A Piece of Gold” — Great to be Appreciated!

special moments - piece of gold

WOW ! This is piece of Gold, every blog­ger who wants to suc­ceed in their endeav­or of becom­ing a suc­cess­ful blog­ger should read this.” ~ Nell

This was a com­ment in “Spread­ing the word: who is shar­ing your work?” I did not solic­it this com­ment, it is though the type of response that tells you that you are doing some­thing right. In truth I love feed­back and always wish I could get more of it. This com­ment is a piece of gold.

 

Piece of Gold? 

Some of the oth­er com­ments I have received over time con­tin­ue in a sim­i­lar fashion:

  • I loved this post. I had no idea of any of the info in this article! …”
  • Fan­tas­tic arti­cle Peter. It should be required reading…”
  • Your arti­cle made me stop and think…  After read­ing your arti­cle I think I can do better.”
  • You just helped me with something…”
  • Great arti­cle and a great help…  every­one makes mis­takes. I do my best and try to work on my skills daily.”

Piece of goldEvery once in a while it is nec­es­sary to take time to pause and reflect on your work and ask where things are going? The feed­back from oth­ers can cer­tain­ly help you do that. I wish I could say all the feed­back I have had was pos­i­tive, sad­ly there has been some neg­a­tive com­ments thrown in as well, one ques­tion­ing my abil­i­ty to write. There have been times when I have ques­tioned my own abil­i­ty as a writer and for me this past year has been a time of forced change due to a vari­ety of reasons.

 

The Ups and Downs

I was told by an edi­tor that my work is too author­i­tar­i­an. When I decid­ed to start blog­ging it was one of my men­tors who encour­aged me to become an author­i­ty and demon­strate my exper­tise in the sub­jects I write about. Look­ing back I realised that I had com­mit­ted a grave error, I had act­ed in an author­i­tar­i­an way in the sense that I had con­sid­ered myself the ulti­mate source of knowl­edge in that spe­cif­ic area — a grave error. I need­ed to raked over the coals.

After a lit­tle intro­vert­ed think­ing which in turn made me ques­tion many things I had been writ­ing about. Then I asked myself if it was pos­si­ble to show your author­i­ty and exper­tise with­out dic­tat­ing to read­ers? I dis­cov­ered that “its my way or the high­way” is rarely the cor­rect approach for any writer.

Exper­tise is demon­strat­ed through your words and the sto­ries you tell, but there is always anoth­er approach that can be tak­en. In fact there can be many dif­fer­ent approach­es, because you are a con­ser­v­a­tive thinker and they are a rebel doesn’t make them wrong, it sim­ply makes them dif­fer­ent. As a rebel for most of my life, so I should have known better.

 

Am I an Expert at writing? 

trust-meThat is a good ques­tion, what does it mean to become an expert writer? This would require study­ing the art of writ­ing, which is some­thing I do on a part-time basis.

Stan­ley Fish in “How to write a sen­tence” wrote “some peo­ple are bird watch­ers, oth­ers are celebri­ty watch­ers, still oth­er are flo­ra and fau­na watch­ers, I belong to a tribe of sen­tence watch­ers.” Per­son­al­ly I don’t care what Scar­lett Johans­son, Jes­si­ca Biel, or J-Law are up to at any time, so I can count myself out of the celebri­ty watch cat­e­go­ry. I do find myself falling into the cat­e­go­ry of sen­tence watch­ers and in the process writ­ing meta-sen­tences, or sen­tences that look at con­struc­tion of sen­tences. Knowl­edge­able, yes, but per­haps not yet an expert. There is still much I don’t know about the Eng­lish language.

Some peo­ple write in sen­tences that are gram­mat­i­cal­ly poor yet they have mil­lions of views while oth­ers write per­fect sen­tences yet strug­gle for a sin­gle view­er. I have always known that my work is unlike­ly to go viral, because I do not write about celebri­ties, film stars or the lat­est gos­sip, the only hope I have is to write well (tech­ni­cal­ly) and have a style that is seen as infor­ma­tive, open and approach­able. I can­not though call myself an expert at writ­ing, I am still learning.

Craft­ing the per­fect sen­tence is not all there is to writ­ing, there are plen­ty of good sen­tences that don’t add any­thing of val­ue to people’s lives, yet peo­ple in their mil­lions read them.

 

Growing?

While writ­ing and mod­er­at­ing with Wik­in­ut I had an increas­ing read­er­ship and con­sid­ered myself to be grow­ing as a writer, being a gen­er­al writ­ing site it allowed me to expand my hori­zons, writ­ing about:

were part of the most recent pub­lished posts. Mem­bers of the pub­lic don’t see the work I do on com­mis­sion, just the mate­r­i­al pub­lished under my own byline on the web.

I am a long way from being an expert at writ­ing. But what would make me an expert? Hav­ing a book pub­lished, per­haps that would say a lot about you, but it could also say that you have a good edi­to­r­i­al and pub­lish­ing team behind you. Hav­ing com­plet­ed a nov­el, per­haps I should con­sid­er it a good skill to have com­plet­ed a sto­ry of between 70,000 and 80,000 words yet I know one writer who has the imag­i­na­tion to have com­plet­ed 15 such sto­ries, yet he would be the first to admit that his gram­mar and spelling still needs improvement.

The point being we all grow in dif­fer­ent ways at dif­fer­ent times. There is no sin­gle mark of suc­cess, although one of the best ones being appre­ci­a­tion by read­er. Each writer needs to ask whether what they are pro­duc­ing today is a piece of gold?

 

The Value of Comments and Feedback

dont-get-in-my-wayThere is no deny­ing the val­ue of feed­back. Peo­ple can feel inspired as a result and spurred on to do more, which in turn inspires the writer to write again. In truth most read­ers do not com­ment about the things they read so it is dif­fi­cult to know whether the mate­r­i­al is well received.

One thing is true about the Inter­net today, only informed peo­ple know the val­ue of giv­ing feed­back and they are often busy, so only do it when moved by a par­tic­u­lar pas­sion. To get it, the writer has to get into the habit of ask­ing for feed­back, or per­haps intro­duce a con­tro­ver­sial top­ic, for exam­ple accus­ing Don­ald Trump of being best bud­dies with the leader of ISIS. It may be a piece of gold but is it true?

 

The Buzz from Sharing, Liking and Commenting

When I vis­it a page writ­ten by some well known blog­gers there are dozens of com­ments, min­utes after pub­li­ca­tion. The page was also easy to be found on social media prov­ing that some writ­ers have built them­selves a wide audi­ence. Every blog­ger should be striv­ing to extend their audi­ence, with every Tweet or Face­book post.

There is cer­tain­ly a buzz to be got­ten from shar­ing, the same should also be true from lik­ing and com­ment­ing. Do you as a writer make it easy for your read­ers? Have you enabled com­ments? I ask because many specif­i­cal­ly avoid doing so, as if they are afraid of any respons­es they may receive.

Truth is many casu­al read­ers are not yet accus­tomed to leav­ing com­ments or ques­tions on sites they vis­it. For the writer the abil­i­ty of a read­er to com­ment is spe­cial, it is a piece of gold.

 

Asso­ci­at­ed con­tent includes:

 

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee as a spe­cial Thank You for pro­vid­ing these thoughts. All images includ­ed here are from roy­al­ty free pub­lic domain image col­lec­tions, pho­tographs from Pix­abay, car­toons are cour­tesy Green Street.

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