Appreciating Being Read

A writer wants nothing more than for their words to be read.

I’m a writer. It’s what I do.I get paid to write and I love it, but I didn’t really appreciate it.

The vast majority of what I write these days ends up being stuff for the customers of Tucows, the company I work for.

Recently I came to realize that out of everything that I write – blog posts, tweets, status updates, help articles and emails – that it’s the emails to customers that get read read the most.

It’s not uncommon for me to write an email that gets sent out to many thousands of people. But until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t really considered those readers.

What changed my way of thinking was a particular email I wrote to send to customers of Ting, our US mobile phone company.

We were making a pretty big change to how we did our billing and we needed to tell our customers about it. I spent a lot of time on that email, and I really liked how it read when I finished it.

After I sent it, I looked at some of the comments on Facebook and Twitter directed at our company accounts to see what the response to the change was. I was really excited to see a few people specifically reference my email. I hadn’t considered that people would not only respond to the billing change, but also to the way we announced it.

One customer said they were “floored” by it (in a good way). Another actually quoted one of my favourite sentences.

Being read is the payoff for a writer. What this little email taught me is that no matter what I write, or what the medium, having it read and appreciated is exceptionally rewarding.

It made me think about every word I put to paper just that little bit more. And it made me a better writer.