Saturday, March 19, 2011

Comments Beget Comments

By Keith N Fisher

I want to thank all of those who leave their thoughts in the comment section of my posts. You provide validation to me in my struggle to perfect this crazy occupation of writing. In pondering my blog posts lately, and the number of comments I get, I was reminded of a networking axiom and coined the phrase, comments beget comments.

When I first started posting, I got a few negative remarks, but there were many more supportive ones. I counted on the perspective of my peers to help me determine if my writing was any good. Later, I discovered most of those who posted remarks were writers I’d met at writer’s conferences and other events somewhere. They were bloggers themselves, so I’d reciprocate by reading and commenting on their blogs.

I learned that networking wasn’t just chatting at writer’s events, it was taking the time to become invested in the work of fellow writers. For that reason, I began to follow the circuit. It was simple at first, because few writing blogs existed at the time. We were all one, big happy family and keeping in touch only took a few minutes a day.

Later, as time restraints set in and the number of blogs exploded, I visited the circuit less frequently. My fan base dwindled, but friendships grew, and I learned many of those friends were having the same problems keeping up that I was. It was hard to visit all the blogs and still have time to write.

I had to pick and choose which blogs I would visit. I also, depended on my friends to preview the postings and tell me about the good posts. I would read those, but I never seemed to make observations.

Now there is Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Many writers, I know, spend hours branding their work and making valuable contacts through the Internet. Some of you have become masters of the network and I feel left behind. I watch for notes attached to my blogs wondering what I could write in order to grab more attention.

I know, however, that comments beget comments, so I shouldn’t expect much. Still, I love to write blogs that might be helpful for struggling writers. Therefore, I’ve learned to gage my success by the number of new readers who comment. And, it’s nice to see the old fans stop by.

I have friends who shy away from the sociality of writing. They would prefer the writing climate of forty years ago, when writers were reclusive, and publishers did all the selling. Perhaps I would just rather write, too, but I like people. I love to chat and get to know them.

So, I choose to network in person, building others as I go. I really don’t have time to visit the circuit, much, but I try. So, if you see me at a conference, book signing, or other function, stop and say hello. Tell me you like something I wrote, and I’ll reciprocate. After all, isn’t that what networking is all about?

Good luck with your writing—see you next week. Oh, and, even though I might not have commented on your blog recently, feel free to comment on mine.

4 comments:

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

Hey, I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Best Books Blog Award.

Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra

Michael Knudsen said...

I always enjoy your posts, Keith, and I only don't leave a comment every time when I'm pressed for time. I agree it's hard to know how well your posts are being received without some kind of feedback!

Dennis Agle Jr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis Agle Jr. said...

A good reminder to me to do a little better in posting comments, starting right now. Thanks, Keith.