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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

IWSG: Am I A Bad Blogger? ... I AM???

Before my monthly ode to insecurity, here’s a big
to Elizabeth Seckman, the winner (by popular vote) of my recent Photo Caption contest.

Queen Elizabeth, (whose debut novel, Past Due launched Tuesday:), please feel free to enjoy unlimited Photo Caption bragging rights through 11:59 p.m. (EST), June 30, 2012. (Please note: All brags will automatically void away to nothingness July 1, 2012.)

Please, No Autographs...

Thanks to EVERYONE who took the time to vote. It is much appreciated by me – although I must apologize as Son No. 3 has tired of *cute* and is working on *cool*.

And so, onto Insecure Writer’s Support Group…
My insecurity this month is blog-related comments.

Don’t get me wrong… I love leaving comments. My “issue” concerns replying/acknowledging comments received, and responding to replies via the comment section (once I leave a comment.)

With comments left on my blog, the problem is I’m never able to respond to all comments within (what I perceive to be the etiquette-demanded time frame of) twenty-four hours.
Sometimes, (gasps!) I don’t respond for days, and then I worry… has the person already forgotten he wrote? Will she despise me for being so late - and so lame?

As you can see, Mark is a people-pleaser, and would we, hmm, say just a little overly dramatic?

                                                                                                                                           – Mark’s Wife.
I wish I had the time to quickly answer all my comments – I appreciate each and every one – but when I spend extended time on comments, it eats into my limited writing time… and then WIP suffers because I was trying to do the right thing on the blog side.

And when WIP suffers, it sucks because I think about it every day – and feel like I've lost an opportunity when I head to bed without moving WIP along – if even a little.

But, on the other hand, I love me my blog buddies (my “Bluddies”) and the time I spend here is never wasted – my writing has vastly improved since last year, (look... no more horribly adverbs,) which means that WIP has benefited from not being worked on.

It’s all terribly confusing.
Another worry is replying to comments directly on my blog, or when I leave comments elsewhere.

I’ve made it a point (for the most part) not to respond to comments on my blog – or return and review my comments on other blogs.

My reasoning is that this takes an awful lot of time – and sometimes I’ll get distracted, read another great post, leave a comment, wash, repeat and do again, only to wonder (an hour later) who’s blog was I trying to comment on in the first place?
Oh, how I wish I could borrow Alex’s “Blog Borg” suit and spend quality hours a day browsing, reading, commenting and revisiting, but I have to choose – and my choice is WIP.

(Stands up, hands on hips, in full SIGGY costume.)

Is this bad etiquette – and if it is, and I still won’t change my ways – does this make me a bad blogger?
(Mark’s wife sighs…)

It’s OK dear… the Angels baseball will be on soon, and then you can grill some steaks for dinner…it’s going to be alright.

OK, thanks J

And so, off he moseyed into the dusk of another Hawaiian sunset…
A man.
A writer.
A mission: Finish WIP and one day be the best commenter…



Kyra Lennon said...

I feel much the same way about replying to comments. I love it when people respond to mine, and replying to other people's is something I really enjoy. But time to do it is hard to come by. Often, I just hope that me leaving comments on their posts is enough for them to know I appreciate them. I don't know if that's really true though!

Unknown said...

Aloha! I think we all feel the same, Mark. Honestly. We all love comments and feel unloved when no-one says anything (or I do anyway!) I try and get back to everyone, but sometimes it's difficult to find the person's blog when their link doesn't mention it.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Congrats to Lizzie.

S.P. Bowers said...

I have the same issue, blogging vs writing. I do my best but stop when I need to work on wip. I think most bloggers understand and have a similar mentality so I don't think I've offended anyone. Maybe...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What size suit do you need?
I can't even keep up with all of my comments! Nor all of my blogging buddies or everyone posting today for the IWSG. We just have to do the best we can.

Miranda Hardy said...

Love that picture!

I can't keep up with Alex. I tried at one point, but then had no time to write. So, I've decided to take periodic breaks from blogging so I can finish up some projects. I know my blogging friends are there when I return.

Elise Fallson said...

Oh good. This means I can leave you obnoxious replies and you'll never know! *insert evil laugh* (;

But seriously, folks don't always have the time to respond to comments especially if they have a lot of traffic coming through and are working on their wip. But you can still interact in different ways through your posts and by visiting other blogs when you have time.

In short: It's all good. (:

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I know just how you feel! And, clearly, so do many others. :) So no worries.

baygirl32 said...

bluddies - mind if I borrow that one?

Cassie Mae said...

Blogging is time consuming, but there are ways to make it less so, if that makes sense. I've been slacking on the responding dpt, getting back to people days after, but I've changed to responding via email, that way I see them all in my inbox and know I've got to respond before I delete them.

Also, there's the lovely subscribe button when I leave comments on other people's blogs. That way I just get an email when the author of the blog responds back. I subscribe to the comments on people I know respond via comment thread. That way I don't forget where I left comments either.

And it's exciting to get new emails every few minutes. It's like I'm uber popular or something. :D

However, even if there are ways to make blogging faster, you have to do what works for you. Your WIP is more important and trust me, no one gets that as much as us bloggy blog people do. Don't get too worried about people getting mad or whatever. Truth is, we know you care because of what you've already done in this community. I'm the same way about this kind of thing (people pleasing), and there are times when I have to be selfish.

Okay, now that I've written an entire post in your comment section, I'm going to leave ya to it Mitchel. Don't sweat it, know we're all dealing with the same kind of crap.

Fo shizzle.

Morgan said...

No, no, no! Don't mosey off into the Hawaiian sunset! Not yet! Don't leeeeave us... ;)

You're doing fine, Mark! Don't stress. We don't come to comment on your blog because we expect a response back. We come and comment because you have an AWESOME blog. You're entertaining, but also real. It's great.

I don't think twice about whether someone responds or not... I actually forget I leave a comment half the time, LOL. So you can just check me off your list--I know none of us want to be an added stress! :D

WIP first. <----Always! :D

M.J. Fifield said...

I fall behind with responding to comments a lot. And I feel bad about doing so but I try to remind myself that occasionally other things pop up and I don't even have good excuses like children.

You're doing just fine.

Hope Roberson said...

You are a fantastic commenter! It's exciting getting a comment on a blog post one day, two days, or a week later--time doesn't matter :) Hope your WIP is gong well!

Johanna Garth said...

No, you're a great blogger. I don't think anyone holds failure to respond to every comment against anyone else. Umm, at least I hope they don't or else I've been making enemies right and left!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I have been struggling with the same thing. I respond via email, where I have all comments on my blog sent, to people who comment on my blog. However, I just can't go back and keep a conversation going in a comment line of someone's blog - there is not enough time in the world.

I'm working really really hard on making my WIP first - not there yet, but that's the goal and blog when I can. Most people in this community get that.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

It's a conundrum. Sometimes we just have to give on one thing to achieve another, and I don't think anyone who reads your blog doesn't understand that. :)

I answer the comments on my blog, but I don't get as many as you! I guess there's a plus to not being wildly popular! I've had to curtail my commenting on other people's blogs, and I've noticed other people cutting back as well. Blogging should augment our (dare I call them) writing careers, not suck the time away.

I totally understand not wanting to be rude. It can be seriously stressful!

Nicole said...

I think we're all in the same boat with struggling to keep up sometimes. Don't worry - we're a forgiving bunch. :)

Jen said...

Ahh, I'm the same way. I used to be good at replying and then I took a break from it and now no one leaves comments at all. Now, I have to renetwork all over again! There is a lot of pressure to blogging...people don't know what it's like!

Carrie Butler said...

Don't sweat it, Mark! We're all doing the best we can. No one can ask any more of us.

...Well, they can, but they won't get it. So, there! ;)

Mary Aalgaard said...

I usually only reply if I can send a quick email. I really try to visit the people who leave comments. We're not all super human ninja bloggers like Alex. Most of us are siimply human. Write on.

Melissa said...

Anyone who's been doing this long at all should understand. Honestly, the replies IMHO are more for the commenters that come *after* than those to whom you are actually replying. I know I rarely revisit a blog to see the blog host/ess's response. Who has time for that? I'm doing well to make it there in the first place.

On my blog, I'm still replying to all, but mine are fewer (especially since Follower quit working :\ ). Perhaps the answer for you is to make an occasional blanket reply every 5-10 comments or even once a day to show you care, but to still allow yourself some writing time.

Good luck. :)

Melanie said...

I wish that life allowed me to respond to every single comment, but it doesn't. And I think that my readers understand. At least I hope they do! I never take offense when my comment doesn't get a response..though I do love it!! =D

Nancy Thompson said...

Well, I don't know about you, but I don't expect an answer to my comments. I don't have the time to reply to the comments on my own blog and so I don't expect any other bloggers to reply to mine. I don;t think that's what commenting is for anyway. It's to make a connection. Now if there is a good reason to reply, then I will, but generally I don't. And to be honest, you are one of only a few people who actually respond to my comments. So now you've spoiled me because I like seeing your name appear in my email box. But don't feel like you have to. Though it's so sweet that you do!!

Tara Tyler said...

i comment back on their blog, unless a specific response s required =)

no one can meet alex's high standard!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

First of all, thanks for the bragging rights. When I'm not people pleasing, I am a praise junkie...so this feels good.
And to my fellow people pleaser- we love you, stop worrying.

Daisy Carter said...

I know this feeling - wanting to be loved and answer every comment and please people and...

well, I don't like to grill, but otherwise...I hear ya!

Julie Flanders said...

I love the word bluddies. I want to steal that now. :D
As a fellow people-pleaser I can definitely relate to your commenting issues.

Congrats to Elizabeth! Great caption and the photo is too cute for words. :)

M Pax said...

I'll make it easy. You don't have to reply to me. I don't think anyone would notice. If they come back to check that says more about their insecurities than you.

Mildred R Holmes said...

I provided comments box for people who truly respond to something they read. My blog is a personal journal meant for generations down the road. I do check the stats and the page reads are going up. Even when I didn't have access to a computer for five months.

When I post a comment on someone's post, it's for the same reason. I do a lot of reading and don't always leave a comment. I think the post reads counts are just as important. Means someone is reading even if they don't comment.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Keep on doing whatever you're doing, and the only superhero suit you need is for being a superdad! You're able to accomplish a lot more than I do, and my boys' are grown. Julie

Flights to Dublin said...

Keep it up man! You can do it!

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