As a writer, I’m learning that a successful column is made up of two parts. The first is its content. It’s my job to sit behind my laptop and pound out something “good”. But regardless of the content, most writing needs an audience. Therefore, the second part of a successful column is an actively engaged readership.
Even a negative response is sometimes better than no response at all. I liken it to performing a sit-com before a live studio audience. More than awkward laughter or a collective groan, the real killer is dead silence. A Chevy Chase film shooting in Romania had this exact problem. Ninety-five percent of the crew were locals who didn’t speak English. So when they rehearsed, the actors had no reactions to help gauge their comic choices.