The Art of the Comment

Don’t worry: this isn’t another long treatise about the etiquette involved in commenting. But rather, an expression of my admiration for those who comment exquisitely well.

When I began blogging, I didn’t think much about commenting. But soon I realized that the community of bloggers I had stumbled upon was as valuable to me as my writing. Maybe more so. Participating in ICLW was a crash-course in empathy and also an illuminating lesson on how diverse and challenged and hopeful the ALI community is.

I’m not the commenter I wish I was. There are a few reasons for this. Sometimes the emotions that bloggers relate are so despondent that I feel I don’t have anything to say that could possibly alleviate their suffering. Sometimes I feel words don’t have enough power or currency. Sometimes, shamefully, someone’s joy makes me envious. That’s not to say that I haven’t absorbed many posts and celebrated with you or cried with you. It’s with a sense of failure that I admit that I haven’t commented at all.

Here We Go Again wrote a really useful post about how to comment. It made a big impact on me.

Which brings me to this: some posts I never commented on are the posts I remember the most. The words you wrote reverberated in my soul and stuck in my brain like rubber cement. Your words were sticky and true.

Here’s a few posts that moved me beyond words:

Stink-Bomb on “Fitting In”
Write Mind Open Heart on Death and Dying
Wistful Girl on “Carpe Diem”
Mrs. Spit on “About Gabriel”
Dragondreamer’s Lair on BlogHer
The Bloggess on Beyonce the Metal Chicken. Just kidding! But if you want a laugh, go. Right now.

There are some writers in the blogosphere who are immensely skilled at commenting. They have a gift for empathy. They take a lot of time to tap into the pain or joy of others. I wanted to take time to thank you and honor you. Here’s a few comments that have lifted me up, made me laugh and made me think.

Pick-Me Up

I KNOW that you are an amazing and talented writer and I know that whatever you put out there in honor of NIAW will be worth the wait because it will be honest and thoughtful and from your heart.

Esperanza

For Laughs:

I decided years ago that philosophy was invented by men with too few household chores.

Lut C

Learning From Others:

Do I think you should continue to try and seek joy? Absolutely! I think we all should – but I also don’t think you should feel guilty if you don’t find the positive in every single situation. For lack of better words, life sometimes sucks.

Maura

AND

There was a time when I believed that everything happens for a reason, but I don’t anymore. I now believe that we can (and should try) to make some good come from everything that happens to us in life (especially the challenges and trials we face).

Kathy

But I want to empathize that EVERYONE who has ever left a comment here on my blog has made my life better, more bright and sometimes you have given me a necessary kick in the butt. THANK YOU, ALL AND EVERYONE.

Are there posts that have ever moved you beyond words? Please link to them below. Which commenters do you admire?

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21 Comments

Filed under ICLW, writing

21 responses to “The Art of the Comment

  1. Thank you. I am honored to be mentioned with such illustrious company. I will try to come back and link to a few of my favorite posts…right now, bed is calling.

  2. Kym

    It’s so funny that you wrote this post about commenting. I’m trying to be a better commenter now that I’m writing again. I’ve been making a point to respond to comments left on my blog either on the blog or through email. I was doing good at commenting on others’ blogs up until I started work. I have to put myself on some sort of commenting schedule. I read EVERYTHING, but comment rarely because when I’m reading others’ blogs, it’s usually on the fly when I barely even have time to do that much.

    I actually have set up a “best comments of the week” post to run regularly on my blog. You guys have been leaving some doozies lately that have me in stitches, and I want to honor that. 🙂

    • That is such a great idea! 🙂 Love it!

      You make a good point: commenting definitely takes time. I read a lot of posts on my phone on the fly too. Then I forget to go back later and comment or I get too busy. I bet that’s true for a lot of people.

  3. A post that truly moved me beyond words is titled Maddie’s New Home http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/mike/maddies-new-home/#more-12559 It talks about how Heather and Mike were trying to find a place for Maddie’s urn…so touching.

  4. I’m also not as good of a commenter as I would like to be. I’m often at a loss for words and just want to give love. But even that I don’t feel I do well enough.

  5. Esperanza is a freaking amazing commenter. I’m jealous of her mad skillz and patience.

  6. I’m so glad you wrote this post because I, too, am often as touched by comments as I am by the posts they leave their mark on.

    And, of course, I’m honored/humbled to have made your list. That was an important post to me and I’m glad it resonated for you.

    You really make me think about being a good citizen of Blog World!

    • Thanks Lori 🙂

      I have thought about that post a lot since you wrote it. It really expressed the essence of your experience with your MIL’s passing and was so sad, yet also observational and, most likely, we’ll all have the experience of going through this. And so it was universal. The memories about what she was like before and after cancer broke my heart.

  7. I sometimes wonder if I comment too often and not well enough. Quantity doesn’t make up for quality … some day, I will find enough time in my week to be as good a commenter as Esperanza!! 🙂

    • You are an awesome commenter also! You have pointed out things to me (like your observation about how you look up to mothering role models instead of worrying about bad mothers) which have changed the way I looked at the world. It was really hard to pick my favorite comments, because there have been so many moving, helpful ones from all you guys. Bodega, Elphaba, Mommy Odyssey, you, Lori, and the list is pretty long.

      That being said, Esperanza really does know how to leave a great comment. She should write a post about it.

  8. Esperanza

    You are too kind fo include me in this post, especially since I’ve been a pitiful commenter of late. Seriously, I’ve been really shitty about it.

    I also sometimes am moved beyond words and don’t comment on a post because I’m not sure what to say. That happens a lot to me on Bloodsigns. I want to say something but everything I have to say seems so pedestrian, it’s like I don’t want to sully the page with my trite drivel.

    I think my biggest problem with commenting now a days is I read blogs almost exclusively on my iPhone and I’ve lost so many comments that took way to long to punch out on my iPhone to really attempt a decent comment on there anymore. I’ve started starring the ones in my reader that I want to come back to but I forget or don’t have enough time. Anyway, I need to think of a system ASAP because commenting is very important to me as both a giver and receiver.

    Thanks for writing this post and reminding me of how important comments are. 🙂

    • OMG: you are SO right about Bloodsigns. Whenever I comment on her blog I totally sully her page with trite drivel. Her latest post made me sob ugly for about 15 minutes. Darcy was concerned. I left a tearstained, unworthy comment. There’s a few other bloggers I feel the same way about, like Edenland.

      I think you are being way hard on yourself about commenting. You are a master. I saw on Stirrup Queens once that someone highlighted your COMMENT on the blog round-up. I’d never seen that before. You have a unique way of empathizing with others.

      In short, you rock.

  9. I am feeling a LOT of pressure to leave a REALLY GREAT COMMENT now.
    um
    um
    um
    Your hair looks very nice today.

    And SEE??? that wasn’t even a comment about your post (which was lovely, by the way) but just a comment about YOU. And it may or may not be factual depending on how you are feeling about your hair, but you can’t beat someone telling you that you have great hair.

    {side note: I NEVER have great hair}

  10. I too am so very honored to be mentioned in this post. Thank you! xoxo

    I may have shared this with you before, but part of why I don’t comment as often as I could (or possibly should) on other’s blogs is because I take so much time to consider and compose what I have to say after reading their posts.

    I really appreciate receiving comments on my blog, as I am sure we all do. I will have to think more about specific posts and commenters that have made an impact on me. Thanks again for the mention, it means a lot to me! 🙂

    • I can tell that you spend an incredible amount of time, energy and deep thought when you comment. That is definitely what makes a comment from you seem like an extra-special gift. Every time I see an awaiting comment from you, I get really excited because I know it’s going to be really wonderful. Thank you for these gifts: I truly treasure each one.

  11. I’m of course just now getting to this post in a desperate effort to make up for my (usual) lack of commenting on other blogs 🙂

    One of my favorite, FAVORITE posts, that I read shortly after I started blogging, is here at Gil’s place (The Hardest Quest): http://thehardestquest.blogspot.com/2009/05/less-than-15-weeks-left.html She writes about feeling her baby move inside of her, and reminds us that we all deserve this experience.

    I’ve filed it away whenever I need a pick-me-up, when I start to feel hopeless. Yes, even I feel hopeless sometimes, despite my seemingly boundless energy and spirit for this community. Even if only for those couple of paragraphs – Gil’s post always inspires and recharges me.

    Since moving to WP, I’ve found it easier to at least begin engaging in conversation with commenters on my blog now; it does mean so much to me when folks leave comments. I’ve never been one who handles praise well either, so it’s been a definite effort on my part to be gracious and thank those that do.

    Now I just need to start leaving more/better comments on others’ blogs 🙂

    • Thank you for the link to Gil’s post: such a unique and lovely take on pregnancy after infertility.

      Your energy and spirit for the community ARE boundless, and I do often worry that you might feel the need to always be strong for us. I hope you know that we are all here for you too when you are feeling down, not just when you are fighting for us. You are such an amazing and special person and I want more than anything for you to experience the feelings Gil describes in her post.

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