When You Don’t Connect as a Writer

Today’s post will be short. Plainly stated, I’m not sure it matters if I post in the Slice of Life Blog Forum anymore. Last spring, during Slice of Life, when each blogger who signed up  is supposed to post daily and react daily to at least three other bloggers, I complained that I was not getting the requisite three comments. The response? It was that there were so many participating, it would be hard for everyone to receive their three comments. Huh? While I think I understand the point made, it still didn’t set well with me.

So, since March, I have continued to post on Tuesdays to the Slice of Life Tuesday Forum. I’ve tried to be careful to post reactions to at least three other bloggers’ posts.  (Admittedly, sometimes I miss and this is probably what happens to others.)  Still, I am not getting three responses (if any) from the other participants in this forum. I must not be striking a chord with them. And, since there are fewer people participating in the Tuesday Forum, one would think (if one uses thought process that was conveyed to me  above) that I’d receive some response. It is rare that I do.

Yes, I know most of my posts are long. I do like to delve deeply into the content on which I am writing. I am a non-formal educator, one without a license, but also one that has two Master’s degrees in other fields (my second degree is to be conferred in December). I’ve written curriculum, and even conducted a research study. I’ve formed and led student groups on writing, reading, and gardening.  I have been heavily involved in many aspects of public education and consider myself a student advocate. Still, I do not garner any more readership from the forum whether I post there or not.

There are many reasons for writing, and just as many for sharing one’s blog with other writers. However, one of the reasons to write is to be read and to know one is being read via the connections made with others and their comments. Although, I regularly hear from some non-Slicers on my blog. It’s gotten rarer and rarer to hear from a slicer.

I intend to keep writing daily. It has become a habit or routine, as one might put it. And, I’ve recently been thinking about taking my writing in a different direction. But, I know I will be taking a break from Slice of Life.  It was good (not great) while it lasted. Thanks to those I was able to connect with while I was a Slicer.  Maybe I’ll “see” you in March.

13 Thoughts

  1. I hear the frustration in your voice and want you to know that while I don’t read (or post) every week, I do appreciate your contributions to the Slice! I have started to think about blogs as an odd genre that are somewhere between public and private writing, since we share them publicly and hope that other people read them, but have to actively push others to do that reading because otherwise our stories won’t be found. Please keep writing, even if you don’t share in the Slice every week. You have important things to say that no one else can!

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    1. Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you are familiar with my blog. What I’ve heard from other slicers today is that if I am writing for myself, receiving comments should not matter. Well, I do write for myself. But, part of my writing is a desire to connect with others. As a member of a writing community, like Slice of Life, where the expectation is that we read and react to one another’s posts, I think the comments do matter to a certain extent. I know that when it is not a Tuesday and I post but do not receive comments, it does not bother me as much (or even at all) because I am not posting to a specific group and there is not the expectation set forth for comment. This is part of my decision to stop posting to SOL. I do definitely plan to keep writing on a daily basis. I would have to agree with your statement about blogs being an odd genre. But, I like the reflectivity of this type of writing and for that reason will not give it up. In essence, it’s been good for me! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  2. So sorry this has been happening and you fee disheartened. I feel as though there have been a lot less comments (and views) of my posts than in previous years. I think the thing that keeps me going, because I have also considered stopping, is that really, I am writing for me. If people read it – great. If they comment – great. If no one does either (and I do like to watch my stats) I feel disheartened. One thing I do is take the best pieces I write and paste them into a document. I have a folder of my best pieces, collected just for me.

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    1. Hi, Adrienne. Thanks for your comments. I love your idea about pasting your best pieces in a doc file to save. I was planning to make a book of my posts because my mom does not read my blog, and keeps asking when I am going to write a book. I thought I’d categorize the topics and put them together in a book format for her for a gift. Then, she’ll have her “book”. LOL. I do agree that if I am writing for myself, (and I am) receiving comments should not matter. In general (on non-SOL) days I’m not as affected by a lack of comments. But, as part of a writing community where the expectation is to respond and react, they are missed when not received. It is the expectation of receiving a comment. Therefore, if I remove myself from the SOL community I won’t expect a response. So, this is what I plan to do for now. It’s just giving myself a little break – a break from the expectation of something that was regularly not occuring.

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  3. Sorry you feel frustrated. I have heard this from other bloggers who are not part of this group. Blogging is changing and like all things over time there are growing pains, highs and lows. There are so many people writing and so many blogs to connect with I find some weeks I only read and comment, some weeks I only read, and some weeks I post and plan to get back to commenting and then life gets in the way. I also found myself looking for a few people I have read often and so that began to limit who I commented to. A few weeks ago a reminded myself to look for a comment of people I have not connected with in a while or new folks I don’t know.
    The truth is I write for me. I write and post because the posting makes me be more careful and think about my ideas in a deeper way (at least some times). I have learned to not expect a response. If one comes it is great but I am not writing here for feedback. I am writing to learn and to have fun with words and images. Since now I am not writing much about education and more about my garden my blog has also become more of a journal of what I am doing. It might not interest others and that is fine with me.

    Sorry to be long winded – this is a topic my husband and I have talked about many times so it struck a chord with me. I hope you keep writing and posted. I enjoy reading your posts when I get to them. Please don’t take it personally.

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    1. Joanne, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I also write for myself and to help me express ideas, concerns, joys, or other things that other humans might be able to connect to. My problem with the SOL forum is that part of the community’s expectation that we respond to each other by commenting. When that doesn’t happen, I notice it. When I don’t post in the forum, I do not notice the absence of comments as much. I am actually giving myself somewhat of a break by not posting to SOL, since I won’t carry the expectation of getting a response from the SOL community. I know better than to take any of this personally, but it does not decrease the frustration that is felt. I intend to keep writing daily and posting, but I will take a break from linking to the SOL forum on Tuesdays. Perhaps this will make me ready to go again in March. Perhaps, I’ll find that I don’t miss it at all. Thanks, again for sharing your thoughts! I do enjoy reading your blog posts about gardening in MN.

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  4. Sorry that you’ve felt disheartened by the lack of commenting on your posts. It has become more and more difficult to get around to everyone as our community has grown. Sometimes I wonder if they should organize us into smaller pods/groups so that we could really get to know a few writers well. I’ve commented less and less because of personal time constraints (and I’m retired)! I know it’s discouraging to feel that you don’t have an audience. I’ve given myself permission to write less frequently recently and to spend more time reading. We hope you’ll join us again soon.

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  5. I am sorry you haven’t gotten the community here that you wanted or expected. I’ve posted occasionally here on SOLTuesdays, and done the Slice a Day in March a couple of years, and don’t get as many comments as I’d like, but as others have commented already, I’m writing as much for myself as for others. Of course I’d like readers. But you say you are writing every day(!), and that is excellent. That’s what real writers do.

    And as another commented said, the more people are writing blogs, the less time we writers have to read those blogs. When desktop publishing first started 30+ years ago, I thought there would come a time when everyone was self-publishing and no one would have time to read. Perhaps we’ve reached that point.

    Do keep writing. That’s the important thing. Readers will come when they are ready.

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    1. Thanks for the shout out and understanding! I will be writing a general response post later this week. As many other slicers pointed out today, if I write for myself (which I do) the comments and connections shouldn’t matter. But, in a writing community where the expectation is that we respond to each other, I think it does matter. I do intend to keep writing. Thanks for your support. I truly appreciate your comments!

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  6. I discovered your blog because it was referenced in another. I’ve felt the same way sometimes. In fact, there have been times when I put all of my effort into a story and thought, “Yeah-that’s a great one!” and I didn’t get any comments. That happened 3 times. Don’t give up writing because even if no one responds to your story, it still may have been read and been inspirational to someone…who just didn’t have the time to write back. (I’m guilty of that sometimes, too. Keep on writing! 🙂

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  7. I hear you. Sometimes I feel overlooked on SOL. Sometimes it feels like I’m an outsider, or invisible, and everyone else is commenting and connecting away. Mostly I think the notion of “community” on the web is quasi-mythology; we mostly float in and out of ever-shifting networks of connections. Maybe that’s what happens with commenting on SOL.

    Once I wrote a multi-paragraph response to one of your posts, hit “send”, and watched my response disappear into the void…but I keep reading. I’ve always enjoyed your posts. Best of luck.

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