Oh, me so haw-ny! Me love you long time!
Hello, I’m a comment whore.
Other bloggers know this term well. (My friend Marian Schembari wrote about it expertly here.) You don’t have to be a blogger (or a whore) to figure it out: a comment whore is like a crack whore, except the drug is written feedback. And it’s not smokable and we don’t actually trade sex for it. If I indicated otherwise, and you left comments in the hope of a slurpy, back-alley bj or something, I’m sorry but no can do. (Married!)
Whether you blog or not, I’m sure you can relate to my addiction.
Who doesn’t like a little attention? Even if it’s negative. Negative comments are a potent high, too, because if someone took the time to write something mean or critical or just obscene, then it means they care. My writing hit a nerve!
I haven’t gotten negative comments, except those from my mom challenging the facts of my childhood stories. But I’d welcome them. I’d take any comment. Whatever I can get. Lots and lots. C’mon, give them to me. I’ll do all the things you like.
See? I’m a whore. That’s what getting hooked on comments will do to you.
Comments mess up my writing process — before, during, and after.
Before: “Will this post get comments?”
That’s what I ask myself when I have an idea. And if I decide the answer is no, then I scrap it. Because not getting comments would be terrible and humiliating.
During: “Will this post get comments?”
Yep, I keep asking it. And hitting the backspace bar. Backspace, backspace, backspace.
After: OK, bring on the comments!
I click “publish.” Done! Except, not done. Because then, the staring and waiting begins. I just sit there in front of the screen, mouth slightly agape, listening for the email DING! from that first comment. Comments? Anyone? Yoo hoo, where are the comments?
I’ve written posts that got comments in the first five minutes. So if a post doesn’t meet that standard, here’s what happens:
The Failure Cloud rolls in.
First thoughts: “OK, this post is a huge flop. Nobody liked it, and for good reason. I thought it was dynamite when I wrote it, but now I see that it sucked. Oh well, guess my blogging career is over.I had my time in the sun. Now it’s someone else’s turn. That’s how it works: one minute you’re relevant, the next you’re obsolete. Just like a macbook or Rico Suave.”
The Fail feeling is paralyzing.
It’s like wet fingernail polish: I have to just sit there with it and can’t do anything else till it dries.
Because I have things to do, I try and talk myself down from it. I think, “Well, OK, I failed. So what? Success is made of failures. You have to fail a bunch of times in order to succeed at something, right? All the greats bomb sometimes. Even Woody Allen. So if this post was a dud, I’m no different than Woody.”
I’m not satisfied with that, so I move on to indignance. “A failure? Says who?! Just because no one liked it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Look at Diet Hawaiian Punch Soda. It’s the best beverage I ever had, but I only found it once, in a convenience store in San Diego in 1990, and never saw it again. It was obviously yanked from the shelves because I’m the only person who liked it. This blog post is just like that drink. Superb and underappreciated.”
“OOOH! A COMMENT! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!”
Eventually, there are always at least a few, and so I spend the rest of the day answering them as they come in, and screw whatever else it is I’m supposed to be doing.
So there’s what comments do to me.
The solution? Go cold turkey.
I’m going to disable comments, for at least a little while, and see what happens. What do you think about that?
Tell me in the comments.
Ha ha, just kidding, you can’t.
But if you want, you can give feedback in the way of RTs and gifts in the mail. I like chocolates and bars of gold.
UPDATE: I also like crack. Anyone got some? Just to take the edge off.