The Writer, His Wife and the Over-Excitement about Medium Claps
Edwin the writer: “Gladys. Gladys! Come here quick. I’ve got claps!”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “That’s lovely dear. Don’t jump up and down so violently. You’ll spill your coffee.”
Edwin the writer: “Look. I’m almost famous!”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Hardly dear. You’ve got over two hundred. When you receive thousands… No, millions — which I’m sure could happen one day dear — then you may need to wear a disguise, lest you’re mobbed by admiring fans when you collect your pension at the post office. Until then though, drink your coffee and write something new.”
Edwin the writer: “I must analyze what people like to read first. Here we go… My readers like my toilet humor.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Oh, not AGAIN Edwin. Please write about something else. You embarrassed me last time, announcing my headaches with public conveniences.”
Edwin the writer: “Can I just tell people about the time you got wedged into a tiny toilet cubicle? You remember… You had too many overstuffed shopping bags hanging around you they got stuck and I had to pull you out?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “No. Don’t mention that dear. Why don’t you write about your claps?”
Edwin the writer: “Good thinking.”
Writers are encouraged to write, and indeed, hone their craft when they receive positive feedback. One clap from a potential fifty is still a clap. No matter what people say.
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Exactly dear. They accumulate.”
Edwin the writer: “Thank you Glad.”
One clap from a potential fifty is still a clap. No matter what people say. Fifty out of fifty is definitely better. Indeed, one to five could be classed as sympathy claps. But they are still nice.
Ten claps out of fifty mean a reader doesn’t exactly dislike what you’ve written. But they are lukewarm about your story. Like when you reach into a box of chocolates and get out one that’s not too yucky, but it disappoints you nonetheless.
Twenty to thirty claps. Now that’s better. You’re in the middle zone. A reader who claps about twenty-five times thinks your writing’s okay. Not disappointing. They like what they read.
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Not if you’re engaged in a game of tit-for-tat dear. Why only the other day you said you gave someone fifteen claps because that’s what they always gave you.”
Edwin the writer: “Shush Glad. I don’t always do that. It depends on my mood. When I’m magnanimous, I go around handing out armfuls of claps like Santa Claus.”
A reader who claps about twenty-five times thinks your writing’s okay. Not disappointing. They like what they read.
Thirty to forty claps. Your reader genuinely enjoys your writing and isn’t afraid to say so.
Fifty claps… Well, that means your reader is the Dalai Lama. Most readers are too afraid to spend that many claps. Those claps are taken directly off their credit cards…
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “No they aren’t dear. Readers pay a once-a-month set fee. Remember?”
Edwin the writer: “Oh yes. But they FEEL expensive don’t they, fifty claps? Sometimes I hand over fifty so I can pretend I’m a millionaire.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “That’s a little weird of you dear. And when you give a lone clap, does that mean you imagine you’re Scrooge?”
Edwin the writer: “I don’t do that anymore Glad. That was when I was a newbie. I thought I only had fifty claps to share out among everyone for the whole month, so I was careful not to waste any.”
Fifty claps… Well, that means your reader is 100% glad to read your writing. Here’s my analysis of clap-giving as a takeaway.
1 to 5 claps___Sympathy applause
5 to 10 claps___Unknown zone
10 to 20 claps___On the fence. Lukewarm
20 to 30 claps___Not disappointed. Like what they read
30 to 40 (+5) claps___Likes your writing quite a bit
50 claps___The Dalai Lama zone. 100% enjoyment
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Well done dear. Why not do a graph? People like graphs. Hang on a moment though… What about when readers just hold down the applause button and let go without looking? It’s hardly scientific is it dear? Do you do that sometimes?”
Edwin the writer: “Ahem. I guess I do now and then Glad.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “And isn’t it true, you sometimes applaud twenty times and say ‘that was brilliant Gladys. Come and read this story.’ You’ve put 20 to thirty claps as ‘like what you read’ rather than brilliant.”
Edwin the writer: “This is the problem Glad. There’re no guidelines. Humans are fickle. Maybe my readers will offer their own takeaways about claps in the comment section.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Anyway dear. It’s not all about claps. Writing’s a spiritual, creative experience. It’s about getting to know other writers and readers and having fun with your muse.”
Edwin the writer: “Yes. I forgot that for a moment. I still like claps though dear.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “I think you should calm down about applause. It’s not healthy to want to be popular. It will make you unpopular.”
Edwin the writer: “You’re right Gladys. I mean, why do I write anyway?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “It’s not for claps dear. You’re not a performing seal.”
Edwin the writer: “Life was easier before the clap dilemma came along. Now there’s so much more than writing to think about, like, has anyone clapped since I drank my coffee?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Never mind dear. Forget about claps. I’ll let you write about me getting crammed in the tiny lavatory cubicle after all.”
Copyright © 2018 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved
Don’t want to miss new stories? Or, maybe you want to write and earn money? Click here for limitless access to my writing and every other tale on Medium and make your mark, too.
Part of your subscription will benefit me directly. I appreciate your support. Thank you!