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A Writer’s Brew

Comments — Are they useful to writers?

A bunch of mulberry leaves, 1–2 stalks of lemongrass, a few pandan leaves (aka screw-pine leaf), and the final secret ingredients, a few slices of ginger for heat.

Throw them into the boiling pot. Let the herbs brew for a good 30–45 minutes.

As the sweet heady scent fills my kitchen, I ponder about writing.

As writers, we will come across all sorts of comments on our posts. Some of which brings comfort and makes you smile silly all day. In contrast, some make you shocked by the assumptions readers made. But mainly, the comments exist because we have stirred something in them — consciously or unconsciously.

Like the mulberry brew, we often get a melange of comments, the good and the bad. These feedbacks are remarkable in a way. They are a bit more personal than claps or likes. They are indicators like traffic lights for writers.

Sometimes, it is like a sign of life to a quiet, lonely article. On other occasions, they come together like a beach party.

Whatever it may be, it forms the beginning of a connection between the writer and the reader. As writers, we get a casual glimpse of the reader’s online personality. What they like, dislike. What points resonate, and what topics they disagree with you. As they follow our writing, we learn a little bit about them.

Soon with enough of the same comments, like it or not, our written piece goes through a ‘virtual community’ validation process and gets its classification as a good or bad article.

Here is where it gets tricky. The writer’s intent can remain the same, or it can take on a whole different direction, especially when comments come across LOUDER than necessary.

Like the ginger giving a hot punch to the brew, comments can be provocative. It takes a hit at the writer’s vulnerability because of assumptions made, and it can destroy what was originally intended. Often these nonsensical rants miss the whole point of the written piece, or it is there to draw attention to the reader’s own written blog.

Is this okay, though? I ponder over my hot brew.

I honestly do not know. The readers have every right to comment as much as writers have the right to put up their thoughts.

But as writers, we can do a few things:-

  1. Stand by our writing and provide more clarity- facts, and numbers
  2. Simmer on the comments and acknowledge them with gratitude
  3. Ignore them completely — block/delete comments

We have choices…

Like the brew, if left to simmer longer, it will taste better. Similar to writing, the more we write, the more we bring depth and maturity to our writing. Readers’ comments play a role in shaping what we put out and as writers have the power to decide if we can build upon these feedbacks.



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Ching Ching

I am a Malaysian discovering ways to write about my life and my encounters with people. Nature is my inspiration.