Feedback. All authors crave it. While it might not be what they write for, it comes as an added bonus, or inspiration. If it comes. The problem is that it usually doesn't.
Now I'm not complaining. Far from it. I enjoy writing, and what little feedback I recieve has strengthened my spirit. But I've been publishing my work online (on Archive-X and my own site) since October of '98, and I've only gotten three feedback letters. They were all lovely, and one of them resulted in a wonderful friendship, but the point is that the feedback is far and few between.
I've talked to many people om the subject of feedback, and they all say that they are afraid to write authors. I too felt reluctant to send out feedback, not sure of how authors would react to my letters. But one day I realized how much I love to get feedback, and started sending it out myself. I also realized that there was no need to feel shy or self-conscience.
I'm speaking to all you readers out there. We writers like to know that somome is reading our material. I know, I know.... you've heard it before. All us authors are always begging for feedback. We all say "It doesn't matter if it's only one sentence, send it out anyway. Just an 'I loved your story' would be great!" There's a reason you keep hearing it; we mean it.
So go forth, and make an author happy. Just imagine a writer opening your letter after a long hard day in the real world, and being cheered by your praise. One little comment for you can turn a whoe day around. That's power.