The Thing About Comments

I decided before I started SILENT BOUNCE to disable comments on this diary. I had a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s too easy to "write to the audience" if I get feedback from the diary’s readers — "Real Writers … BOunCE" became much more about posting something interesting for its readers to read, and much less about writing about writing, after I added comments.

The second is that comments create an emotional connection for me — I’m bouyed by the kind and encouraging comments … and hurt by the nasty ones. I need to keep my emotion focused strictly on the writing, and avoid the distraction of walking around angry about some particularly snippy attack.

The third is that if I permit comments, I then have to watch them. Some comments require a response. Some deserve a response. But I don’t have the time or the energy to focus on responding, vetting, and following up. I have my e-mail on the site turned off for the same reason.

However, I have to manually turn off comments for each post. Sometimes I forget.

If you see a post with comments enabled, and you don’t see a line somewhere in the post that says, "I have enabled comments for this post," please don’t post. The comment form is there in error, and any comments, even the kind ones, which have been the only ones I’ve received so far, will be deleted.

I deeply appreciate knowing that you’re out there reading what I’m writing. Your presence (verified by the steady climb in page views and other site stats) reminds me that people are waiting for the next book, and that I need to stay on track.

For the time being, though, I need to keep a wall up, even if at the moment it’s a thin one.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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