Monday, June 8, 2009

To Comment, or Not to Comment?

There's been a lot of stuff out there lately about this very topic, so here's my two cents worth. And this will be permanently posted on my sidebar (it's already there) in case anyone gets mad at me in the future for not commenting. Just so you're warned.

I write for personal enrichment. It forces me to use my brain, improve my vocabulary, focus my energies, and exercise my talents. Even if there is only one person out there besides my blood relatives who reads a word I've written, I want my writing to be as clean and polished as possible for that one person, and for myself -- because I am a bit of a perfectionist, and because I have found that it is a singular pleasure to go back to old posts and reminisce about what my kids were doing, or what I was thinking about. I am grateful that even though I can't remember what was happening in my life six months ago (precisely) I have recorded something of the thoughts and events I was experiencing then.

I also read for personal enrichment. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't. But I never (can I say it louder? NEVER) comment just because I want someone else to comment on my blog. I would call that insincere. I would call that fake. I would call that a bit too much like middle school for comfort.

I comment when I feel moved to comment; when I have some valid question, or an answer for someone else's; when I feel inspired by someone's post, be it hilarious or harrowing or heartfelt. But I don't not comment because I disliked something. Sometimes it's just the opposite, and I feel like anything I could say would seem trite next to the extremely wonderful post I've been reading.

I expect the same of you, dear readers! Don't comment on my blog just because you want my comments. You may or may not get them, and if you do, it will have nothing to do with reciprocity. The only thing that will get me to comment on your blog is content.

So. I write for me. I read for me. Sometimes I comment. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I get comments. Sometimes I don't. But either way, I'll still be writing. And either way, I will have many happy days of reminiscing and remembering in the future because I had the wherewithal to write down some stuff about my life.


  1. Say it like you mean it sister, and I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. Love it. And I'm flattered that I see you so often over at my place. I think sharing a brain makes it easier to comment on one another's writing!

    I'm so paranoid about appearing needy or 'fishing' for comments, I sometimes hesitate to comment on some of the super-popular blogs (like Kristina's or Debbie's from Suburban Sanity) even if I have something to say. I love their stuff, but I hate having to shout to be heard.

    And in 57 posts, I've only ever asked for comments once. And it nearly killed me to do it!!

    Oh, and the same goes for following. But perhaps that's another post for another day...

  3. Reciprocity in commenting? I must confess that if there is some kind of understanding like that than I missed out on it. That's not even something I was thinking about in my post.

    Glad to have inspired you, btw. It's kind of refreshing to re-think the why of it all, isn't it!

  4. If I read it, I'll leave a comment letting you know I stopped by. I only hear from about 1/4 of the people who read my blog, so I never fully expect people to write on mine... I just know how much it brightens my day to read comments that I don't feel like I can leave anyone without that happy feeling too. However, I never ever comment something nasty. If I don't have something nice to say...

  5. I feel less like a stalker when I comment.
    I do appreciate knowing someone is out there and if you had never commented then I probably wouldn't have got to "know" you as much. It's kinda like someone saying hi and they don't say hi back. You only do that so many times before you move on.
    But I also agree that commenting to just comment is silly.
    And I rarely comment on blogs with hundreds of comments. I'm more of an under 20 comment commenter.
    A lot of times I'm reading blogs while putting the baby to sleep, so I can't comment, so I try to come back later, but it doesn't always happen.
    I'm glad you write. And I'm glad I can read it. And sometimes comment.

  6. Reciprocity in the blog world is an interesting thing.

    I write because I'm an aspiring writer and darn it, I'm going to write no matter if I get one comment or 100.

    But also as a writer, I appreciate feedback and discussion that flows from comments, which often lead to deeper thoughts & understanding on the topic for me.

  7. There have been quite a few times when I have not commented on your blog because you have left me speechless. I truly enjoy every post you write. Thank you for sharing yourself and your talents. You continue to amaze me.

    By the way, I told my mom about the hot cocoa that you order from Switzerland and she so wants to order some. Could you send me the info in an email?

  8. Ok, now you've got me scared to comment (jk!)

    I've never even thought of commenting so someone else will comment on my blog. Like you, I comment when something calls to me. All the time I delete my words instead of posting, because everyone else has said things so much better than I can.

    For me, comments become a way to vaildate my writing - to make me feel less alone I guess. Because they make me feel good, I like to give them to the writers I like.

    And yes, you can take that as a complement.

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I have people who comment on my blog and say, "Thanks for commenting. You are one of my only blog friends." And it kind of makes me feel bad if/when I don't feel like commenting! I know it's just plain ridiculous, but I'm such a nice person, I kind of feel obligated at times. I'm trying to figure out how to be myself, and figure out the balance that works for me. And be true to myself too. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts!

  10. So here I go, commenting fo rthe sake of commenting. . .

    Just kidding. I just wanted to come by and thank you for the list of book suggestions on my blog. I am putting them on hold at the library as we speak. (well, type. . .)

  11. I want you to know I was surfing around this morning, and read this in your sidebar, and thought, "You go, Girl!" I'm glad to stumble upon someone who approaches the blogosphere with a degree of rationalism, honesty and dare I say? sanity. So, I came back to comment. Specifically because of that sidebar. It tugged at me. I feel much the same way. I'm sure i've offended half of bloglandia the way I tend to disappear and reappear and...well, frankly, life's too short.

    I, too, write for the fulfillment. I love the interaction. But only when it's genuine.


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