My infatuation with 6S is tied to the many friendships I've made here, an insatiable appetite for reading and a desire to entertain (as I've already built a long career from writing and editing). To the latter, I might add that this is an outlet for me to write in different voices and directions -- not for praise or a paycheck, but for my own enjoyment. We all have our reasons.
I read many posts here from writers I've come to know as well as new faces I might never have noticed. When I see something that moves me, I leave a comment. I might seek to befriend the author. Or, inevitably flattered that someone would ask, I'll accept a friendship request.
I'm curious to know, though, why so many people post blogs (some fabulous) and collect comments ... yet I rarely, if ever, see them leaving comments for others. I'm satisfied to write for the seven or eight regulars who've come to enjoy the water from my well. But I know other writers here who not only deserve a look, but also high praise. And it bothers me to think so few people have noticed.
I'm thinking out loud here, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
i'm with you. one of the main reasons i get "sucked in" to 6S is i have to read the work of others, namely if they've commented on my work. not because i'm committed to proper etiquette--though, i like to consider myself of such stock--but because i have always been timid about my writing. it stems from the difficulty i've had in getting unbiased perspectives, finding people to read my work and tell me what they think, love or hate.
so, i agree totally, and furthermore, i think it's fair game to call someone out if you spot them tatting with no tit... hmm. maybe a better way to phrase that, but i'll stand by it.
I was curious about just this when I started posting on the blog - the mix of a writing blog and a social network is interesting and complicated. I wondered if it would lead to feeling slighted or inadvertantly slighting someone else, missing a cue or feeling some kind of obligation to say something complementary when you don't mean it, etc..
I don't read everything her faithfully - I'm too scattered. Sometimes reading a post here is "like getting punched in the chest with a Buick" (I love that quote) and sometimes not. I see that some folks are very caring and considerate and say nice things across the board.
Gotta admit that it feels good to see that someone has commented on a post, and that I would like to reciprocate. But I'm worried that at some point it becomes about manners and social obligations not good writing that really reaches you.
Good points, and I do find that (it seems) frequently people are commenting on a post because they just want to say "hi" or encourage an e-friend (is that a thing?).
I try to comment on everything I read and not be negative unless I find it particularly warranted, even if I'm not in love with the story. I just focus on whatever worked for me, because there's no piece completely without merit. That said, I will occasionally avoid Six-S for several weeks just because I don't have time to read everyone's stuff. So, it's a delicate balance.
The "manners and social obligations" thing does happen once in a while, but I think of it this way: a writer here who posts often will not always hit the mark, will not always write a great piece. And I've even been told privately by 6ers regarding particular blogs, "I just didn't know what to say." ;-)
As for the great writers who are generally ignored, it's one of three things: 1)Envy/competition or, 2)Dislike of the persona of the writer, 3)Dislike of the writer's subject matter.
There is NO EXCUSE for #'s 1 & 2. Even #3 is almost ridiculous because no matter what the subject is, fabulous writing breaks through boundaries, opens new worlds. We need to touch these worlds once in a while. I hate rap music but realize that Eminem has some important messages in his music.
I've been turned on to new genres since joining 6S, simply because new and stronger voices made the genre more appealing. I'm in love with talent. I can learn and strengthen my writing from it. I am entertained. I feel moved to honor those writers who honor the craft with exceptional writing in any genre here (it's only 6 sentences - geez, take a read) because they set a high standard. There's even a writer I don't particularly care for as a person due to some odd personal inexplicable that rubs me wrong, probably a reflection of myself I don't like looking at, and still, when I admire the writing I will damn sure tell them so. How can I not?
I tried to edit my comment above and 6s wouldn't take the edits...but...the changes were:
#3 We can dislike a writer's subject matter - it's not "ridiculous", but we should wave our dislike once in a while. I've listened to Eminem's music purely to glean its messages, listened through the pain of the music..ha...because whether I like the type of music or not, the guy has writing talent.
I also edited out the "it's only 6 sentences - geez, take a read" because I realize there are time limits and we can only read/comment so much. But if you do take the time to read a piece and admire the writing, how can you not say at least, "Thumbs up"? Maybe we should develop a code for: Liked it/Loved it but short on time and gotta run. May come back later to say more... There could also be a code for: I hate you but loved this! ;-) Just kidding...
Gosh Mike, I'll have to look at how I've been contributing. When I first joined 6S, I posted one blog just so I could prove to myself I had "the nerve" to actually do it. Then I just read, and read, and read for a couple few weeks, taking it in, trying to get the feel and the rhythm of 6S. Once I felt comfortable, I started making a few comments when I felt really touched by something, then I gradually worked my way into posting some of my own work. I enjoy the comments sometimes as much as the blogs, many inspire much dialogue which can be funny (stress reliever), informative (insightful new perspectives) , and help to develop friendships, some of which I've come to enjoy seeing/reading/communicating every day.
I have to say, I don't want to feel obligated to comment on everything, but if I have the time, it seems appropriate to let someone know I "get" it, even if it's a simple thank you. Some of the comments go on and on with a lot of dialogue, at times like that, I have the tendency to drop out.
I don't know if I've answered anything, but I'll go back to a word I used in the first paragraph, "contribute". I think a good balance of reading, writing, and commenting are all ways to contribute to 6s. Although, it may be important to think in terms of a group, and how so many groups have roles...say, the cool kids as Thomas said once, or the rebel, the prom queen/king, the matriarch/patriarch, the sensitive ones, the shy ones, the intellectuals, the jokers, the I don't give a shit ones, and on and on, room for all kinds in here.
I am more nervous about leaving comments than I am about posting a blog, for the same reasons Green said, a misunderstanding, an accidental slight, and so on. So in all, if I am moved in some way, or tickled or whatever, I try to leave a comment, even at the risk of bungling them up (which I did a lot of that this morning).
I'm spotty: sometimes I'll comment a lot, sometimes hardly at all. Some of it has to do with what I read, some of it my mood. I think that certain broad kinds of writing draw a lot more response than others. From what I've been able to tell, more people on 6S are tuned into "personal" rather than social or--god forbid--political or historical writings, a fact which reflects the priorities of the culture at large.
Then too, some people's interests are narrow, and they tend to seek only those 6's that appeal to their particular bent.
Lastly, there are those who don't care about anyone's writings but their own.
None of this is going to change.
I'm with you on that one, Mike. Any six I see here that tells a story in a readable and compelling manner gets my comment. So far as others commenting on my stuff? Not many do, but I honestly don't care. The tripe I crank out winds up in my own blog site anyway.
With so much to do outside the network, I sometimes miss checking in for days at a stretch, and then when I do, I approach it in a variety of ways. I look for posts that have few comments and will leave one if the work impresses in some way. Other times, I check Latest Activity to see what everyone else is commenting on and why. I do like to read posts by those whom I've been consistently taken by. There are some on whom I've commented and been rebuffed by, in which case I'll read but feel reluctant to comment. Those writers have their audience and seem to get along fine without my opinion and/or compliments.
Overall, I read an awful lot more than I comment on, and often don't know what to offer that won't be taken as insincere fawning or pedantic advice. I'm a teacher, and I teach all day, every day. Sometimes I just tire of telling people what I think. Then, too, I like to write for my own pleasure in the small amount of free time I can muster.
I don't ever want to leave 6S entirely, but it's an awful big Internet, and there are so many opportunities for expression and so many good writers here and out there. I can't believe it's narrow-minded to look for what you might like when there are only so many hours in a day.
I find commenting .. see, I paused to find the words! Sometimes you can't put it down specifically- you either liked it or didn't or didn't know what to say without making it sound like "GOOD ONE MIKEY!!! (pat on top of head)
There are over 1500 members on this site but only a handful who post or comment, that's a head scratcher?
I read or maybe better, scan pretty much every 6 that's new and only comment if it really 'spoke to my senses' or the wording was great. It is encouraging to get the comments but that is short lived. This site is great to post pretty much whatever you like with different styles or genres - it's a good sounding board.