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Community Pool

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for feedback, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout, or anything else.

If you have a post, page, or idea you want to bounce off someone, leave a comment. Your fellow bloggers can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

Read on for the ground rules and to leave a comment.

TIP: To keep from losing your place in the comment thread while you visit others’ blogs, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.

  • You’ll get the best feedback if you can be as specific as possible about what you’d like people to respond to or where you’re struggling. If you simply leave a link to your blog, it’s likely to be overlooked.
  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. We’re here to help and support one another, not to beat anyone down.
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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    1. Good story. It is funny. An enjoyable moment. I have friends that are scared of bugs (male and female) and I am the protection, female that I am. But if its crawling on me in my sleep you are going to hear a shriek! :)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. HI there, My sister is terrified of all creatures. You could be writting her story, so it is nothing new to me. I am sorry to say that I didn’t laugh. But don’t stop writting. I hate having to tell the truth sometimes. But I would hope that others are honest with me.

      Like

    3. Hahah it is hilarious.You have a good writing style and maybe because the topic was something so common and agreeable to so many,it was an amazing read.I personally hate bugs and loved your post:)

      Like

    4. Hi Mara… From what I can gather having read a few of your posts.. When I was reading I kinda ‘heard’ you as if you were speaking them.. Writing ‘funny’ can be really hard because there so much to humour that can’t be expressed in writing. Tone of voice, facial expressions etc.. but I could almost ‘hear’ you if that makes sense, and I think that’s a good thing as it impressed on me that you are funny in real life and you’re trying to get that across. Just don’t try so hard maybe.. trust that it will come across if you write as yourself and not your ‘funny’ self, because I imagine it will come across anyway! Lol

      My own personal favourite comedy writers are Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese and Steve Martin. I’m sure I have many more, they’re just top on my mind. Oh, Jennifer Saunders and the writers of ‘Only fools and horses’… I think they’re genius. But they’re not trying to be funny… they’re skill is at amplifying the absurdities of circumstance and then play within the range of human responses that could arise in order for that person/s to survive. But the heart of it all is that you have also come to love that character and you WANT them to survive…because you resonate with their vulnerability. Behind every great comic is a vulnerability that is captivating. You’re about page got that kind of essence across, you captured quite well the absurdities your persona is capable of (I don’t mean that to be offensive.. YOU’re not absurd, but we all have absurdities) the way you featured your ‘quirks/ uniqueness/ what makes you, you’. Does that make sense? Anyway.. I really only hit reply to answer your question (and ended up going all plato on it, sorry)… Yes, there is a point in you writing the rest of the instalments. Keep going, trust yourself… You don’t have to ‘write’ funny.. you are funny, so just be you :)

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      1. Whew, thank you so much for your very thoughtful comment! You’re extremely kind to give me such a detailed and valuable feedback. And what more, you are perfectly right: I do tend to overthink and try too much! Could you tell this much for a few samples of my writing? You’re good! I will keep your advice on mind for sure. Thank you once again, and all the best!

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    5. Hi Mara,

      I think its good but there are a couple of places it looks like you’re missing words in this post. They’re the sort of words one person may think are necessary while another person doesn’t, so I don’t know whether I’m right or you are – perhaps let a friend look over your next entry, or read through it again one more time?

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      1. Thank you so much for your feedback! I am likely to have issues with language, as I’m not a native speaker, so now that you mention it, I will try to pay special attention to any missing words! Thanks a lot for point this out, it helps a lot!

        Like

    6. I thought it was a good, amusing story. I react similarly to roaches.

      However, I found the parenthetical excerpts somewhat distracting. I felt like I was getting cut out of the perception you were writing. It’s not really an issue of information so much as tempo and flow. I think the comedy would resonate more strongly with the readership if parenthetical excerpts were worked into the prose itself.

      This is just my opinion; but I thought I should mention it.

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      1. Roaches, eek!!

        But seriously, thanks a lot for your feedback, it’s extremely helpful in that you mention something that didn’t occur to me before. I will probably not rewrite the current post, but I will keep in on mind when writing more.

        Thank you again and happy blogging!

        Like

    1. I really like the idea of comparing trains to our lives, it’s a good piece but I think you could go further with it. Take your comparisons and expand on them! That’s my only advice, I enjoyed the read!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Last night when I overheard those conversations I was bursting with ideas but seem to have lost them overnight. That’ll teach me for not taking my notebook on a day trip. I may expand on it in the next couple of days though

        Thanks for the feedback!

        Like

    2. Hi! Just some tips!! You should put a small dictionary for hard words (in your blog post) for some readers can’t understand some deep english words people like meee. :( im having a hard time. I’m 14 and our language is Bisaya and Tagalog here in the PH

      Like

  1. Hello!

    I write a blog based around Art, History and Philosophy, but often worry its too ‘essay’ style. Does any one have any thoughts on how I could make it more reader-friendly and engaging? – But still keep the academic/review feeling? If you could input on the site – that would be great.

    http://www.ameliacarruthers.com

    Thank you very much in advance, and looking forward to starting a conversation!

    Like

    1. I like the balance of pictures and commentary. I wanted a recommendation, as I will be in London on Saturday, and I am considering the National Gallery now. You could try varying the length of your posts and seeing which got more comment; you could be deliberately polemical, if you wanted disagreement. I did not comment there because I have nothing to add. If you have done the Matisse cut-outs, I might comment, as I have seen them.

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      1. Hello Clare. Thank you so much for your comment – I think that being deliberately polemical is a really good idea, something to engage with!! I will try next time…

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    2. I found your blog very interesting. It has a good balance between words and pictures. however, if you’re trying to reach a wider range of audiences, I would humbly suggest a small window within each article where you highlight a few interesting, funny or unknown facts that are further discussed in the rest of the article. It would probably grab the attention of those people that aren’t easily lured with extensive information.

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    3. I agree with others. There’s nothing wrong with big essay posts. I write a lot myself and I know how much work they take sometimes. They can be a big commitment from readers too so my advice is to mix it up a bit – occasionally post something shorter as that will get you greater exposure and more comments.

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    4. I find nothing wrong with your posts. Personally I love reading about things I didn’t know, such as history. So the more information on the subject, the better. I love the way everything flows together. Now if you add just a little bit of personal notes just talking about the subject in your own words, not essay like, that would help people connect. That way it’s your own words, not like an essay feeling. “speaking to the reader, not at them” I guess is what I’m trying to get at. :)

      Like

  2. Hi everyone!
    I’m really trying to keep on top of this blogging thing but just struggling for inspiration. I’ve wrote 2 posts recently, one about my blogging struggle and an open letter to my phone for a bit of fun! Apart from that, I’ve been writing a mix of teacher and life rambles.
    If anyone’s got any feedback or any ideas for posts I’d be really grateful :-) I don’t wanna give up just yet but need to get out of this rut!
    http://www.newteacherlife.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Keep writing! Even if it is in a journal and not being published! Write about your day, describe your latte, The inspiration will come! I have only been blogging since January but found that I would get inspiration when I least expected it and then forget by the time I got home, so I have learned to write down notes as I go! sometimes it’s in the car line at school but hey then I won’t forget! I like your pieces, you are doing a good job! keep it up :)

      Like

    2. Keep writing! Even if it is in a journal and not being published! Write about your day, describe your latte, The inspiration will come! I have only been blogging since January but found that I would get inspiration when I least expected it and then forget by the time I got home, so I have learned to write down notes as I go! sometimes it’s in the car line at school but hey then I won’t forget! I like your pieces, you are doing a good job! keep it up :)

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    3. I feel you on the struggle to keep finding something to post about because even though there are tons of ideas sometimes you are just not feeling any of them LOL. I think your open letter post is great, it has a little bit of wit and entertainment and was a great read!

      Like

    1. I could tell they were different, but when the dialog got too long to be separated by paragraphs, I kept loosing track of which character was speaking. It may help to add a distinctive accent or voice in personality.Otherwise, it was lively with a touch of humor, nice.

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    2. They do come across as different characters untill the very end. I had to reread the last part to figure it out. The only other problem was that thier language was very similar. The difference in opinion was clear but no the manner of speaking. Does that make since?

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    1. Your writing is really inspiring, and has a unique touch of emotions to it. Not much criticism to give though, since every word you’ve written has brought out the truth and beauty of the post :’)

      Like

    2. Hi there, I just read your post ‘Great Expectations’. From the way you write and what you write you sound very young. That is not a bad thing. I feel that you are on the right track and any adult who does what they love will tell you the some. Your dreams are not impossible. I believe you will get to #WIN. The illustration iterates your point perfectly. You write from the heart and that is refreshing. I moved to Germany by myelf at the age of 19. It was hard but I have not regretted it once. I am now 29 and couldn’t be happier. I am also just starting a new adventure, writing a book. I can really identify with your thoughts in this post.

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      1. Hey. Thank you so much :) I’m 21. I am definitely trying to stay on the track I want to.
        Wow, if 8 years from now I could say that about myself, I’ve definitely achieved what I want to.
        Good luck with your book :)

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    3. You have a knack for writing.True our parents want something for us and we may or may not want that exact same thing!I believe our parents are also growing and want us to do what they “expect” will be good for us.I truly believe doing what you love gives you a better chance at success.I have also realised that our parents love us and though they may still be strict on the outside and think that what you love is not good for you…when they understand that you are truly happy,they are happy and proud too:)

      Like

  3. Here is my first chapter of a story I am writing. Please give me some feedback. I would really appreciate it. If you have any ideas please let me know. The point of the story gets toward when Avery discovers she can do things she never knew about before. She starts to believe in fantasy. She sees ghosts, she can talk to animals.

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    1. It would be interesting to know if this is a childrens book or an adult novel. For a childrens book it is simple introduction awaiting more details through action in in the following chapters. For an adult novel it is a very short chapter. It would be more interesting if the reader found out about the main character through her actions and language, Paint a picture for the reader without using averbs such as… strong, boring, ect. We know that she is strong, for example, if you decribe her dealing with a difficult situation with grace, We know she is bored if she sits around in her room staring into space pondering the questions of life, not knowing what else to do with her time. So far your book does not seem original. There are hundreds of fairy and magic books. What makes your book stand out? Don’t stop writing, just think about it. Maybe you already have the answer and have yet to show the reader what makes this book different.

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      1. Hi! If you’d keep reading, I will be uploading stuff about all body types! We’re all beautiful, we just need to all know how dress to our body’s consent.

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    1. I do like your take on the topic. I don’t think the post needs humour, it would be hard because of the topic, and I like the post as it is. I love the reference to the Hitchhikers ;-) Overall, I think you nailed it.

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      1. Thank you so much for your feedback! :) I’m glad you like the post!

        I read the book and loved the plot – there was an underlying surreal feel to it that eventually inspired me to write.

        Thank you once again!

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      2. You’re very welcome :-) Sure, there is some surreal quality about the book, and even though the answer 42 sounds funny, there is something about it. Like your post suggests ;-)

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    2. I disagree with Mara – a touch of humour would make it even more engaging. We’re too serious about this subject and such discussions are nearly always in danger as coming across as a sermon.

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      1. Thank you so much for your feedback! Yes, I have been told before that a bit of humour would add to the things I write, and decrease the risk of it sounding too serious.

        I’ll definitely work on it, and thank you once again for your comment! :)

        Like

  4. Hi guys! I write a bit of an everything blog: college stories, life anecdotes, travel chronicles, and discussions of social/cultural issues (feminism, disability, etc). I’m wrapping up my trip but I’m worried that the travel posts would only be interesting if you’d been there. Any sort of feedback (about the travel posts or otherwise) is welcome! Thanks in advance :)

    http://victimtocharm.wordpress.com/

    Like

    1. I really like your blog! The layout is very clear and organized, love that. Also, your writing is really captive and intriguing. About your travel posts, they are so interesting to me. I have actually visited nearly all the places that you mention myself, and you capture the essence of these cities. That’s why I think these posts will be interesting to anyone who reads it really.Keep up the good work!

      Like

    2. Great photos. Personally I am more interested in reading about places that I have not visited, especially when I am too busy to travel. I also love to read about and look at photos of food. And tart and architecture too, so I like your recent posts quite a bit.

      Like

    1. Hi phillly89 — a link to the actual post in question would make it easier for others to read your post (and much more likely they will). You can just copy and paste the post URL and add it to your comment here.

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    2. It is difficult to leave feedback without a specific question to answer. Did I like your post? I thought it was alright, but not original. Was it well written? I didn’t notice any major mistakes. Does the picture fit the context? Yes, perfectly. The topic was about moving forward. The picture set a dark mood of a run down train station. Two young men are waiting for a train that will never come. Your wrtting provokes the same feeling, a young person waiting for the answers to life that don’t seem to be coming. There is a dark feeling to the post as if the writer is searching for something that he knows he will not find. He needs to get of the train tracks and start his own way of life, conventional or not, build his own transportation. It is obvious he feels stuck and confused. So my advice, get up and get to work. Do what you love and the answers will come to you.

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    1. My suggestion to you is to keep up the good work. I do not say this to all. I am definitely going to follow you. My feedback: Your opening picture is fabulous. Your post was uplifting, easy to read and understand. I couldn’t stop reading. I scrolled down to read the next three posts. Love it.

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      1. Thank you, it’s always hard to trim when you don’t know what is unnecessary. I don’t really want it shorter, I just thought it had too many of something. lol adjectives! I can work with that.
        =)

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    1. I like the way that it is, however, if you feel as if there’s to much repetition you could reword some of the phrases. When I find repetition I try to to make sure that the same phrase doesn’t repeat itself in the next sentence.

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      1. Thank you, the problem is that I can feel there are repetitions, but I can’t really come up with concrete alternatives. I was advised to work with adjectives. ultimately, I wanted to get a feel of whether the short description worked the way it was and thanks to you both, I think with minor corrections, I could leave it like that.
        =)

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      1. Thanks a lot! I used to have a few photos along with my verses before, but I felt that maybe the reader’s focus wouldn’t be on trying to understand the beauty of words then?

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      2. You have a point. For me, it’s OK to have one poem and one picture: I look at the picture, I read the poem and I think about what I’ve read. The picture helps me navigate the space on the blog more easily, it doesn’t distract me really. But it could be just me! And yes, I’ve noticed there were more pictures with your older posts…

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      3. Yeah I understand. Maybe I should make my blog a bit brighter and colourful too. But the photos we generally upload are googled images, and I just want to keep my blog a bit more genuine. I’ll make sure to fit in an original picture or two wherever suitable next time though :D Thanks a lot :D

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Few suggestions:
      1) Go to Settings>Sharing, and select the checkbox – Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results
      Now if someone visits your blog, he/she may like the post without opening the post separately. It will help you get more likes on the blog.

      2) You have pics in some of the posts, pics were big, taking full screen and no reading. That’s a mistake. But your recent posts have content but it is not the right solution.
      You may use powerpoint, on slide – add a pic one side of left side and on right side, add your creative content.
      Then save ppt as jpeg. Upload that image on your blog as post. Give a try on it, may be it looks better.
      regards, http://YourWellWisherProgram.wordpress.com

      Like

      1. Thanks you so much. However I have an issue :/ I use WordPress through my iPhone, so these settings are not that easy to change from the app. Do you have any suggestions on how to change through the app? :/

        Like

    1. Sorry I should have added that any comments or suggestions are welcome. I really would just appreciate any thoughts on how I could improve, what is good or bad etc

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    2. I know you want me to leave a comment on your site but I decided to write it here instead. ’2014 started off bad’ is the post that I read. It is short and to the point. I’m sure many people can identify with it. I personally like uplifting posts. This one is not uplifting. I looked around your blog a bit and didn’t quit understand what it is all about. It seems a bit depressing. Is that what you are going for? If so than it is right on the mark. I didn’t get the feeling that you ment it to be depressing. I get the feeling you are just sharing your experiences. But even the gavitar pictue of you is a bit scary. Why do you show only your eyes, forehead and wet hair? Depressing. Don’t stop writing. I’m sure there are plenty of people looking for just your type of blog. The world is full of diferent typs of people. Thank goodness.

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      1. Thanks for taking a look and the comments. As for the over all feel I suppose I am guided by what happens in my life and what doesn’t. Be it depressing or otherwise. Agree on the photo. Tried to change it but it doesn’t seem to want to. Shall give it another go. Scary is alarming! Haha! I suppose my weight loss posts are less depressing. I am not a ray of sunshine though admittedly lol. I try to be informative, realistic and honest.

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    1. Hello. I usually stay inspired by immersing myself in media. That is, for my book/writing blog, even if I can’t think of a way to phrase advise or a lesson, I have a bunch of books I’ve read that I haven’t reviewed on my site. So I can always do those. The same for my main blog. I can review a movie I’ve seen or talk about a TV show. I can generate new posts by talking about old things. That is what I like to do. =]

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    2. I plan, write, and brainstorm a month ahead of time. I may substitute these posts for something that’s trending. That way I’ve always got something to talk about.

      Hope that helps! :)

      Like

  5. Hey all,
    So im sorta trying to make mini character design lessons or at least explain my process as i create mine. If youre interested, please let me know if it helped you!

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    1. I like the fact that you quit your day job to do what you love. Your post are sort and to the point making it easy to fly through many posts on your site in a short time. I would like to see of ‘Roarin Lauren’ she is my fav so far. And the letter on the topic of suicide hit home. A friend of mind jumped in frount of a train last summer. It is a hard thing with which to cope. None of your work ”helped me” but I am now following you. I’ve always wanted to write and illustrate my own childrens books. Watching you progress gives me hope.

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    1. Your post started off slow but ended nice. I like the story of your tight grip saving a womens life. I’ve lived in Germany for ten years and am familiar with the train and bus system. It is fun to watch others. You come in contact with people that you would otherwise never see, all having one thing in common, the transportation in use. I usually read in the train, it keeps me out of trouble. Funny is when traveling with children, old people always want to give unsolicited advice. The post was a bit long. I would have liked a more intriguing beginning.

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      1. I do agree that the post is a bit long..even after I left out several experiences that I would have loved to include!…

        This is a long post for a web-blog, but somehow I always imagined (while writing) that I am writing it for my printed memoir!

        It is nice to know that you enjoyed it..thanks!

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    1. I like the idea behind your blog. I wasn’t able to get through the video. It was very slow and the comments about it were not constuctive and gave no insite into what the film was about. I hope you recieve more constructive criticism than I am able to give.

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    1. I would go for a new layout. The best layouts, in my humble opinion, are the ones that use side widget to link to older posts, include a search bar and a big fat join button, and link to other places where you exist on the interwebs. A lot of them also allow you to customize the top bar to something relevant to your blog. You would want something more like this.

      Another advantage of a layout like that is is shows the full post in the blog reel, so if someone is scrolling through the main page, they don’t actually have to load a new page to read anything. So you might want to look for something to that effect. Because your content is good and interesting, but the blog itself doesn’t look very good.

      Hope that was helpful! =]

      Like