September 10, 2011

The Platform Building Campaign

So I have to admit that for most of this week I've been trying to read as many blogs as I can and collate each one I follow into Google Reader (thank you Rachel Harris!) and it's no small task. I feel like there are a million buttons, like I'm standing in the cockpit of an airplane, and if I press the wrong one the plane is going down. Stobby needs a few more eyeballs and an extra set of brains.

As I go through Challenge No.1 (200 word story) on each blog, starting at the bottom of the list first, I'm noticing that people are being very encouraging but I suspect not terribly honest. I'm intrigued and Well written are so common place, I'm beginning to think they're code for I didn't get it  or I got it but was bored . Not everyone can write a masterpiece (Stobby included) but it seems as though everyone has.

So the real question is, is the challenge to connect or become better writers? I'd like to think a little of both. I've started giving comments that are more specific and potentially upsetting in a vain attempt at being honest without being discouraging. Heck, even Stobby used the word 'nother' and it doesn't actually exist.

So for anyone out there that might be offended by my comments, I apologize. I'm only trying to be caulking on a bathroom tile. I appreciate all the love that has been given to my story while I cling to hope that it was honest.

Write on!


  1. It definitely takes time. LOL Again I am not anonymous but can't seem to sign on your blog any other way. :)

  2. I appreciate your honesty. I've also been coming across your comments, and they are insightful. I can tell you understand the craft. And no, I'm not trying to blow smoke up your, ummm, well, you know.

    But I'll follow you. I appreciate those who appreciate writing.

  3. I understand what you're saying. I see the very kind comments on mine and know that it is not completely deserving. I appreciate the kindness, but after years of teaching writing I know the frustration level of students when they were in critique groups where everyone said what they wrote was great, but then they read my comments that offered a page of suggestions. They didn't know who to believe.

    I would take no offense if someone said about my piece "Your imagery was great but here's how you could strengthen the story line." Meanwhile I have to admit that I've followed the old adage, "If you can't say anything nice . . . ."

  4. I love it when comments I receive are more than just 'I like it.' I am so grateful that most of the comments I got on my campaign challenge piece were actual praise and/or suggestions!

    As a writer, un-specific comments are so frustrating because need to know why they like it, otherwise we don't know how to do it again!

    To me, each day is about becoming a better writer, and so the campaign is really focusing me on connecting, but that's just me personally :)

  5. I've never had a problem with honest commentary. I think it's the only way I can learn something and I'm grateful that someone will care enough to tell me the truth :)

    On that note, I've now tagged you with The Versatile Blogger Award!! If you choose to acccept, you can find the "rules" on my blog...

    One of the nicest benefits to this network platform building campaign is reading blogs that I may never have found any other way. I've loved your posts :)

  6. @Bryce Daniels- very flattering compliment, thank you. Not sure I completely understand the craft but will get there some day, one word at a time ;)

    @Julie Farrar- I'm beginning to think that if I can't say something meaningful, I'm not going to say anything at all. It's much easier to critique the technique then the story. A lot of stories I've read are technically ok but rather uninspiring. Of course that's totally subjective so why would I say so?

    @blackanddarknight- I totally agree. The encouragement stays with me for the day but the help resonants much longer.

    @ Ruth Hartman Berge- Thank you so much!! I'll check out The Versatile Blogger Award this week!

  7. Greetings! Fellow campaigner here. Lovely to *meet* you :)


  8. It's weird how much easier it is to believe the negative comments are more honest than the positive - I'm sure everyone's support was genuine! :-)

  9. Interesting point you raise. Having read quite a number of the pieces posted (although nowhere near all), I've tended to leave comments on the ones I liked. Although I've tried to be specific why I liked them, must admit finding fresh ways to say this does become hard after a while.

    On the other hand, if I've read something and didn't like it or thought it was badly written I've said nothing. After all, no-one's asked me for a critique of their piece, and due to the huge range of writers on-board, I find my criticisms may well be subjective anyway.

  10. The Campaign is about meeting new bloggers - not critique. I have specific people and forums if I want to do that. I'm honest in each bit of feedback I give. Maybe it's not my favorite of the many I've written, but it's rare that there isn't something positive to say.

    If you want to skewer mine, I'm #16. ; )

    As far as commenting, do as much as you can. Don't get stressed.

  11. @Sangu- that's so true. It would be great to establish an environment where we can provide not so great feed back but still take comfort that it was said in kindness.

    @Helen-that's also very true. No one's asked for my opinion!

    @ I'll check you out but I won't skewer you, I promise ;)

  12. Thanks for the comment on my blog, Stobby! I've stopped by to follow yours.

  13. Hey, N. Stobby! I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check it out at!

  14. I couldn't find an email address for you anywhere, so I'm leaving this message here. I awarded you the liebster blog award.

  15. @Matthew MacNish- I'm honoured! I've been following your blog for a while but just managed to get mine up recently.

    @Susan- That's really sweet, thank you. I think I've already been nominated though.

  16. Yes, thank you for honest and constructive comments! I, myself am challenged at writting reviews or giving good feedback to others on their writting. I know what I like, but can't always explain why.

    BYW, thanks for your suggestion to change the background or text color of my blog so it would be easier to read. I've made some changes and hopefully it's better now. I should probably watch the font size of my posts too.


  17. @Marcy Thank you and your very welcome!

  18. I loved the honesty of this post, the subject matter a main area of contention across the writing site I belong to and, I'm sure, not the only place.

    In my personal experience I've found that only a few actually embrace constructive critique, and no matter how subtle or polite you try to be, some writers, and in fact, other reviewers, can jump down your throat for your well intended effort. Some I started to steer clear of entirely; seeing other people being rudely berated for pointing out the slightest thing, the author becoming nasty even, childish, going to downrate the reviewers work in retaliation for their effort. But I notice in all these years, those people haven't moved on any; still making the same amateur mistakes that we all start with. Their loss. Having said all of that, a lot of writers set up their own groups for the purpose of being critiqued, and they worked out great - so I guess its welcomed if you're given permission by the individual - not very practical though. I don't critique there anymore, unless I spot real potential and can see that the writer wants me to, but in fact, I wondered if I should in these comps - been waiting to see how everyone else did it though, and as you've pointed out, I have seen only complimentary comments (thus far) - and which don't reflect the amount of votes showing on their entry.

    Out of interest, I wrote about this very subject matter on my blog only yesterday, given that a complimentary comment I made on someone's entry here was deleted by them for some reason, but making me feel a bit unwelcome (until I decided just to get over it). If you're interested. It's called Sink or Swim.

  19. @ SP Mount....odd thing, your comment, while sent to my gmail account for me to read, appeared in my 'spam' folder in the comments section of blogger. I had to move it out of the spam folder for it to appear on this forum. I don't know why this is. It's possible it's happened on other blogs too. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. Interesting topic.

  20. LOL... point taken - although I do wanna joke now that it seems even email doesn't wanna hear from me! The comment I made actually appeared on that person's site, and then it wasn't there the next time I looked - guess being a newbie I was over-sensitive and anything (like my email going astray) could have happened. In a different frame of mind, I've adjusted my blog post to not dwell so much on that one incident - which could indeed have been innocent enough. Thanks, it helped.