Have you ever left a comment on someone’s blog saying “I love this!” or “This really moved me!” or “I wish I had written that!” or “Lovely post!” or “Big hugs and lots of love!” or “Just…wow!” without actually having read the post? Or worse – said those things while really not liking the post at all?
When was the last time you told someone that their writing wasn’t good?
And, importantly, why do we resist telling someone their writing isn’t good? Well, we’re all good people and writing is highly subjective, so there’s that. But honestly, if something is really bad, why don’t we say something? Are we afraid of offending someone? Concerned that they’ll criticize us back?
There are consequences to our silence or empty praise. This is the sequence that occurs when we don’t criticize someone’s writing when it’s clearly crap:
- They keep writing crappy stuff.
- We keep praising their crappy stuff.
- Thus they write more crappy stuff.
- And soon we are in an endless circle of crapitude that will ultimately smother the literary world with a dense, moist blanket of crud.
We should be more honest. More open. More constructive. We should stand up to the crap. We should avoid stepping in the crud. So here’s a list of suggested comments we can leave to break the wheel, when, inevitably, we see blog posts that suck:
- You know, while there’s some merit to your writing, most of it is about as valuable as my last flatulence.
- I really disliked this. It made me feel bad about words in general, or that anyone could use them in this particularly unlikeable sequence.
- Your spelling and punctuation is fantastic. Everything else utterly sucked. But seriously, way to go with those commas!
- You know that rule “show don’t tell”? You don’t, do you?
- Please give me more exposition and fully lay out the internal thoughts of your characters. I want to know every detail of what they are thinking. Plot? Story? Trusting the reader to fill in the blanks? Forget that stuff. Just kidding. You suck.
- This piece was about as inspiring as an anal wart, but much uglier and with a far greater chance of spewing disgusting pus into my underpants.
- Shit. Shit. Shit. This is shit. When people describe writing that is shit, this is the shit to which they are referring.
- Wait, haven’t you written this post before? Blathered about the same anxiety and hardship? Oh this time it’s in the form of a poem, you say? How unbelievably clever. Maybe next time you can repeat the same post in the form of a clever dance routine or poignant puppet show.
- I’m sorry, but I can’t read your stuff anymore. I’m afraid that it may actually impair my ability to reproduce. While perusing your last piece, I actually felt my reproductive organs tightening in a very unhealthy manner. It’s not that you aren’t great, but I want to breed successfully. I’m sure you’ll understand if you don’t hear from me ever again.
- Your last piece wasn’t funny. It wasn’t moving. It wasn’t thoughtful or interesting. It wasn’t exciting or passionate. While I acknowledge that there were words on the screen, they seem to have exactly no point whatsoever, and I remain curious as to why they appeared there in the first place.
- You, sir or ma’am, are a complete asshat for writing that spurious piece of trash. I would offer you some criticism, but the inept suckitude saturating this piece with its suck-juices is too acidic to contemplate further, and the noxious odors emanating from this mass jumble of dank ass-paper is currently asphyxiating me.
And there you have it. I have thrown the first stone. Opened with the initial volley. I would suggest that the load of you reading this leave a deservedly unkind comment on the crappiness of this post before I get around to reviewing your posts and leaving my own saucy, brutal comments. Let the honesty commence!