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Jul 05 2012

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FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT TO A BLOGGER

There’s something in the human psyche that makes us want to be liked, heeded, admired, listened to, acknowledged and patted on the back now and then. That applies every bit as much to blogging as to any other facet of life.

Although I’ve been writing all sorts of stuff for more years than I can count, I’m a comparative newcomer on the blogging scene. It’s been a steep learning curve and I don’t need to be told that I’ve still quite a way to go.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t see myself as a crusader, or a righter of wrongs striding forth to conquer the wonderful world of the World Wide Web. On the other hand I don’t see myself as a kind of modern Don Quixote either – even if I am more than ready to have a tilt at the odd windmill or two.

A couple of times every week I plonk myself down in front of the blank unforgiving screen of my laptop, flex my fingers and begin to type. I’m not overly concerned about writers’ block either as I’ve usually taken my Border Collie Sparky for an early-morning hike in the woods to take in some fresh air and, hopefully, come up with a topic for my next blog.

I’m a writer, so it follows that the majority of my musings are about readers and writers, and books and publishing, with the occasional piece about films, or television, or human nature thrown into the mix. The point is I’m never too sure what’s going to appear on my screen until I’ve completed that walk.

Once I begin typing I generally keep my head down and crack on with it. I’ll complete between six and seven-hundred words on average in perhaps half an hour or so. If I can manage it I try not to stop for anything. Nip, my wife and Girl Friday, is well used to my little eccentricities and is good about diverting callers and answering the telephone while the muse is on me. Sparky, content after his walk, will curl up in his accustomed spot under my desk.

Sometimes a particular blog seems scarcely to ripple the surface of the big world the other side of my window. A few ticks in the box and the occasional little comment from friends and regular readers. As often as not my little masterpieces go unheralded and unsung, almost as though they had never been. It matters not – they were fun to write and I enjoyed it.

Now and then, however, something I write strikes a chord with a reader and they are stirred sufficiently to drop me a line. As any writer will tell you, it warms the heart to receive such notes. At least it gives the lie to the feeling that nobody out there gives a darn. The bloggers among you will understand what I mean.

My last offering was about the future of books and where the industry was heading. This affects us all, whether we read, write, or couldn’t care less. Within twenty minutes I had two responses. The first, from Larry Lennhoff, made me smile understandingly. He described himself as a hoarder and scavenger of books.

He stubbornly refuses to buy any e-book if he already has a hardback or softback copy – and he has a lot of copies. He uses his public library and will often buy items when it periodically holds sales of old books. “Space is becoming an issue,” he laughs, “but I can always throw out furniture, pets, children etc., if I have to.”

Jane Carroll wrote appreciatively about my little article. “I’m not sure what will happen to print books,” she said, “but just as with the sundials of yesteryear, future generations might not mind so much.”

I don’t know if you write Jane – but with a turn of phrase like that you certainly ought to. “Sundials of yesteryear” – I love it.

 

 

 

 

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11 comments

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  1. Susanna C. Mahoney (@MTMC2)

    There’s something in the human psyche that makes us want to be liked, heeded, admired, listened to, acknowledged and patted on the back now and then. That applies every bit as much to blogging as to any other facet of life”.

    Great opening introduction, writers/bloggers are individuals and they have responsibilities that blog them down at times and deal with difficult people and issues in their lives. So they write to recharge, find strength in the masses of humanity that continue on their day, never knowing what another soul is experiencing. May it be joy or sorrow and reaching out to others through their blogs.

    They are looking “Hey I know you out there and need a word of encouragement to continue the daily grind and deal with the up’s and down’s of life. So if someone took the time out of their daily ritual to share a personal, humour or informative random thought then we as human beings should acknowledge this precious gift. So kudos to you, Brad Fleming for taking time out to open our minds and hearts to another’s creative facet of life, to appreciate one another.

  2. Brad Fleming

    Susanna, it’s readers like you, who take the trouble to keep us abreast of what you think that is the best reward of this blooging game. A warm and appreciative Thank You.

  3. Holly Kammier

    Great post! Your opening paragraph really caught my attention. I feel the same way!!

  4. Brad Fleming

    Thank you Holly. When I was a journalist my old editor always told me that’s what a first paragraph was supposed to do. Seems at least part of the lesson rubbed off.

  5. P.I. Barrington

    I’ve had a million different blogs on all sorts of subjects and I’ve learned two things: give your readers something they can use–mine is usually in terms of writing assists such as links to world building generators and character worksheets. If they find it useful, they’ll come back for other subjects you blog about too; and it takes time to build a following. I only blog when I have time and when I have something I think might help or interest other authors. I have another blog that I just talk about anything, a lot of it about my past entertainment industry experience and how it affects my view of the world. It’s difficult to maintain a schedule but apparently that works for many authors so if it works for you, keep at it. FYI I was a journalist too–newspaper, LOL! It’s that inverted pyramid that sticks to us all I guess, LOL!
    My blog is not my website.

  6. Brad Fleming

    Sound advice P I and I appreciate it. Thank you. I’m very much on the bottom step where blogging’s concerned. Seems I’ve discovered a niche where old journalists go when they don’t *journal* any more. It’s kind of like an elephants’ graveyard – full of old bones, grumbles and groans. Keep in touch.

  7. Jane Carroll

    Ahhh…Brad…thank you for the compliment. Actually, I do write and love to play with words…in fact…I keep a pocketful of them at all times so that I can pull them out when I’m bored. I agree that we as people want three things: to be heard, to be understood, and to be loved. Carry on!

    1. Tamy Burns

      Jane and Brad! So true! Thank you both for sharing. Great thoughts about what all of us in this life need. If those three things are fulfilled, we are truly happy beings.

    2. Brad Fleming

      Delighted to hear from you Jane. Your comment tickled me so much I went and dug up a picture of an old sundial. Folk must have thought I had flipped my lid until they got down to the paragraph about you. Now don’t be a stranger. Dip into your pocket and give us the benefit of some of those words of yours any time.

  8. Tamy Burns

    Brad, I’ve tried to follow this blog several times, and it always come back as an error. Can you check it for me?

    1. Brad Fleming

      OK Tamy. We had a little technical glitch for a little while which has now been sorted. So please come on in and join us. You’re more than welcome.

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