Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catching writers off-guard

How to respond when someone says "I read your column"?

It always catches me off-guard. I guess I don't expect people to actually read what I write; not people I could run into during the course of my day, anyway.

I think I've answered "you do?" on some occasions. Especially when someone says they have read my columns, but give no indication if they liked them, or whether they agreed with them, or if they think I should be locked away forever for my opinions.

Yesterday I was caught off-guard by someone who said he read my "stuff" and I just said "I'm sorry". I'm not sure if I was being humorous or not, since he gave no further feedback. I was thinking "...and...???" Anyway, I asked which "stuff". I guess he has read a bit of all of it. Still not sure what he thought of it, though.

Usually when people tell me they read my column they do so in a conspiratorial manner. They sidle up and say "Hey, I really enjoy your columns" and then slip away quietly before I can say much more than a quick "thank you". This is the most fun feedback.

I've also had people comment favorably and leave me wondering if they actually understood what they read- like when the one woman thanked me for "standing up for good moral values". Me? LOL!

Maybe I should write myself a few scripts for such occasions.


  1. I think a simple "thank you" is all you need to remember. I read many blogs, some I agree with, some I don't. They are all part of what I use to keep myself informed of differing views on issues. Most of your blogs I like, some I don't like. I thank you for all of them. So you should thank others. The fact that they read it is enough of a clue that they find value. Sometimes value can't be defined as "agreeing".