"I couldn't even read all of this it's way too long, but I assume...."

That, right there, is a comment I received under a long piece of work that I wrote a day or two ago.

And they said it in a joking and funny manner, as if to say, ‘No one’s going to read this. Aren’t I so cool for not reading it all?!’

This a perfect example of one of the things that’s wrong with the world today.

As a writer, I have to tell you that it is an exhausting nightmare to take the time to organize your thoughts, put them to paper, and then have people only read the first paragraph.

And honestly, you can’t even be mad because it’s merely the product of the world we live in. 

Everything is fast-paced. Everyone is in a hurry. Twitter is 140 characters or less.

People hardly use words in Instagram; it’s just full of photos, emojis, and hashtags.

No one takes the time to even correct simple grammar mistakes.

Many people don’t even consume news and journalism properly. People tend to only read an article if it’s short and includes pictures or gifs.

Less and less people are reading long-form writing. No one seems to value or respect the craft of writing/journalism, which is evident in the fact that people don’t want to purchase newspapers/magazines or give money to online pay-walls.

More people would rather watch a video or take a personality quiz than read a book or inform themselves as to what’s actually going on in the world.

It’s depressing. 

Also, not bothering to read a writer’s full story doesn’t make you “cool.” 

If anything, you’re just going to go through life horribly misinformed. 

You’ll probably be that person who gets into debates with others about every imaginable topic known to man, but in actuality, has no idea what they’re talking about. Or you’ll be the person who gets into dozens of arguments with people because you’ve never taken the time to listen to or respect other’s beliefs and opinions.

Although, I have to say, the worst thing for a writer is when a person doesn’t read an entire article, AND THEN, has the unmitigated gall to judge and criticize you. 

Remember, what happens when you assume, kids!

I’ve seen so many people in comment sections completely miss the full meaning of a piece that clearly took a writer a lot of time and effort to write because they haven’t taken the time to read all of it. Sometimes I see comments, from legitimate non-trolls, and I think, ‘Did you even read any of this?’

It’s bad enough when you have editors who take your beautifully-composed, perfectly-organized, expertly-worded work, and chop it to bits for space and time. 

It hurts.

But, for your audience to not even read all the way through? That’s like a knife to the heart.

As writers, we bare our souls on the page. 

Sometimes it feels like we are our work because what we have written is so personal. Reading our writing is like having a glimpse into our minds and souls.

And that’s scary. And intimate. 

It takes a lot of courage to be a writer.

When someone judges you without bothering to read on, it feels like they are personally disrespecting you, the writer.

So, my message goes out to all non-writers today: 

Read ALL of a writer’s work! 

And once you’ve read the piece in its entirety, feel free to pile on the constructive criticism and your own difference of opinions. After all, we writers are still human. We make mistakes and we definitely don’t know everything. 

Not only that, but this is a big world we live in. Everyone isn’t going to agree with what you have to say. And that’s OK. It’s good to share and celebrate our differences. In fact, sometimes I’ve completely changed my opinion on something after someone politely stated their piece. The key word being “politely.” 

Always keep your comments RESPECTFUL and clean. (Please, stop cursing people out online. If you wouldn’t say it to that person’s face or in front of your mom, keep it to yourself.) And remember to think before you speak and know what you’re talking about. There’s nothing worse than being the person who rants on-and-on and clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Make sure what you have to say adds value and substance to the dialogue.

Please, Respect Writers!