How to Respond to Comments on Vocal

(with anxiety)

By Donna ReneePublished 3 months ago 6 min read
How to Respond to Comments on Vocal
Photo by Bob Osias on Unsplash

In this how-to article, I am going to teach you my tried and true method for responding to comments here on Vocal. You can use this on your own Vocal stories and maybe even in your responses to comments on other stories. Rest assured, it is quite easy although it can feel a tiny bit intimidating at first! Just hang in there and do your best.

BREATHE. The stakes are really very low. What is the worst that could happen?

Part 1: Publish a Story (and get a comment)

Step 1: Write a story or article and save it to your drafts

Step 2: Delete it

Step 3: Rewrite it

Step 4: Delete it

Step 5: Write it in Google Docs this time and send it to your best friend asking if you should publish it or delete it again

Step 6: Listen to your friend, paste it into Vocal, obsess over the formatting issues since it came from Google Docs this time, scroll through and change the featured photo seventeen times (curse you, UNSPLASH!), and publish it

Step 7: Rejoice ...Panic

Step 8: Draft an email to Vocal support (Sorry, Frankie!) asking for it to be deleted

Step 9: Delete that email draft instead

Step 10: Refresh your browser every fifteen seconds to see if any of your readers have seen it yet

Step 11: See the little red flag... WHO DECIDED TO MAKE IT A RED FLAG? Why not a green flag? Why not a smiley face??

Step 12: Feel nauseous

Step 13: Click the notification

Step 14: Because we can't stop at 13 (although Swifties may disagree)

Part 2: Read and (Over)Analyze the Comment

Step 1: Oh thank goodness, it is from someone you recognize so you don’t have to go make sure they aren’t a spammer first…. And it is also from someone who is usually really nice. Whew!

Step 2: But...what if they hated your story this time and they say so and then you have to decide if you are upset about that and then what if you respond and they get upset too and then you get in a comment fight and they unsubscribe and then they hate you forever and you aren't Vocal friends anymore and...?

Step 3: BREATHE. The stakes are really very low. What is the worst that could happen?

Step 4: Read the dang comment. You have literally never gotten into a comment fight (except sorta with that AI commenter that one time), why should it happen now?

great story

Step 5: Analyze (side note: that word looks so weird to you so you’d better just paste it into a browser window and also into Word and Google Docs to make sure it is really spelled like that this time). Okay...done, it odd... So, anyway, did they mean "great story" in a...."wow! great story!!!" way but they just don't like exclamation marks as much as you do or in a "wtf was that drivel" way but they didn't use an emoji or a tone tag so you don't really know so just maybe try to take it as a positive "great story" since you have no actual evidence that it was sarcastic? But— they didn’t click the heart button too so maybe they didn’t really like it at all? Or did they just forget? Or maybe they did click it and Vocal didn’t notify you yet?

Part 3: Respond

Step 1: Respond succinctly and gracefully

Step 2a: LOL gotcha! You know there is no way we can respond with such little analysis, right? We didn't even really OVERanalyze it enough yet

Step 2b: Draft a response

Step 3: Scroll up to make sure that their name is spelled correctly

Step 4: Scroll back to your comment draft, delete it

Step 5: Rewrite it but with more emojis and exclamation marks so they know that you really do appreciate their comment

Step 6: Scroll up to make sure you are responding to the correct comment, even though it is the only one so far

Step 7: Scroll back down and delete at least 50% of the exclamation marks (Unless it is one of your buddies in the !!! club, leave the extras in for them, they love them too)

Step 8: Notice the new RED FLAG at the top of your Vocal page...

Step 9: Panic

Step 10: Click the notification before submitting your comment response in case it is the same person commenting again and changing what they said so that then you have to change what you said because now you'll need to use different emojis

Step 11: was that person who commented publishing a story of their own... you want to read it immediately but you also want to finish your response to their comment first but also you don't want to read their story without commenting because you might forget to go back and comment later and then they'll think you don't care about them but really you do and, besides, you read so fast that if you comment too quickly they might think you didn't really read it and they might think you are an AI and...

Step 12: BREATHE. The stakes are really very low. What is the worst that could happen?

Step 13: Consider all the bad things that could happen

Step 14: Publish your comment response

Step 15: Refresh your page a few times and scroll to the comments to make sure that you responded to the right comment and that you don't have a typo in their name because that did happen one time and you still wake up at 3am thinking about it sometimes

Step 16: BREATHE. The stakes are really very low. What is the worst that could happen?

Step 17: That looks weird. Google "breathe vs breath" even though you have done this many, many times before and the answer has not changed might this time though

Part 4: Consider the Worst that Could Happen

After much thought, the worst that could happen is that you actually did click that second red flag at the top without realizing it, read the story, scrolled to the comments, and accidentally responded "Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate your comment!" with several heart emojis...❤️❤️❤️

Except you posted that in response to a "great story" comment ON SOMEONE ELSE'S STORY and OMG that would be so embarrassing you might just have to delete your whole Vocal account and go into hiding for the rest of your life 🫣

Thanks for reading! I hope that this article helps you feel confident when you respond to comments on Vocal.

BREATHE. The stakes are really very low. What is the worst that could happen?




***Author’s Note: The Real Advice

Step 1: Just be a nice person. Say thank you if someone bothered to take the time to read and comment on your work.

Step 2: Offer clarification if someone didn’t understand something in your article.

Step 3: Reciprocity is a great way to build your community here. If someone comments genuinely on your story, go take a look at their profile page (and read a story of theirs too!) 😁

Bonus Step: Don’t use AI to write your comments for you… we can usually tell.

Extra Bonus Step: Don’t spam the comment section of other stories with your own links. Just…don’t.

Super Extra Bonus Step: Don’t be a plagiarist. It isn’t worth it.

tips and guides

About the Creator

Donna Renee

Hi! Thanks for reading! My hobbies include making coffee, drinking coffee, and starting to write a story and then rage-deleting it when I get the slightest bit frustrated.

Work in Progress: WOWH, cozy mystery (paranormal elements)


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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (65)

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  • Andrew C McDonald2 months ago

    Love this. so true and real. Lol

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    I read this when you first published it and loved how much I found to be true for me; that hounding of the red flags, the panic at what the comment might be, the disappointment that there aren't as many comment notifications...etc. etc. Your real advice is amazingly helpful. That reciprocity thing can take a lot of time, but it's so valuable to everyone involved. I like to do it without the "give to get" expectation; just responding in kind. I'm so happy this got added to the Resources! How awesome!

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    Bahahaha at especially part 3, 15 and 17! 🤣 Sage-ly advice Donna. Love it! 😊👏

  • Anna Boisvert2 months ago

    I loved this! Especially the Real Advice at the end!

  • Earl W. Pearl2 months ago

    So how would I delete a story or poem I accidentally duplicated? I can’t find it anywhere.

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    AI comments seem to be a thing now. I notice them popping up on stories, I know Vocal asked for heartfelt comments to be able to be rewarded. Is that still so? Should I reply to these comments, they may or may not even have read my story, just pasting so they can get a count. so does not deserve me reading theirs. Always people finding shortcuts to fame. Funny, yet not funny article. Congrats,

  • Walterego2 months ago

    PR is really important

  • Rob Angeli2 months ago

    That was a hilarious first rendering that actually got the message of the second across very well. Great advice and congrats on Top Story!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Donna, I missed you while you were on your break from Vocal!!! I laughed so hard reading this!! It's far too relatable and I love it!! Literally felt like you were in my brain for a portion of it! Thank you for publishing (and not deleting) this!! 💜

  • Amethyst Champagne2 months ago

    Although I can't really relate, I liked your story!

  • Harmony Kent2 months ago

    Oh, Donna, you’ve made me cry … with laughter while I—unattractively—snorted my way through this brilliant, honest, and hilarious post on comments. I’m sooo not surprised to see this is Top Story. Delighted for you. 🤗💕🙂 Oh, and, !!!!!!! 🤭😉

  • Naveed2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Ahna Lewis2 months ago

    Enjoyed this one! A little too relatable at times, haha! Thanks for always making us smile with your witty narration. 😁 ❤️

  • Haha, almost had a panic attack just reading this! Nicely done! 💙Anneliese.... and I'll give you an extra heart 💙 just because I like you.

  • R. J. Rani2 months ago

    Thank you Donna! You're always out here providing value and inviting each of us to do the same. I appreciate that (and you) very much 🥰

  • Yusuf Alam2 months ago


  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Sorry, I only gave a heart last night as I was too brain tired to comment, but I didn't want you to worry I didn't like it! I loved it, so much of what I think and how I think it. It's a really struggle, lol. Wonderful lighthearted way to express what so many of us must feel. Congrats on a well deserved Top Story!!

  • Gerald Holmes2 months ago

    I loved this! I could picture myself doing just what you said. Congrats on the Top Story.

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    This all looks too complicated. I back up, submit, come back, thank commenters, return as many reads as possible.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    I really appreciate your input here and I think the reciprocity in this community can definitely be improved! I feel overall Vocal has a very strong connection to community outreach so I can’t really complain too much lol. Great article and insightful work!

  • thankyou so much!! needed

  • Heather Lunsford2 months ago

    Loved this. We all overthink from time to time. Ultimately your bit of advice at the end is great advice. Life would be better if we all determined to be a nice person.

  • Kel2 months ago

    It is refreshing to see I'm not the only one! Great piece!

  • Donna. BREATHE. Lol! And here I was thinking that I was an overthinker. I know that you did give real advice in the end but do you actually feel all those things that you wrote before that? Also, I saw that this was a Top Story but I was wondering why it doesn't have the Top Story badge thingy. Anyway, congratulations! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

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