Why I Believe In Interacting With My Followers, Even If Some Of Them Don’t Bother To Reciprocate

writer-smoking-pipe

The public perception of a writer

Following on from yesterday’s blog post https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-guardian-another-progress-report/ a few thoughts occurred.

First of all, while a mere thirty-nine of the three hundred and thirty four people who currently follow my blog ‘liked’ the post, even though according to my blog’s stats only twenty four actually read it, five responded, three by reblogging. Why people merely click ‘like’ without reading a post totally baffles me. But there you go – it happens not only here on my blog but on most Social Media sites, in most cases out of pure habit. Don’t think for one moment that I’m not grateful for the fact that you ‘liked’ my post – I am. But if you are going to ‘like’ any post on any Social Media site, whether its a blog like this one or Facebook etal, at least read it first, otherwise how will you know that you actually like it or not?

Now for the real reason for this blog post. What one person said when she commented got me thinking. She began by saying, “Nifty how you’re taking potential readers on your writing journey.” To which I replied, “I can’t think of a better way for all writers to destroy the illusion that we writers somehow aren’t like everyone else can you? Plus, by posting the Progress Reports, hopefully by the time the book comes out, at least it will ensure that a few people want to buy and read it.” This morning I found another comment from her. Here is what she said in reply to my reply, “Yes, I see that. An interesting adventure for all interested.”

I cannot believe for one minute that I am the only writer out there who considers it his duty to share his or her next story’s journey not only with his or her blog’s followers, but also with his or her readers, both old and new. In my case I like to do it by giving all of you a glimpse into the ‘mechanics’ of writing. My thought processes. How I solve a problem while writing. Even how I come up with my characters.

Unfortunately there is a popular misconception among the vast majority that by definition writers are somehow aloof, distant if you will. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, we do tend to be loners, locking ourselves away in our metaphoric garrets, devoting every waking hour to our latest work in progress. To be a successful writer, unfortunately it goes with the territory. But we’re still human beings just like you. We all do the same things you do, or at least we do when we have some spare time.

Just remember this, interaction works two ways. So the next time you click ‘like’, take the time to actually read the post you have just liked. Plus be brave, place a comment below it. I promise you we don’t bite.

πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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104 thoughts on “Why I Believe In Interacting With My Followers, Even If Some Of Them Don’t Bother To Reciprocate

  1. I always enjoy reading about author’s and artist’s lives, and especially about their processes from the beginning of a project to the end. I don’t share about every story I’m writing though, because sometimes I haven’t a clue where they’re going and don’t want to get confusing. πŸ™‚

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    • Hi Jo – I’ve never been sure whether anyoneout there is ever really interested in reading the journey a writer goes thru fromthe start of their novel to the publishing process. But (oh dear there’s my “but” again) since reading your post maybe I will give this a try after just travelling the long winding road to publish my debut novel.

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  2. Just for that, I’m going to just ‘like’ all your blogs. So there. LOL Sometimes if a reader doesn’t have time to read, they ‘like’ just as a show of support. I will ‘like’ in passing sometimes, but then go back on Sunday, my down day and catch up on my favorite blogs. What you need to be worried about is when no one even ‘likes’ it or responds in any way! πŸ˜‰

    Blog on Jack, blog on!

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    • Robynn, agree…agree…sometimes look, like and leave is all your can do at the time! Especially when some bloggers clog the email list with 4-5 posts every day! Especially with re-blogs! Either you spend time to read & comment on every one or spend time with your own writing! So, I say, Jack, like the likes! Christine

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    • Hi Robyn – wow I just expressed the same sentiments in my response, but I was a little more long winded than you and I just wanted to agree with you.
      Happy 2015 πŸ™‚

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  3. I’m liking this because I read it. And I’m commenting! I know exactly how you feel. I have the same thoughts regarding my blog and my writing. Are they actually reading it, or did they just click on like? The thing is, you can’t even read my blog posts in syndication. You must actually go to my blog to read my posts. If I find I have more likes than views, then someone is probably not reading, just clicking like in the WordPress reader.

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  4. Yeah, I read it and liked it. In fact, I liked it so much I am following. I always wonder on the ‘like’ hit. This is true when it comes about two seconds after a post is published. I have found writers to be loners but relish attention when it comes to their art. Any backstory on the Corsair on your header?

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    • Re the Corsair John – no backstory, except for the fact that I remember them in the sky when I was a child. To me they are one of the absolute classic piston engined aircraft ever built. As for you saying that you have found writers to be loners. Some are. But most of us are very approachable. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really like both these linked posts, Jack. Aloof? Some can be, I know, but most authors are among the most approachable folks in the world. Especially when we’re writing and are desperate for any work-displacement activity to distract us! Personally, I try to keep off wordpress and Facebook when I’m writing, though (which is why I’ve not been around much so far this year). But anyone who wants to find out about what we do and how, all they have to do is ask, isn’t it? Aloof-types won’t respond, real people will – and quickly! Happy writing. Hope the affair between the two develops nicely!

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  6. I too share the journey of each new book… not always in the most obvious fashion of detailing the progress of the written work. I tend, instead, to share the physical and symbolic journey that gives rise to the questions explored. I don’t write traditional fiction, so it isn’t quite the same process.
    As to the disparity between views and likes, I understand that if a post is ‘liked’ via the reader it doesn’t show as a view. Of course, with the reader, only a small part of longer posts will be shown unless it is clicked and those chasing numbers rather than real interaction may click away blindly.
    I recall one blogger a year or two back incensed by having a goodly number of ‘likes’ for a blank page…

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  7. I’m always mystified how somebody can like a post within 10 seconds of me publishing it especially when it’s a post containing more than 100 words. There must be some very fast readers out there, but it’s probably all to do with some free publicity in the hope that somebody who has taken the time to read the post (and maybe comment) is going to click on their Gravatar photo and visit their site. I’m fully behind you on interacting with followers. It just not polite not to do so.

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  8. Great post. As a blogger, I find the same true on my blog. People “like” but many never bother to read. Arrgh! It is indeed frustrating. Since I blog mostly about books, how is someone to know if they truly “like” the book if they don’t read it. Maybe they aren’t interested in reading the book after they’ve read my blog, do they think I gave a fair review, do they like the genre, etc. There are so many ways they could comment or show they enjoyed stopping by with a tweet or mention on another site.
    BTW – I do enjoy reading your blog.

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  9. No, I’ve never seen evidence that you bite! 😊 getting that glimpse of your work out to the public is top priority to authors. And by adding that content to our blogs it is done. I also would love more comments and not only likes. Interaction is the key to spur me on with more and better writing. How about you? BTW how can you tell if a post was liked but not read in your stats? I must have missed that somewhere.

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  10. I don’t leave prolific comments–not often–unless something interests me a great deal. Sometimes, if I’ve not a lot to say, I’ll leave a short compliment: outstanding or marvelous! I might add a smiley as well.
    πŸ˜€

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  11. As a blogger I really appreciate the people who actually take the time to comment. I have been guilty of just liking something on occasion. Usually it’s just a time issue. Sometimes I honestly don’t have anything to say but still want to express my support – especially for the bloggers I read and comment on regularly. But just like and not read! Do people really do that?

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  12. Hi Jack – I’m not a writer, other than of my blog, but I am a beta reader for a couple of authors and I assist one of them with formatting and publishing. I intend to details all of those steps in a future blog for a couple of purposes. First, in the hopes that others will be interested, and also so that I can find the information again myself πŸ™‚ I look forward to future posts from you so that I can understand how the process works from the producer’s side of the page. Thanks for taking the time! Betsi

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  13. Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
    I’ve had quite a number of new followers lately and many were young bloggers or new bloggers. Now I don’t know it all but this piece written by Jack has some great advice in it. Yes, folks be sure to READ what you LIKE and comment often. Authors love to interact with their readers no matter what you have been told. We wouldn’t be out their posting to the public if we didn’t. Hope to see you around soon! πŸ˜‰

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  14. Great post, and it’s good that you brought your gripes here. I totally agree, it is really pretty aggravating at times to see the “like” button on social media sites as often as they occur. This has sparked some interesting dialog though, it is good to hear both sides. Keep on blogging! πŸ™‚

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  15. Hi Jack, I read your post along with every comment. I did like the post and there is always something to learn by reading through. Today I learned why my stats and likes are always off. lol, I always wondered that! I do love when people comment it gives me a sense of purpose. I always wonder did I touch someone today with my words. I also love to hear from fellow writers and get their advice on how I can improve my writing skills We are all in this together. Have a great day!

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  16. I’m not sure how the stats work, but if I read your post in my Reader and like it, it might not show up in the stats because I didn’t have to travel over to your blog to click on it. I like the convenience of reading posts in my Reader, because it saves time. There are a lot of bloggers who only put summaries in the feed, thus forcing traffic to their blog. Maybe people have read it and liked it; although, I am sure there are people who just hit the “like” button. I don’t appreciate that because I’m not getting genuine feedback. I follow a lot of blogs. I comment as much as possible; however, it would be a full-time job if I left comments all of the time. You have a new follower πŸ™‚ Nice to meet you!

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  17. It’s too bad that using the Reader doesn’t count, because I depend on the Reader to make many of the blogs I follow be legible. By this I mean that I want to read the posts, but the colors or font sizes of the themes make it too hard for someone with my kind of visual impairment to see the text. Trying to enlarge the page through the browser doesn’t always work well, and using the browser to override page settings can mess up later browsing. I had to give up reading one excellent blog because the settings were changed to force readers out of the WP Reader to visit the page, which has a dark background and a tiny font. That was a sad day.

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  18. Som people “like” hoping you’ll return the visit and build their stats. Some are too busy to take time to comment, or just too tired to think of something clever or unique to say.
    But while often working in isolation, writers do enjoy feedback, or a smile at a comment – or any response!….Often like minds stumble over/build a community of sorts among blogs. Can’t speak of other social media – keeping up with all of them can be a real time sink and drain creativity away from real WIP writing

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  19. Commenting! I do like to comment on the blogs I follow, but there are times when I have 80+ emails, so answering each is problematic. However, I do read each blog and if I hit like, it’s because I really like it.
    I do enjoy reading about the journeys other writers take in the creation of their books – it’s comforting, in a way, to know that there are others out there following a similar path and experiencing similar bumps.

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  20. I make it a policy to not like something unless I’m going to comment. I also keep a list for everyone who has liked or commented on my blog so I can easily check out what they’re up to and see what warrants a like and comment.

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  21. Agree…I always read the blogs I chose to follow…of which yours is one! Saw you on Chris The Story Reading Ape’s blog and read it from there. It is just like Twitter…if I follow all the bogus tweeps out there just to get the numbers…what difference does that make…There is a wealth of knowledge out there from real people…all you have to do is read! But you are right…it shouldn’t be something you just like…like…like…and so on down the list just to get someone to like you back for the numbers. The purpose of the post is that you have something to say and I see it like this…if you have taken the time to write it…then I can sure take the time to read it and maybe even learn something in the process!! Thanks for the great post!

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  22. I almost always have more readers than “likers” on my blog. I think it’s because the majority of my followers are readers not bloggers. I never click on “like” unless I’ve read a post. It seems dishonest–although I see Robynn’s point. Nothing wrong with clicking “like” as a sign of support and then returning to read the post later.

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  23. On your blog, somebody can visit the home page, read several articles, like all of those articles, and even though that person has read multiple articles, it would show up only as 1 view. So it is possible for a view of your home page to correspond to someone who actually read the post, but for which no view of that particular post registers. Though there is no doubt that some Likes come without Reads…

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  24. Glad you shared this, Jack. When someone takes the time to comment on one of my blog posts, I think it common courtesy to respond. Also, I feel that liking a post without reading it is on a par with paying lip service. Yet I’ve liked many posts that I’ve read but didn’t comment on for myriad reasons, so there’s no way of knowing how many of the likes are “real.” Nevertheless, your point is well-taken and much appreciated.

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  25. Stephen King often writes notes to his readership about what he’s been doing/thinking, etc. I like the name he uses too, constant reader. You’re right of course, without the readers the writer has no outcome. Reading is what made me go to uni to see if I can write! I am going to work through it, there are many solitary hours, but so true that you point out we’re human! Just doing the best with what we got!

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  26. I was nodding my head reading John Howell’s comment – the “like” that instantly appears within a second of a post being published is right up there with a lovely comment that was clearly based on the title but is (unknowing to the non-reader) discordant with the content. I am here as a result of a reblog from SK Nichols – clearly your message and invitation was well-received, Jack!

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  27. And yes I read the whole post before I liked πŸ™‚
    Being a new writer who has only just published her first novel I found your post extremely … umm what’s the words I’m looking for (biting bottom lip in thought) damn the word escapes me now.
    But in plain non writer’s jargon (whatever that is) I whole heartedly agree with you. But and yes there is a “but” there always is a “but” isn’t there …. mhmm (thinking action again) sometimes I hit like without reading as I know their post is going to be good and as soon as I have time I’ll go back and read and comment. BUT (yep there’s the “but” ) my time is limited to glancing quickly through and just letting fellow bloggers know I am aware of their recent post and still here and still supporting them and as soon as I have time I will go back, read and comment and majority of times I reblog onto my page too. And yes I am reblogging this post too as it strikes a chord …..
    Thanx muchly for catching my eye πŸ™‚

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  28. I’ve noticed that too on my blog… the likes dont often correspond with the number of views. Nor do the views per post always add up to the total views… but I digress.

    I love reading other author’s progess, and all about their writing journey. Even before I started writing myself, I would always read the about page and acknowledgement page to learn a bit about what made the author tick, before starting to read the book.

    You made me realise though, that I only tend to post about my progress on fb and Twitter, I rarely write anything about it on my blog. Don’t know why that is. Perhaps my blog is a bit cold and unfriendly because of that. I really enjoy your posts,,and Craig Boyacks, and Mishka Kenkins, because they are so chatty and personal.

    Hmmm…

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  29. I’m one of the guilty ones! I’d mostly love to read all of the posts swamping my inbox (currently over 300). But I confess that desperation set in when, previously, they numbered over 6,000. I deleted the lot. I didn’t even pause to ‘like’. Oh, the relief!.

    But I do see your point. It’s that rogue element, time, that causes me to ‘like’ unread posts. I shall try to refrain in future. Promise!

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  30. Jack, it would take 3 or 4 books to tell the journey of my debut novel. The prequel that I am working on may take a bit less space, but sometimes our books are a major part of our journey through life. I know mine will be! πŸ˜‰ ❀
    Peace, love & happy writing to all,
    Sherrie
    Sherrie Miranda's historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel β€œSecrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
    http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
    Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

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  31. Different folks, different strokes but still would want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and making me think that eventhough the world comprises a kaleidoscope of people, it’s such a beautiful place to share diversity and still believe we all have the same longings. Truly your site is an enjoyable trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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