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My Expectations As a Writer Of My Readers And Myself

Let's Open Up The Book And Get Raw

By Hope MartinPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - March 2024
A Starry AI Creation

Mackenzie Davis issued a challenge in one of her more recent articles: Writing is NOT a Safe Space.

I think this is an amazing idea - because let's be real, I am not writing for fun. I mean, I am writing for fun, but I also want to be a good writer. I want to be a writer with content worth reading. I want people on my writing platforms who read my work to say: "Oh man, she published a book? I have GOT to read it!"

To become someone whose writing is worth reading, I need to grow as a writer. There is always room to grow, no matter how good we are at something. And I am not the best.

So to help me grow, I have expectations of my readers.

I know, it's arrogant and presumptuous of me to have expectations of people investing their time reading this, and anything else. But I am a woman of conviction (once I've finally made up my mind) and I stand by my expectations. They aren't unreasonable, I promise.

I want open and honest feedback, not just compliments.

The encouragement and kindness I have gotten from the community here has been amazing. I don't think I've ever had a truly mean word spoken (typed actually) at me. And I gotta tell you, sometimes my readers make my whole week with a loving compliment.

But I feel like that doesn't help me get better. I want people to mention the things they notice. Compliments are nice, but honesty is better. Genuinely mean it if you're going to tell me you like my articles or writing. But if you see me losing my touch or rambling, you should mention it.

A personal flaw of mine is having a whole freaking lot to say. I don't realize I get repetitive sometimes until someone mentions it. I like it when people help me improve my writing. I want to be good at writing. So if I've made some mistakes or if I have lost my focus, tell me. So long as you're giving me constructive criticism, I will thank you!

I want you to take the time to read it - not just skim through it.

I get a lot of people skimming my work. Some of my articles are long - so I understand. At the same time, I work hard on what I write. I do not publish anything I feel half-hearted about. If my heart and mind aren't invested in what I am writing, I delete it. Mostly because half-assed writing sucks. Especially mine.

So taking the time to read it - so I get that 'read' instead of 'viewed' stat would be the best way to support me if you enjoy my writing.

Fellow writers - teach me your ways!

If you have tips that can improve my writing, please don't be greedy! I majored in business management, not writing or literature. So everything I learned is from very basic classes. I love learning new things, and it's not offensive to tell me where I can improve.

I work hard - so enjoy what I write. And if you don't enjoy it, you really should tell me.

What I mean by this, take the time to read it, and enjoy my writing. Or get mad at it. Whatever way you go. If I evoke feelings of any sort, I've done my job as a writer. I like hearing your opinions. If you agree with me, why? If you don't, why not?

And if my article just sucked for some reason - go ahead and tell me so and why you think that. You might be surprised to find I agree with you sometimes. Haha!

I am not afraid to be corrected.

I like looking smart. So I usually research anything I'm doing an article on, just to make sure I've got my facts. But I have a secret, and I need you to keep it on the DL: I'm a human. Which means I make mistakes.

I mean, don't tell anyone else, but when I make a mistake, it's totally okay to correct me with resources so I can better educate myself.

Just kidding. Blast that shit in the comments if you like. If I am wrong, I'm wrong, and there's no one to blame but me. But I don't like having inaccuracies in my work. So tell me if I mistaketh maketh.

Expectations of myself as a writer.

Don't think you are the only one accountable for my growth. You are just a small portion of it. Like the protagonist in my own story, most of my character development and skill growth must come from within (hey, this applies to everyone in the world). So I have to have values and expectations to hold myself accountable to.

I am responsible for my success.

Pretty obvious, right?

I am responsible for learning from constructive criticism.

It's my job to learn. And it's my responsibility to take what people are trying to teach me and learn from it. I want to grow and improve, and most of all I want to stay humbled.

I will not take criticism (constructive or not) personally.

I can't control other people. I can only control myself. And I am responsible for accepting criticism or insults responsibly and maturely. I can either be insulted and have my feelings hurt, or I can re-evaluate, and see if this is a learning experience.

I can't have my feelings hurt if I keep an open mind, and filter out the troll comments. But, I haven't had any negative experiences with anyone on here so I doubt that will happen.

I am responsible for telling my personal truth.

I am a writer who will always stick to my values of honesty. I will not write things that I don't believe or stand by. I will not accept money to write lies or half-truths. I am responsible for telling my truth.

I am responsible for creating work that I am proud of.

My goal is to create work that evokes emotion and thought or carries people away into a story. And through my writing, I am most vulnerable and honest. I am responsible for bearing my heart through words to the world, words that are worthy to be archived and kept in existence forever. And I am responsible for creating work that I can be proud of.

Fellow writers - will you answer the call?

Challenge to Fellow Writers:

I challenge you to write down your standards and values as a writer. Really sit and meditate on this. Imagine your ideal peer reader giving you feedback. What do you want this person to focus on? What do they bring to the table that you know you need to hear in order to improve? Write it all down. Then, go back to the first principles of writing. What do you value?

When you’ve done this, compile it all into an article and post it to Vocal, pinning it to your profile. This will act as your declaration. Make it known in the title! Anybody who chooses to invest in you will have read this. - Mackenzie Davis


About the Creator

Hope Martin

I am a published author of a book called Memoirs of the In-Between. I am doing a rewrite of it, as it needed some polishing. I am a mom, a cook, a homesteader, and a second-generation shaman.

Find me on Medium also!


Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (14)

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  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    So glad you wrote this. I expected no less from you, Hope :)

  • Brin J.2 months ago

    So, I tend to read things a little differently than most. I'll skim a story, but then go back because I've been fed a glimpse of what to expect, and therefore absorbing the story comes much easier. I noticed when I read something through once, I'd forget everything instantly. My brain just taps out when I try to take in a load of information without room for it to breathe. But when I skim highlights, then go back, my brain has already had the chance to make a brief analysis, and can properly digest the material. P.S. I love your personal truth. It's a good value to keep when so many influencers twist things to gain a following.

  • Mark E. Cutter2 months ago

    Well, well, well. I just LOVE it when writers give me license to shred their work! I'm kidding. I do appreciate those who are brave enough to stand up and say "let me have it" instead of "only say nice things to me." I agree with you 100% and I also like people to offer me criticisms of my work. How am I supposed to grow as a writer if I don't know what works and what doesn't? You've done a great job here of putting this concept forward in succinct and straightforward fashion. I look forward to picking apart--reading! I mean reading! More of your work.

  • A. J. Schoenfeld2 months ago

    Love this. You are brave to ask for what I think we all both want and fear. I would ask the same from my readers. My only critique is that you start a lot of sentences with the word "and." It should be reserved for instances where you are really trying to draw attention to the point in that sentence. Overuse waters down the effect. But take my advice with a grain of salt, I majored in History which is very heavy writing but also very formal writing.

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    I thought point number five was too similar to point number two! I hear you, I have often said I would like more constructive criticism on here - I know my work isnt perfect, I also know that art is subjective and if you loath my work just because it doesnt sit with you, that is also ok! I offered out a week of critique recently - the uptake was less than I expected, but to be fair, I have no expertise! It was also WAY more time consuming than I expected too!

  • Joe O’Connor2 months ago

    This was an honest and thought-provoking read Hope, and I like how you have laid out what you are looking for on Vocal, what you want to achieve, and what you would like to see from anyone who reads your work. Hopefully this leads to more genuine and constructive feedback for your writing🤗

  • Dorian Davies 2 months ago

    Currently, the work of a baker is hard

  • Kay Husnick2 months ago

    I appreciate your call for feedback in this (and the way your sense of humor comes through). I feel like sometimes Vocal comment sections become overly-positive. I really have to question whether or not I feel comfortable making more constructive comments because comment sections almost have a "toxic positivity" energy to them sometimes. I love how we all cheer each other on, but sometimes being supportive is giving real feedback.

  • Saylor Rica2 months ago

    Remote work isn't just a trend, it's the future of work. Work Remotely from your own house. We just want your typing skills, You as2 can make more than 120USD/Hr. No matter where you are. Let’s Grow together and do great things, even if we’re far apart… Take a Look……… 𝐖𝐰𝐰.𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲𝐏𝐚𝐲𝟏.𝐂𝐨𝐦

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    This is a cool response to the challenge! I will say that I wouldn’t assume your readers skimmed through if your comments don’t match your read numbers or something like that. It seems to take a lot of sitting around on a page twiddling your thumbs for a read to clock as a read here 😬

  • Test3 months ago

    Sensational work! Keep up the excellence—congrats!

  • sleepy drafts3 months ago

    YES! Oh my goodness, I want to "heart" this several times. This wonderfully put into words what I was feeling also. "But if you see me losing my touch or rambling, you should mention it." - this part especially stood out to me. I also have a habit of rambling a little. I like to know where my writing dips and how to tighten it. I've found that when writing personal reflections, adding a photo (even one from Unsplash or Pexels) helps break things up a little and keep readers engaged. Your headlines were fantastic examples of effective ways to organize your thoughts while doing this; I found your headlines creative, eye-catching, and engaging in a way that helped your piece flow naturally. Your writing voice is also engaging and feels natural to read. This was such an awesome, awesome response to Mackenzie's article. I was so happy to stumble upon this. I'm excited to keep reading more of your work. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this!! 💗

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    Oh, this is marvelous! This, THIS is everything I was trying to communicate: "I can't control other people. I can only control myself. And I am responsible for accepting criticism or insults responsibly and maturely. I can either be insulted and have my feelings hurt, or I can re-evaluate, and see if this is a learning experience." ---Such a valuable mindset! I also love your last value: "I am responsible for creating work that I am proud of." Too often I read stories that feel more like they're catering toward their audience before they fulfill the writer's goals. What's the point in writing if you only want to say what other people already WANT to hear? Innovation is at the heart of every writer's decision to hit the 'submit' button. Thank you so much for taking up the challenge, Hope! I was afraid no one was gonna post it here. Too vulnerable an ask, perhaps. So that fact that you did is giving me optimism that maybe others will too and we'll start to see a ripple begin! Are you also on Medium?

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