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I Will Go Skimming, No More!

A letter to those I have subscribed to

By ThatWriterWomanPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - October 2023
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Photo by Romain Vignes on Unsplash

Dear People That I Have Subscribed to,

Some of you may notice that I have taken a little break from publishing regularly on Vocal recently. I am hoping this will serve as a good explanation as to why.

If I were a bug, I would be a pond skimmer. I flit from one thing to the next, spending very little time focusing on things in detail. Because of this, I miss out on a lot of great things. One of those things has been some of the amazing writing here on Vocal.

I follow fiction and poetry on here and if you are on my subscription list, that means I find your work very pleasing, You are an excellent group of real people writing things that should receive WAY more attention than they do.

I tend to skim as I read on here, focusing on the main plot point and not any detail. I use my possible pending ADHD diagnosis as an excuse to reach for the end of a story as opposed to savoring every word. I think I do this because I am excited to read everything in one go and get to the next great piece as quickly as possible. You are all exciting people writing exciting stuff!

But here's the thing, if I go to eat at an amazing restaurant with an exciting chef, I would not be chomping through the dishes to get to the next course. I would be savoring every bite and trying to make every mouthful last as long as possible...

A few months ago, I really challenged myself to savor the stories that come into my subscription feed. I challenged myself to be an attentive reader.

It is difficult to fight back the want to skim, especially if I am living through a day of distractions. However, over the course of a few weeks, I think I have managed to train myself to be a decently focused individual. When I read your stories, I actually lose myself in them, disappearing into the descriptions like Alice down the rabbit hole - completely.

There is something of great importance I have to say to all of you.

YOU ARE ALL SO TALENTED!

I knew you were good, that's why I subscribed, but I had no idea you were all so brilliant!! You have taken me on so many rich adventures through your stories this month! Futuristic sci-fi mystery, poignant seasonal poetry, spooky tales - you name it, I've read it!

I had no idea you were all such geniuses!

All I can say is that I am thoroughly sorry for ever skimming your work, however small the skim. I was robbing myself of the true value of your work.

I solemnly swear to skim no more!

Thoroughly reading every word of a piece gives value to subtler themes. Themes that are overlooked when skimming. I have found such deep enjoyment in my reading recently. I feel I have rediscovered you all!

This platform, and the folks on here, sometimes encourage a level of production that I find can dilute quality and actually encourage skimming. As such, I have also vowed to write for myself, and not the numbers. Since doing so, my numbers have tanked, but the comments I have received recently have been so detailed and much more encouraging to me. I have a lot of you to thank for that!

My next resolution will be to learn how to give valuable feedback back to you all.

Any advice?

Sincerely,

ThatWriterWoman (the ex-skimmer)

---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

See these three:

Grey by Poppy

The vivid imagery of this poem is matched only by the masterful language used to describe it. I highly recommend this. Poppy is a fantastic writer!

https://vocal.media/poets/season-shift

Season Shift by Celia in Underland

Stunning descriptive visuals in the poem on the shifting seasons - Beautiful!

Humans by Kayleigh Fraser

Brilliantly sobering message with a hopeful theme! Motivating, vivid, and stunning work from Kayleigh Fraser

Bad habits
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About the Creator

ThatWriterWoman

Welcome!

Writer from the UK (she/her, 25) specializing in fictional tales of the most fantastical kind! Often seen posting fables, myths, and poetry!

See my pinned for the works I am most proud of!

Proud member of the LGBT+ community!

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Comments (31)

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  • Abdullah4 months ago

    That is good to read this kind of articals

  • Tiffany Gordon 4 months ago

  • My thoughts exactly! Honestly, I wish I was retired so I could sit with Vocal all day and read every story I come across

  • Alexander McEvoy4 months ago

    Skim reading is a massive skill but also a huge trap 🪤 I also found that I was skim reading stories posted on here, trying to get through them as much as I could (and to see if I could faster than the estimated reading count at the top) and I learned quickly what I was missing out on! A few creators I don’t quite recall as I write this, had such brilliant twists and in line foreshadowing that I found myself rereading the story to pick up on it all. Deciding to read more slowly, I found so much more enjoyment than ever before!

  • Hope Martin4 months ago

    Aww you're sweet! It's good to get all the details in. What I do for Vocal is when I'm getting into the writing mood, and getting the inspiration, I take time to go through my notifications (or if none, which isn't possible, some of the authors I subscribe to publish 3 or 4 a day sometimes), I'll open about 5 or 6 articles (if some are poems, I'll open more because they are quick to read) - or I'll come through someone I'm really feeling the vibe with that day and go through their other published stories that I may have missed. I'll let myself read for about 15 to 45 minutes, and usually when I'm done, I'm inspired.

  • Real Poetic4 months ago

    Great selections and so happy you’re back. Congrats! 🎉

  • StoryholicFinds4 months ago

    Congrats and I love it! ❤️❤️❤️

  • kp4 months ago

    thanks for this relatable confession. i, too, come and go from this platform and skim many stories, for better or worse. ultimately, i'm only cheating myself. people on vocal are wickedly talented, including you! thanks for the recommendations at the end! i'll find those poems right now and give them a thorough read-through.

  • Dana Crandell4 months ago

    Skimming is a constant temptation on this platform, especially if you subscribe to a good number of writers. Then there are those real-life distractions that get in the way, too. I applaud your "confession" and the commitment.

  • Leslie Writes4 months ago

    This is so thoughtful and honest 💖 I have concentration problems too. I tend to read the 3 min read stories with ease, but any longer than that and I really have to commit myself. Even if it’s a story I want to read, I sometimes have to put it off until I’m “ready”

  • Phil Flannery4 months ago

    We're glad you're back. As for skimming, it depends on how tired I am and how much free time I have. I try and read those who read me. Not always and not enough. As for writing and statistics, I only write when I'm inspired, challenges and such. I am trying to get through the entries in the big competition at the moment. It's a lot. I didn't enter. I will get back to reading others writing after that. Don't be too hard on yourself, we all do it differently. As for advice and feedback. I usually comment on how it affects me. I don't consider myself qualified to do anything else. If I can't say something nice, I say nothing. Good luck moving forward.

  • Naomi Gold4 months ago

    I respect your honesty. Most people on Vocal skim, and it truly made me question why I was sharing my work here. I ultimately decided not to anymore. I believe I deserve a real audience. Not of people comment trading for personal gain, but people who actually take in my writing and contribute to the conversation. That cannot be found here. I read here, and I pray the best writers here discover their worth someday. This platform is a hamster wheel of seeking validation from other people who are seeking validation. A purgatory. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for being genuine.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)4 months ago

    This is so relatable for me TWW!!! I also am a bit of a skimmer... Like I will always read the first couple paragraphs and then depending on the content may or may not skim. Which I sometimes feel bad about but also have to remind myself that not all stories are super engaging and that's okay. That being said, I've never skimmed your work as you just have this beautiful engaging way with words! I feel like skimming is an important tool to have though as some who has the official ADHD diagnosis and also has trouble focusing sometimes! But I also find that sometimes its the computer/ phone screen that makes it hard for me to focus because I never have trouble reading a book... 🤔 not sure how that works though.

  • Brin J.4 months ago

    Oh! this is so understandable and no one faults you for skimming. I'm sure many of us are guilty of it. Me, I skim because, same, I need to know the ending. But once I'm satisfied, I often go back and reread it with a different perspective. I honestly enjoy doing that because then I have my initial experience, and then an understanding of the events that the author was building up to. Yes, it is a bit time-consuming, but I love reading and writing, so it's never time wasted 🤗 However, if I'm feeling drained that day, I'll pick a genre that won't be as bulky as a 5k-word fiction story. Poetry, microfiction, book/movie reviews, and writing tips are my favorites for those occasions. <3 <3 <3 Hope this helped & I appreciate being included in your subscription list. I don't take it lightly♥️

  • Caroline Jane4 months ago

    That's a lovely resolution. Like you, I miss half of what my favourite writers produce because there is simply so much production. I try to read some from everybody and think about what they want from me as i do. Some people I think want an affirmation, others want my thoughts/reflections. The latter I don't think is always necessary and possibly even unwanted or unwarranted. It is always a judgement call. I just guide my comments with what I think the writer wants. I am not infallible of course and I am time bound... but... I try. Thats all we can ever do I think. Is that in any way useful? 🤔

  • JBaz4 months ago

    My sentiments as well. Good reminder for us all. Congratulations

  • The Dani Writer4 months ago

    This is such an important topic to focus on and you did it expertly! Taking time and savoring is where it's at.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby5 months ago

    I love your honesty here and I sometimes skim but usually its for news or politics lol

  • Me, skimming this story: 😮

  • Naveed 5 months ago

    Congratulations on achieving top story status! ❤👌👍

  • KJ Aartila5 months ago

    You're a good writer. Woman - I have always looked forward to your comments. :)

  • Gerard DiLeo5 months ago

    Skimming is a product of our age, unfortunately. Thanks for saying this!

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    What a wonderful open letter. I think we can all be guilty of skimming sometimes. And you give wonderful feedback. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the TS.

  • Lol, the ex skimmer 🤣 I tend to read very fast too but I make myself reread the parts that I've skimmed so that's how I train myself to read properly. I'm the opposite with you on food. I eat so fast, even faster than I read, lol. I just have no patience at all 🤣

  • Judey Kalchik 5 months ago

    First- brilliant open letter. Second- I always find you engaging, and with a few sentences you tell my ( the writer) what struck you in the piece. I could never hope for more. Third- reads of my work are NEVER seen by me as a contract. Each is a gift, it’s part of your precious 24 hours that day. Thank you for giving voice to our thoughts once again

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