Virtually every week I receive reader feedback that could be generalized to the following template:
I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog now and have found [ a few | some | several | many | most ] of your insights very helpful. I am not normally one to criticize, but I feel compelled to say something, as lately I feel your writings have taken a wrong turn.
Your articles on [ productivity | sprituality | philosophy | organization | business | sleep | motivation | metaphysics | purpose | career | self-discipline | success | time management | passion | inner peace | sex (I’ve never written about this topic!) ] have been [ great | wonderful | terrific ], and they’ve helped me a lot. However, lately you’ve begun writing about [ productivity | sprituality | philosophy | organization | business | sleep | motivation | metaphysics | purpose | career | self-discipline | success | time management | passion | inner peace | sex ], which I feel is too [ capitalistic | new-agey | airy-fairy | money-oriented | philosophical | analytical | emotional | ungrounded | specific | personal | impersonal | Western | Eastern | Christian | atheistic | controversial | neutered ], and I feel this new direction is negatively affecting the quality of your blog. I also feel you are far less qualified to write about [ topic # 2 ] as compared to [ topic #1 ].
I think you should reconsider your new direction and go back to writing on [ topic #1 ]. That is clearly your strength, and to me you have a lot more credibility and valuable insights on [ topic #1 ] than you do on [ topic #2 ].
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you’ve [ taken a wrong turn | fallen off track | gone a bit wacko ] here and need a little [ constructive criticism | gentle reminder | kick in the pants | colonoscopy ] to return to your roots.
Side-by-side with those emails, I receive others that follow this template:
I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog now and have found [ a few | some | several | many | most ] of your insights to be [ pretty good | excellent | cool | groovy | nonpareil | admirable | stimulating | 1337 ]. However, lately I’ve noticed you’ve begun writing about [ productivity | sprituality | philosophy | organization | business | sleep | motivation | metaphysics | purpose | career | self-discipline | success | time management | passion | sex (huh?) ], especially in your article “[ name of article which isn’t always one of mine ].” I can’t tell you what a [ wonderful | enormous | major | freakin’ huge | arousing ] impact your new direction has had on me. Just the other day I was thinking about [ topic #2 ], and [ this morning | this evening | after flushing ] I visit your blog and see you writing something that seems too coincidental to believe.
I know you must receive a lot of email, but I feel I must tell you what a [ powerful | amazing | diarrhetic ] effect your recent writings have had on me personally.
[ Insert usually-very-lengthy-but-delightful-to-read personal story of overcoming obstacles | raising awareness | increasing productivity | quitting the day job | launching a new business | starting/finishing a new project | joining a gym | falling in love | finding one’s true calling | going vegetarian | enjoying wild sex (What am I missing here???) ]
Thank you again for having the courage to share your wonderful new direction. It is obvious from your writings that you are a fellow [ atheist | agnostic | Christian | Buddhist | Hindu | Muslim | Wiccan | vegetarian | capitalist | peace-lover | Freemason | child of light | truth seeker | psychologist | speaker | athlete | educator | (insert name of obscure writer I’ve never heard of) fan | entrepreneur | pick up artist ], which is probably what draws me to your site. I hope to see a lot more from you on this topic in the future, especially if you can eventually take the time to address [ specific subtopic ].
I think email #2 would make for an effective reply to email #1, and vice versa. And now I can reply to both emails with a link to this post.
Edit 5:30pm: This post is meant to be humorous and was written in the spirit of jest, so try not to take it too seriously. I appreciate any and all feedback, even when it tends to be of a conflicting nature. I know I need to return to writing about sex — I’m working on it, but the research must come first.