribe to my blog, and she went on to tell me why.  She felt this was important feedback that I needed to hear even if it was unsolicited and “might not be so comfortable.”

“It’s nothing about your blog writing,” she said, “it’s fine and interesting.  It is fun to watch.  But I cannot take daily doses . . just can’t keep up the pace,” she said.

She thinks I should post no more than 3 times a week.

I would be lying if I said that these kind of comments don’t smart. They do.  But I always think there’s something to be learned from everything.  So I decided to ask you, my readers, if you would prefer that I only write 3 x a week — if it feels burdensome and boring everyday.

But before you make your decision, let me explain why I think daily blogging is valuable.  I do not expect that each and every entry is going to be profound nor do I expect you to read each and every entry — although that would be nice.  But blogging everyday encourages me to write about subjects that I would otherwise ignore, for example, the video posted recently of author Lisa Patton talking about her new book, Whistlin’ Dixie in A Nor’easter. I got more comments from that one entry than I had in two or three days (not to mention some new readers for Lisa.)  Had I been blogging only a few times a week, I’m not sure that post would have happened.  The daily ritual of blogging does, I am convinced, lend itself to unexpected treasures.

My intent when I committed to blogging everyday this year was in part selfish, to develop more blogging discipline, and to share with those of you interested in the writing process a little bit of what the day is like.  I try to keep all posts very short (except for this one) because I know everyone is busy with their own lives.

But let me know what you think — now is the time — yes or no — yay or nay!

Posted January 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm · 10 comments · Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. Dan, January 18th, 2010, 8:53 pm

    YES! That is, keep up the daily blogs. I enjoy keeping up with you!
  2. Tim Lowe, January 18th, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Susan, Write a post on your blog when you feel like it. If you are married to the daily thing, then do it! People who don't want to read it every day can read it on their own schedule. I find it strange that someone would tell you it is "too much" when you have clearly stated the intent of the daily blog post. You are too sweet. Your true fans and friends will stick with you no matter what.
  3. Jan, January 18th, 2010, 9:05 pm

    Here's my take on blogs. I read them when I have time, usually over the weekend. I like the fact that you're planning to blog every day, because that discipline is what makes you a writer. So if you're OK with me catching up on the weekend, I'm OK with you blogging every day. What's that girl's problem? Not like anyone is forcing you to read a blog.
  4. karen miller, January 18th, 2010, 9:41 pm

    OK, Susan, is this critical reader serious?? Is someone holding a gun to her head each day saying, "Read Susan Gilmore's Blog, Or else!" Does she not have the same freedom as all Americans do? to read or not to read? The answer to your question is, Absolutely, unabashedly, with enthusiasm and conviction, YES! You should blog as often as your little heart desires (or rather, your BIG heart!)because there are plenty of people who love reading your blog EVERY DAY and this person hopefully has the free will and self-control (if that that it takes) to choose to NOT read every day if it is so "burdensome"!! That reader's comment needs to be posted in the "Gimme a break" column!!
  5. Cathy, January 18th, 2010, 9:45 pm

    You are not responsible for how your readers react to one blog or many--or for their decisions to read your words or not. As a writer, your responsibility is to put out messages that communicate YOUR thoughts, ideas, feelings, knowledge, visions, etcetera. Not every reader is going to be "available" to receive your every message. You can't be expected to know what one or thousands of readers need, want or haven't got time for. Although it isn't always comfortable, I would rather hear/read negative feedback than none at all. I would rather know that I've pushed someone's button(s) than get no acknowledgment at all of having been heard and paid attention to. As a healer, I would rather have a patient feel an unpleasant sensation than have them be numb to feeling (physically or emotionally). As healer, singer, and writer, I knock on the door of change. Maybe no one answers. Maybe the door is slammed in my face. Maybe I am the one who will be most changed by the interaction. My knock is no sin. It is my request, my quest. It is necessary to my survival that I knock--perhaps again and again. Until I receive the answer that gives me what I need.
  6. Kathy R (Bermudaonion), January 19th, 2010, 7:14 am

    I can't believe someone said they were going to unsubscribe because you're posting every day. I personally like it - I won't promise I'll read it every single day, but I like know it's there if I want to read it.
  7. Julie, January 19th, 2010, 8:49 am

    Susan, I love your blog. It energizes me, makes me think and often makes me laugh. Keep going! If your write it, I'll always read it!
  8. Randal Patrick, January 19th, 2010, 9:22 am

    Susan Wait til it gets into the prison library system. I was getting letters every week when my book' White Trash in A Trailer Park' was released. Most of them telling me how they identified with this or that character... Men and Women prisoners. It was fun at first then a bit weird. I always use a P.O. Box of course. Randy
  9. Julie P., January 19th, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Ok -- Take this for what it's worth!!! I post every day and sometimes more than once a day so I might be the wrong person to ask. I look at it this way -- Blog every day if that's what you want to do and you think it helps you as a writer! No one has to read each and every post unless they want to! Just have fun with it!
  10. Mary Addison Hackett, January 20th, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Girlfriend, I am shocked that someone would even suggest you how often you should blog. I love checking in with my fellow artists and writers, and although I may not read them everyday, I look forward to catching up at my own pace. I started my blog back in October of 2005 and have been blogging consistently ever since. I had no rules that I would have to blog everyday, but I check in throughout the week. It's such a great way to connect and discover like-minded souls. It also keeps me honest and working while I watch the paint dry. Blog on, sister!

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Susan Gregg Gilmore