What is my writing worth?
Today’s piece is more of a question than an actual article. I hope it will get us thinking and produce some discussion. Behind this question lies an experience which happened to me twice in a very short time.
Occasionally, I write a piece of flash fiction on my blog which I consider little more than playing around. These pieces are usually dashed off quite quickly and I’ve never really considered them as serious fiction. So imagine my surprise that two such pieces (Blundering Into Someone Else’s Story and Literary Pastiche) have been the ones that have received the largest number of comments on my new blog, actually getting into double figures. Which leads me to the first question:
- Is there a relationship between the number of comments on a blog post and the quality of the post?
Last year Jodi published two excellent series of articles on beta reading and on editing. Armed with these anyone can begin to take their first small steps into helping other people improve their writing (to be confirmed by those for whom I’ve beta read over the past year). But most blog comments are just marks of appreciation intended to express appreciation and encourage each other into continuing. They’re certainly not meant to provide the kind of analysis a beta reader or an editor would. So, to my second question:
- How can we comment in such a way that the reader knows what is really of value and what is better put aside?
I often ask myself, which of my flash fiction pieces are worth developing into something more substantial? I feel I may not always be the best judge of that. But honestly, no one has ever mentioned this to me in their comments. I hope no one feels I’m getting at them here. That’s not my purpose. I appreciate every single comment I receive and like everyone else, I’m flattered when people make positive remarks. Besides, let me be the first to raise my little finger and admit, I’ve never really helped discover this either. And so to the third question:
- What is this piece really worth?
Not so much, how it could be improved, but is this something that is worth pursuing? I doubt that all my work is. But I dare to hope that in amongst the dust and coal, the occasional sparkle of a diamond might be discerned. And surely, there’s no better place than this community to share with each other, where we think that diamond might be.