Sharing My Comments

This is my reader comments binder. Getting comments on my column is one of the things I like best about being a columnist. Good or bad, I think comments help me understand my readers better.

If I get a positive email from a reader, I feel like I’ve achieved one of my goals as a writer, which is to make a connection with readers; whether they’re currently a part of agriculture, grew up with it, or are fascinated by it and enjoy learning more about our way of life from my columns.

If I get a negative email, I try to understand what the reader is feeling or trying to say and it gives me a basis for striving to improve my writing for my readers. Even though I prefer getting positive feedback, I don’t consider a negative comment a bad thing. I use it as a maintenance tool to keep me on track with readers because if readers are willing to take the time to read my column, I want them to get their time’s worth and want to make every word count.

My favorite comments are those in which a reader says he or she can relate to a particular column. The one column that I got the most response from was Spouses in Translation. I write about subjects related to agriculture and rural living but try to write in a way that would be of interest to readers outside of that lifestyle. It’s a good challenge for me to try to reach a wide span of readers.

Early in my column writing career, I printed off every email comment I received because they were few. Eventually I decided to keep them in a three-ring binder. My goal has been to fill the binder full.

It’s been worthwhile to save everyone’s comments because on tough writing days when I don’t feel like I’m writing anything worth a reader’s time, I read through my binder of comments. They make me feel good and validate what I do.

If you would like to be a part of my book of reader comments, email me your comment at . I would love to hear what you have to say and thanks for reading!

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