According to all of my ‘proper’ writing friends, you’re not a successful writer until you’ve received some really bad criticism of the stuff you put out for the world to read. That means I’m now a ‘successful’ writer then!
A couple of days ago I had a comment on one of my blogs, it read:
read the first paragraph and fell asleep, but eventually woke up and read a few more. probably the most boring blog i have ever read. your family is not as exciting as you think it is.
My advice back to the reader was:
In that case, I would respectfully suggest you don’t read it again.
I didn’t hear back from him which was no great surprise, why would he waste any more of his precious time on something he had no interest in? As far as his comment on my family not being as interesting as I think it is, I agree entirely, my family is fascinating to me but not nearly as much to anyone else. I talk about my family only in the hope that sometimes I can impart some knowledge about some of their disabilities that may help other people. That was the whole point of starting the blog in the first place, sharing my experiences bringing up a large number of autistic children and children with Cerebral Palsy. I’m very fortunate to have received a lot of feedback from people telling me that they have, genuinely, learnt stuff that has helped them. This means that to a greater or lesser extent, I am achieving my goal and that, in turn, makes me very happy.
Back to the criticism and, being eternally open minded, I re-read the offending piece and frankly, I agree with him! It was boring and very badly written so his criticism was actually well founded. I hope all of my blogs don’t fall into this category although I’m sure some do.
I actually have no idea who reads my daily ramblings apart from a few friends and friends of friends. I can understand their interest as they know us a family or at least know of us. How I have gained readers spanning the entire planet though is a mystery to me? How do they find the blog in the first place and why on earth do they find it interesting enough to spend their precious time engaging with it? Maybe I am actually getting some of it right?
Google Analytics tell me that people not only hit the page but actually stay there long enough to let us know that they really are reading it from beginning to end as well. But it does beg the question why people find our daily ‘adventures’ entertaining in places as far flung as China, Australia and Barbuda (where on earth is that anyway?) …..answers on a postcard please?!
I do wish I could meet them all, as while the Internet gives us access to a huge audience, it is also faceless and therefore very antisocial. I like face to face contact, I’m not even very keen on using the phone, I will either email or meet in person, I don’t like the ‘middle ground’ of talking to a piece of technology and avoid it if at all possible.
Taking all of the above into account though, I don’t actually profess to being a great writer, I know I’m not. Up until 2 years ago the thought of writing anything filled me with utter dread, I hated it. Then I was asked to write a book, my memoir, and having spontaneously said ‘yes’ (engaging mouth prior to engaging brain, as always) it occurred to me that this was going to entail an enormous amount of writing so I’d better get over it!
Excluding all blogs, I’ve now written in excess of 400,000 words on a variety of subjects including the books, that’s a lot of words for someone who can’t write! Having hated English at school and never having paid attention does account for my poor syntax and awful punctuation but as far as my blogs are concerned, I’m not pretending to be a great, professional writer, I do it for fun and put it out there for anyone who feels they would like to read it.
I would therefore like to thank manutd798 for his astute comments and out of sheer courtesy I won’t mention his appalling punctuation……..oooops! He has, however, made me realise that generally speaking, people do engage with my writing and don’t dislike it enough to comment. I’m guessing this is good?
So to all of my readers from every far flung corner of the planet, an enormous THANK YOU for tolerating my boring blogs as well the less boring and an even bigger……..
to everyone who shares my drivel with all of their friends so that even more people can enjoy(?) my daily musings. I will continue undeterred, so fear not, manutd798 hasn’t stopped me in my tracks. I’m sure you’ll all be please to hear that?