The Writer, His Wife, and the Over-Excitement about Medium Claps
Edwin, the writer: “Gladys. Gladys! Come here quickly. I’ve got claps!”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “That’s lovely, dear. Don’t jump up and down so violently. You’ll spill your coffee.”
Edwin, the writer: “Look. I’m almost famous!”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Hardly dear. You’ve got over two hundred. When you receive thousands… No, millions — which I’m sure could happen, one-day dear — then you may need to wear a disguise, lest you’re mobbed by admiring fans when you collect your pension at the post office. Until then, though, drink your coffee and write something new.”
Edwin, the writer: “I must analyze what people like to read first. Here we go… My readers like my toilet humor.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Oh, not AGAIN, Edwin. Please write about something else. You embarrassed me last time, announcing my headaches with public conveniences.”
Edwin, the writer: “Can I just tell people about the time you got wedged into a tiny toilet cubicle? You remember… You had too many overstuffed shopping bags hanging around you they got stuck, and I had to pull you out?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “No. Don’t mention that, dear. Why don’t you write about your claps?”
Edwin, the writer: “Good thinking.”
Writers are encouraged to write and, indeed, hone their craft when they receive positive feedback. One clap from a potential fifty is still a clap. No matter what people say.
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Exactly, dear. They accumulate.”
Edwin, the writer: “Thank you, Glad.”
One clap from a potential fifty is still a clap. No matter what people say. Fifty out of fifty is definitely better. Indeed, one to five could be classed as sympathy claps. But they are still nice.
Ten claps out of fifty mean a reader doesn’t exactly dislike what you’ve written. But they are lukewarm about your story. Like when you reach into a box of chocolates and get out one that’s not too yucky, but it disappoints you nonetheless.
Twenty to thirty claps. Now that’s better. You’re in the middle zone. A reader who claps about twenty-five times thinks your writing’s okay. Not disappointing. They like what they read.
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Not if you’re engaged in a game of tit-for-tat, dear. Why only the other day you said you gave someone fifteen claps because that’s what they always gave you.”
Edwin, the writer: “Shush Glad. I don’t always do that. It depends on my mood. When I’m magnanimous, I hand out armfuls of claps like Santa Claus.”
A reader who claps about twenty-five times thinks your writing’s okay. Not disappointing. They like what they read.
Thirty to forty claps. Your reader genuinely enjoys your writing and isn’t afraid to say so.
Fifty claps… Well, that means your reader is the Dalai Lama. Most readers are too afraid to spend that many claps. Those claps are taken directly off their credit cards…
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “No, they aren’t, dear. Readers pay a once-a-month set fee. Remember?”
Edwin, the writer: “Oh yes. But they FEEL expensive, don’t they, fifty claps? Sometimes I hand over fifty to pretend I’m a millionaire.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “That’s a little weird of you, dear. And when you give a lone clap, does that mean you imagine you’re Scrooge?”
Edwin, the writer: “I don’t do that anymore, Glad. That was when I was a newbie. I thought I only had fifty claps to share among everyone for the whole month, so I was careful not to waste any.”
Fifty claps… Well, that means your reader is 100% glad to read your writing. Here’s my analysis of clap-giving as a takeaway.
1 to 5 claps___Sympathy applause
5 to 10 claps___Unknown zone
10 to 20 claps___On the fence. Lukewarm
20 to 30 claps___Not disappointed. Like what they read
30 to 40 (+5) claps___Likes your writing quite a bit
50 claps___The Dalai Lama zone. 100% enjoyment
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Well done, dear. Why not do a graph? People like graphs. Hang on a moment, though… What about when readers just hold the applause button and let go without looking? It’s hardly scientific, is it dear? Do you do that sometimes?”
Edwin, the writer: “Ahem. I guess I do now and then, Glad.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “And isn’t it true, you sometimes applaud twenty times and say ‘that was brilliant, Gladys. Come and read this story.’ You’ve put 20 to thirty claps as ‘like what you read’ rather than brilliant.”
Edwin, the writer: “This is the problem, Glad. There’re no guidelines. Humans are fickle. Maybe my readers will offer their own takeaways about claps in the comment section.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Anyway, dear. It’s not all about claps. Writing’s a spiritual, creative experience. It’s about getting to know other writers and readers and having fun with your muse.”
Edwin, the writer: “Yes. I forgot that for a moment. I still like claps, though, dear.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “I think you should calm down about applause. It’s not healthy to want to be popular. It will make you unpopular.”
Edwin, the writer: “You’re right, Gladys. I mean, why do I write anyway?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “It’s not for claps, dear. You’re not a performing seal.”
Edwin, the writer: “Life was easier before the clap dilemma came along. Now there’s so much more than writing to think about, like, has anyone clapped since I drank my coffee?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Never mind, dear. Forget about claps. I’ll let you write about me getting crammed in the tiny lavatory cubicle after all.”
Bridget Webber writes articles for magazines and websites; she often ghostwrites for professionals who can’t spare the time to pen compositions. She’s written poetry eBooks and is featured in several leading publications.