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Comment Challenge, Revisited

The Rich Writer: Comment Challenge, Revisited

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Comment Challenge, Revisited

My earlier posts (here and here) about the Comment Challenge sparked a lot more discussion--and heat--than I anticipated. My apologies to the illustrious Mother Reader, who set the Comment Challenge ball rolling, so to speak. I think the challenge is a wonderful idea and a great way to encourage writers to connect with each other.

But I still think we each need to ask ourselves if participation is beneficial or a waste of time. Not that I think the answer is cut in stone: it will be different for each person. For me, it meant taking a hard look at how much time I was spending on the challenge--and why--and whether I was accomplishing that purpose. At the outset, I found myself spending a TON of time going through posts, trying to find something on which to comment, and yes, wondering if it was the best use of my time.

It wasn't. BUT--asking myself that question let me change my strategy. Has the Comment Challenge been a waste of time for me? No, but it could have been, if I'd participated without changing course midstream. Comments for comments sake aren't so useful (altho, as a goal-oriented person, I'm quite capable of collecting my 3/day for the sole sake of meeting that goal); but comments for the purpose of continuing a conversation or making a connection or saying thank you for someone's effort--those are useful.

Mother Reader addresses this question in her Nov. 19th post, where she answers the question "Is the Comment Challenge an insidious waste of time?" as follows:

Yes, as are blogging, blog-reading, and commenting in general — except where those things focus your writing, present fresh ideas, spur new thoughts, make helpful connections, form lasting friendships, and promote your work, blogging or otherwise.

Really, the best answer for each person is contained in two questions:
  • How can I maintain balance?
  • Why do I blog?
Lovely answer--because she pinpoints the fact that each of US needs to ask those questions of ourselves. The answers won't be the same for everyone. Some of us should be participating full steam; others, perhaps, will find they need less time on blogs and more time on other priorities.

Me? My life is totally out of balance, in all the best ways. But I guess that's another post!

:) Cheryl

PS--Yes, the photo is totally random :). What can I say? I think the emu is cute!

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