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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