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Another utterly stupid question

People usually write because they have something to say but I suppose many people write to get feedback. My question is: why don't writers react to the feedback they get?

I do understand that real life is - or at least should be - more important. Kids to take to school, husbands to feed, relatives to call, friends to meet, cakes to bake, laundry to tackle, dogs to walk, museums to visit etc. Many of us might even work and/or sleep. If a writer is really productive, posts daily and gets a lot of feedback it's quite natural that it's (at least almost) impossible to answer all reviews.

But if a writer posts something let's say once a month or takes part in something like the hd_career_fair, gets some but not too many (whatever that is) reviews and doesn't even thank for them what does it tell?

Is it time for the RL card again? Or are those people just being impolite? That would be hard to believe in most cases because their other posts give the impression that those people are kind, nice and considerate. Or is the next fic taking so much time and energy that thanking for reviews is just too much?

I've always been my own worst enemy and I hate pretty much everything I write. Could that be the reason why writers don't comment? They have written the fic that was lurking in their minds, posted it feeling that everyone will hate the story and laugh at it and them. So they don't read the reviews at all? Ever?

Just wondering.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
It's not a stupid question. Usually I like what I write, I wouldn't post if I didn't, and I read all the comments and reply to them shortly. But it really bugs me that some authors don't do the same.
Nov. 8th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
It's nice to know that you like what you've written. :) That's how it should be! I appreciate all the writers who at least thank for their reviews.

I've always been awfully critical. No matter what people tell me I doubt my writing skills. Ridiculous, but true. Maybe when I'm 110 I'll post something here. But don't count on it. ;)

That's why I thought that others might be critical too.

I'd hate to think that lack of manners is the only reason why reviews get unanswered. There was actually a writer in another world who's fics I stopped commenting because she seemed just plain rude. If she had been a better writer I might have reconsidered my decision... Sorry, that was mean. ;)
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
I never understand not thanking for reviews. Although, sometimes, it is hard to know what to say. I can't imagine anyone not reading them, or not having the time to say thanks. Everyone's busy, but we make time for things we want to do.

But then, I'm still in the 'omg people are leaving reviews on my fic' stage of my eljay life, and so every comment makes me happy inside!

I tend not to leave comments for people who never answer reviews - sometimes that makes me feel mean because I comment on everything, generally, but most of the time I just feel if they don't want to enter into the interactive element of eljay then I won't either...

Your questions are interesting, not stupid!
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
"Everyone's busy, but we make time for things we want to do." Exactly. I always have time to read or write but I don't necessarily have time to do something I find boring. I hang around here way too much but I haven't been to the gym for ages because I'm always ill. Hmmm, I do see a connection here but please do not tell anyone. ;)

I like calling my questions stupid because people tend to answer them more. They want to help "the poor dummie" and I get more feedback (to thank for). Hee!

Not answering to reviews might have something to do with getting too much feedback. Maybe it feels stupid to write "Thank you! :)" 87 times per day.

It has happened to me a couple of times that I've been really tired (I don't sleep enough, I know) and commented a fic half asleep. The writer has thanked me for my review and then explained to me why she thinks I didn't understand her fic at all and what she actually meant. It has been kind of endearing. Naturally the writer knows what she meant but she doesn't know how I see things and feel about them. Anyway it has been interactive and therefore just fine.

You're fics are really good. You deserve all the nice comments you get. :)
Nov. 8th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
You're fics are really good. You deserve all the nice comments you get. :)

Aww! Thanks!
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
I'm still in the 'omg people are leaving reviews on my fic' stage of my eljay life

LOL. Same here.
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
I do my best to reply to all my comments as soon as possible. I still have to go back to reply to all my career fair comments now that the reveals are up, and I have a few in my journal that I have to do, but the only reason it's not done yet is because I've been working all weekend and finishing another fest fic in what spare time I have left. I love comments so very much, and I always try to thank people for reviewing, from the nice, long reviews to the simple "loved it" types. I keep every email notification for new comments until I've replied, and onlt then do I delete it. That way I always have a reminder of what I need to do yet. And when an anonymous fest fic is posted, I subscribe to the thread so that I can read all the comments as they come in.

So I guess my answer is, I have no idea why some authors don't reply, but I am grateful for all the people who take the time to leave any lovely words for me, so I try to let them know that.
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
In my opinion you always answer your reviews. Usually sooner than later. That's one of the reasons why I've commented your fics so much. Naturally the obvious reason is that they're good and I like them. :)

I did remember other fests (the Christmas fest, yay!) when I wrote my question. I think writing another fic is a legitimate (yes!) reason for not writing thank yous. I'm really looking forward to reading the next fest fics.

I don't know if you can see here how many times the fic has been read or at lest seen - like in The Hexfiles. I've noticed there that a fic might be read even over a thousand times and there might still be just about 5-15 reviews. Therefore I think that writers might get more feedback if they found the time and energy to answer those people who did bother to comment their stories.
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
I have considered hiring a secretary to reply to my comments. I feel horribly guilty for not replying to comments and right now I have two or three posts on my own journal with unanswered comments PLUS hd_career_fair AND now hd_fanart.

It will take me at least an hour just to reply to my comments and right now I am up to my eyebrows in hd_holidays, so the comments will have to wait, even though I feel MADE OF FAIL.

*sobs and wants a time-turner*
Nov. 8th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
What on earth happened to the hot young man you hired? Did he run away with another hot young man? It happens.*nods*

Sad but true: I'm hooked to FarmVille at Facebook (among various other things). I friended a cute, lovely and sweet young man and drooled at his picture for hours. He sent me some messages and they were oh-so-lovely and witty. I wanted to marry him (no, not really) until I found "Gay Friends of FarmVille" at his profile. Naturally he is gay! Otherwise he wouldn't be so wonderful.

I'm so going to reborn as a pretty and hot gay man.

You've been so productive that it is perfectly understandable that you haven't had the time to answer each one of us individually. You did thank us all for commenting which was nice. The Order of Merlin was just breathtaking! *sigh*

Hd_holidays is an excellent reason for not answering. And you always answer - sooner or later and I do appreciate that.

Actually - who cares about stupid thank yous at all? Just keep the porn coming and I'm happy! ;))
Nov. 8th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHA! Yes, I had the exact same problem with Facebook and you're absolutely right about the loveliness factor. Straight boys just don't get it.

(I made the mistake of hiring a hot housekeeper as well as a hot secretary and I haven't seen either of them since. Oh well, I'm sure they are happy, wherever they are. *giggles*)

Nov. 8th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Well...as a newbie, I do answer every comment as soon as I can, because I'm very grateful and excited to get them.

I'll say this in defense of those who don't get to it right away, though. It's way more time consuming than I ever imagined and the only reason I'm so quick to do it, is that I don't post very often. I've noticed that many of the people who are slower to respond are more prolific, and I assume they are creating wonderful things with that time. I'll take new stories and art over a reply to my (often inane) comment any day :D
Nov. 9th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your answer. I do believe that answering is time consuming. It's bound to be. That's why I perfectly understand that people who post daily cannot possibly manage to answer (all) their reviews.

But reading and reviewing takes time too. The world is filled with fascinating things. I could always meet my friends or read something wonderful instead of reading someone's fic and using my valuable time to review it. If I don't ever get any answers it makes me feel that my opinions are inane and don't matter at all. So why bother to write reviews at all? I most certainly do have better things to do and other fics to read. Maybe fics written by writers who do find the time to answer their reviews.

On the other hand you're right. If not answering the reviews means that we get to read more lovely porn, I mean fics, then it's at least almost fine. Sort of. Stubborn? Who? Me? No... ;

Nov. 8th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
I reply to every comment I ever get. Forget on fic and stuff, anything. Granted, I only write for exchanges, but the first thing I do once the Big Reveal goes up is first go and reply to every comment on my submission, and then thank the mods on the Masterlist.

I don't know why people wouldn't thank for reviews. Not even those writers/artists that get a jillion of them because they're so popular (though it's more understandable then). People took time to not only read your work, but review it, too (which, may I point out, a lot of people don't do, they just read it and go away), and no matter how many people loved it, you should be thankful for every single one of them. I think, any way.

I doubt many writers would never read the reviews to anything they post. Even if they really hate it. I think it goes against human nature.

And as for you always not being quite content with what you write, I truly believe that the person who stops and says "I am now good enough" fails right then.
Nov. 8th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
I can only speak for myself, but I honestly can't keep up with replying to comments. It may be like that for others, too. I work outside the home, I have pets to care for and housework to do, I have some TV programs I like to watch and other leisure activities like reading, plus I do try to have a social life both with friends and family, and then there is all the fricking things I DO write and post. I don't know how other people who have kids to run after and a spouse to appease do it. I guess what I'm saying is, in most cases it's not that the author or artist doesn't care or is too full of him/herself to reply--it's just that people honestly are too busy.
Nov. 10th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
I have to agree with this, too. My time is limited with what I write, and some authors (like Jae) post much more than I do, and have a billion and one more readers than I do. I can only imagine what the volume of comments for them must be like. My dream is that one day I'll have more comments than manageable, too! But most of these authors are still lovely people and don't seem like they don't care.
Nov. 8th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
They have written the fic that was lurking in their minds, posted it feeling that everyone will hate the story and laugh at it and them.

I feel like that every single time I post something - but that in its turn makes me feel there's even more reason to thank everyone who comments! Although I sometimes take long to reply to long, detailed comments, because I want to say something useful/thoughtful/hopefully reasonably intelligent back and not just go SQUEE and dance around... :)
Nov. 8th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
I do my best to keep up with comments mainly because I'm here for the conversation. It's my favorite part of posting. :)
I may miss comments sometimes (esp if IJ or LJ goes wonky with notifications) but I like to think I answer prolly 95% of my comments.
Nov. 9th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
Yes, you do and I'm sure I'm not the only one who really appreciates your effort. :) I love your fics. The fluffier the better because I’m not that into angst. Some misunderstandings are fine but I love, love, love happy ends. You usually manage to put a smile on my face and I’m grateful for that.

"It's my favorite part of posting. :)" I'd say that's exactly why you and many others do it. People tend to do things they like and enjoy.

I just thought it might make sense to create an answer generator to those writers who like to receive reviews but do not have the time or the energy to answer them.

There could be several short comments like 1) "Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!", 2) "He IS hot, isn't he!", 3) "Thank you for your kind review. I'm considering a sequel.", 4) "Haha! Yes, they do!". 5) "Penis!" (don't ask, hee!) etc.

The longer answers would be mixtures of some really clever, lovely, funny and/or profound comments throughout the years. They shouldn't be too hard to locate and recycle conveniently.

This generator could be an "inner circle" secret because some newcomers might think the system is rather impersonal. On the other hand it could be public and the writer could just use numbers to write general answers to everybody. The number could even be added in the end of a fic to save time. "Then the lived hornily ever after. The end. Please recycle comment number seven (whatever that is)."

That should be a relief for overworked people leading their busy lives. They would have more time to write wonderful fics and it would be fun writing reviews to match the answering comment that is already there.

I wonder if someone would be interested in creating something like that. Unfortunately I'm technically challenged. Otherwise I would certainly give it a try.
Let me assure you that I do not claim any compensation for my brilliant idea. ;)
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
I always thank for reviews unless for some odd reason I don't see them - which is why I obsessively check fests I'm in cause they don't come to my email.

I love getting reviews and have been lucky, that out of all the stuff I've done, I've only ever had two 'negative' reviews (which killed me, but whatever). And since I appreciate the time people take to write the comment, I always try to reciprocate.

Your career fair comment amused me to no end :D You were so indignant! *loves*
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )