If it Weren't for Reading
A mentor of mine once said: "Where would you be if it weren't for reading? You can't get so caught up in your own writing that you forget to read." At that time I was focusing on completing my first novel (that I've been working on since I was 10!) and that's all I wanted to do; I wanted to complete that novel and publish it--that was before I was made aware of how hard publishing is... but that's another story.
Where would I be if it weren't for my reading? That's a good question. We don't learn to write first, do we? We learn to recognize letters, to read letters. But this Hub is not about writing vs reading, it's about writer's etiquette.
Yes, "writer's etiquette"; requirements of social behavior for writers; an accepted code that should be followed by all writers.
Writer's Code of Conduct
Read unto others as you would have them read onto you. Simply put, if you want people to read your work, you need to first read other people's work.
Let's begin in a general sense. Reading other works not only improves your writing style but it gives you ideas. Without the sharing of ideas in every aspect, what would the world be? How would anything have been invented if people didn't share ideas? Ideas is what makes the world go 'round!
Reading exercises your mind, your intellect. It teaches you new things. Face it, you don't know everything. We wish we have all the knowledge in the world, but we don't. We may be well-rounded and very knowledgeable but not omniscient.
Now let's get back to the code--read unto others as you would have them read unto you. You expect people to read your writings but you don't take the time to read other people's work? As writers, it's hard sometimes to come out of our own word of imagination (especially for fiction writers) and into someone else's world. We need to read other people's work if we want other people to read our work. Think of it as a kind of "writing Karma." You give what you get or you get what you give.
This code applies especially to writing and blogging communities such as HubPages. It's important that we read other people's writings. People take time to write, not for it to occupy space on the internet but so that people could read it.
Polls Are You Friends
On HubPages and other blog sites, writers put polls to get an idea of what their readers think about their writings. For example, in some of writings people may ask a question such as: "Would you like to read more?" and I'm sure they would appreciate a response because it helps them realize when they need to improve their Hubs or when their Hubs are just right.
Quizzes are also your friends. Writers create quizzes for a reason; perhaps to ensure that the readers have understand what was written. If you don't have time to take the quiz at the moment, you can always return and complete it. It's just courtesy.
Comments Among Us
The comment capsule and the vote up/vote down capsules are there on the pages for a reason, not for decoration. For me, after reading a Hub that I enjoyed or at least found interesting, it's natural to comment. Even if you're commenting just to say "Good Hub" or "Interesting", do so.
I know that, personally, I look forward to comments. When I log onto HubPages and see a number beside comments, I get so excited. I love reading what my writers have to say to me. If, as a reader, you do not like what you have read and if you have constructive criticism, I feel that it's alright to contact the writer privately. I mean, don't insult the writer, don't badger them; simple corrections or suggestions would suffice. I received a correction one from a Hubber and I was so grateful because I was able to correct my mistake.
I'm not perfect. I don't always comment on people's writings but I try my best to. Commenting is proof that you've read the Hub and that you had some interest in it.
That being said, I think it's also important for the Hubber to respond to their readers' comments. I always respond to my readers' comments. I also look forward to responses from comments I've made.
Am I being picky? I hope not.
Basically, being polite on HubPages is easy:
- Follow the writers' code of conduct (read others' work)
- Take polls/quizzes
- Comment and vote up
- Follow and leave fan mail
- BE NICE--don't leave rude comments and degrade a Hubber's writing
Celebrities Amongst Us
I love the fan mail feature on HubPages. It kind of gives you the impression that you're a celebrity. Of course, there are legitimate writers on HubPages but I'm taking about us normal people.
To be honest, when it comes to following a Hubber who's following me, I don't always do that. I feel bad sometimes when I realize that the Hubber has no Hubs which I'm interested in. Still, I always make sure to read at least one of the Hubs and comment. You can find something your interested in, in any Hub, no matter what the topic. There's no loss commenting on at least one Hub. You may not be interested in the Hub but you still learn something. I guess I've just made another code of conduct: "follow others as you'll have them follow you" or at least "comment on others because you'll want comments too."
By reading and commenting on other Huibbers' writings, you help yourself. How? Well, first there's recognition. The Hubber you've commented on will most likely be interested in finding out who you are. That way, you get a potential follower and fan. Also, other Hubbers who comment on the reading you commented on will recognize you. So, taking time to comment is not just beneficial to the Hubber but to you as well. Commenting can help boost traffic to your Hubs.
It's Not Just Me
I'm just a new edition to Hubbers hubbing about hubbing etiquette. Therefore, I come to the conclusion that many other people feel the same way I do about commenting and other such courteous acts on HubPages. I'm just a novice on HubPages so if you don't believe me, check out the other Hubs below (remember to rate and comment these wonderful Hubbers):
By Dobson: http://hubpages.com/hub/Hub-Pages-Ettiquette