I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

 

I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m not always that great about reading other people’s blogs.  I’ve read the blog-o-sphere pundits tell me how I need to read more and comment more to drive more traffic to my site…blah, blah, blah.  I get it.  But if I’m still being honest, there is A LOT of crap out there.  Hey, maybe I’m part of that.  I can accept that on some level, I guess.  Maybe someone can write a post about my garbage.  But my purpose of this post isn’t to ridicule or criticize others.

In fact, just the opposite.  I find myself more and more interested in the conversations with the authors.  I’ll find a site or two that I really do like, that the posts aren’t EPIC novellas and that I can get through a few in between writing my own stuff.  I’ll comment, I’ll engage.  I won’t just write “Hey, nice post” or something of that nature, like a flashing neon sign that says “PLEASE COME VISIT MY SITE AND PAD MY NUMBERS.” I want to learn. 

I often get the customary “thank you” response.  It’s okay, I understand.  This writing gig is tough work.  Busy, busy, busy.  It’s tough to respond to a number of comments when you are trying to be creative and produce content.  And if you are lucky enough to get Freshly Pressed?  Forget about it!  I would dedicate a full day just to respond to the comments.  You’d have to.  I’ve seen the numbers.

I understand.

So it makes it that much more special to me when I get a conversation from a fellow writer.  A dialogue.  Something that makes me think.  Something that makes me compelled to go beyond a single sentence and tell a perfect stranger a story.  My story.  Something personal about me.  When someone responds to my comments or comes to my site and engages me, I’m excited for the opportunity to begin a new relationship.

So I’ve decided to call a few people out today.  A few perfect strangers that are fast becoming a very important part of my life.  They are becoming my circle of friends that I see here in this web of life.  As this first friend put it, this “artist’s group” that I’ve managed to earn membership into.  So let me get started with the introductions;

The Wasteland Here – http://wastelandhere.com/

William Ricci inspired me to write this post.  He is an amazingly deep thinker, an artist, a poet, a friend.  He is also a fellow outdoorsman.  His posts are stark and real and very personal.  His poems have made me stretch beyond my comfort zone when writing my own, to explore deeper ideas and meaning.  Without knowing it, he has challenged me to be better.  He is incredibly supportive as well.  We don’t chat often, but when we do it has value.

The Regina Chronicles 366 – http://imagesbyregina.wordpress.com/

Gina is my friend.  I’ve never met her in person, but we chat a lot.  She is much better about visiting my site than I am about visiting hers, but thankfully she hasn’t gotten mad at me about that just yet.  She is a photographer, and her images never fail to spark the imagination.  She has an incredible perspective, in the picture and more.  Gina is one of the reasons that I look forward to clicking that “Publish” button with each post.  I know without a doubt that she is going to read it, and that she is going to offer the start of a wonderful conversation.  Please visit her site and get lost in her pictures, you’ll be glad you did.

Writing on the Rim – http://writingontherim.wordpress.com/

Juliana is another friend of mine that I’ve never met.  Her site offers some amazing recipes (including a Recipe for Life).  Juliana’s comments always go above and beyond a mere “Thanks”, and I am always delighted to see her profile show up on one of my posts.  Check out her site (and maybe steal one or two of her recipes).  Oh…and she wrote an amazing piece on writer’s block.  Check it out!

Resurrected Writer – http://resurrectedwriter.wordpress.com/

I just met Jaser75.  We haven’t had a lot of conversations, but I wanted to include him on this list for one very simple reason.  He recently added a post to his blog asking writers questions about their writing process.  In reading through the responses, I saw that Jaser75 didn’t just say “Thanks for your ideas”, he actually responded to each one with thoughts of his own.  That takes time.  It takes time and effort to have a conversation with people through media.  He asked questions, got responses, and then challenged some of those responses for deeper meaning.  I respect that.  As the name implies, he’s restarting his life as a writer.  I’m very interested in seeing the progress…

Calliope’s Tablet – http://desertmusepublishing.wordpress.com/

I just met Ann as well, but feel she may just be my virtual sister separated at birth.  I mean, let’s take a look at it.  She’s a writer, I’m a writer.  She’s a parent, I’m a parent.  She’s a Cubs fan, I’m a Cubs fan!  Oh, and she has an amazing sense of humor and features some incredible photography on her site.  And though I just met her, I see that I’ll be spending a lot of time reading her work.  But the real reason she’s on this list (besides being a lover of baseball.  Did I mention she’s a Cubs fan?) is that Ann reached out and started a conversation.  She told me a story.  I told her a story.  We’ve gotten to know each other.  And I’m looking forward to more.

By no means is this list complete.  The last thing I want to do is alienate the absolutely wonderful people that visit.  I have a huge circle of amazing ladies in my Facebook/Twitter community that are regulars here as well…My SMK Posse.  Many of them are talented writers themselves.  More times than not they are the highlight of my working day.

This list is just an example of what I’m drawn to; the online relationships I’m interested in.  Sure, you may have yawned once or twice during this post.  You may say it’s indulgent.  Maybe.

But reach out and visit some of these sites.  Start making the world a little smaller and make a friend across the state, the country or the world.  If only for a few minutes.  A few minutes out of the day may not change your life dramatically.

Then again, maybe it will…

22 responses to “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

  1. Looking forward in checking some of these blogs out…..but where do I begin?? Hey I’m a SMK posse !

    • Cindy, I really hope you do check out these sites. They each have something wonderful to offer! And a HUGE THANKS for being a part of the SMK Posse. I always enjoy the interaction and conversation.

  2. Appreciate the nod to your SMK Posse, as I am part of that wonderful group. It has been a joy to get you know you on facebook, twitter and your wonderful blog. Kudos, Greg, for accepting our love and friendship.

    Your friend, Dava

    • The SMK Posse (as I call it) holds a very special place in my heart. The continued support and participation that you have shown us that were a part of that show is without a doubt the most awesome thing I’ve experienced. You all ROCK! I hope I can continue to entertain you all. Thanks Dava for being a huge part of that.

  3. Greg, I am truly humbled by your praises and that you think of me as your friend. I accept that honor with gratitude. Sometimes it’s just a single word or a phrase or a photo of something that evokes a feeling in the reader; it touches their hearts. You have touched mine. Keep on doing what you do. Never hesitate to push the PUBLISH button. The days are coming soon that more people realize we’re all in this thing called life together. I believe egos are diminishing now more than ever on our lovely planet and people are awakening to new thoughts of “how can I be of service?” Be well and stay blessed. Namaste’

  4. Wow, was I ever astonished to see my blog on this list!! I feel a bit overwhelmed and blessed. I came back to my home room–I co-teach all over a high school, went to my email before heading for home and there was your post–I always read them. It made my day after teaching math all day to the “lost”. One of my colleagues tells others I teach to the stupid, but these students are not stupid. They have yet to discover the value of books–many do not like reading either–or that without at least some basic math skills they will be victims of the opportunistic. I never had a day when I feel like I do not make a difference. I started blogging in part to extend that difference beyond the high school where I teach. I lead a life full of beauty and joy and I feel very grateful. You contribute to that.

    • Thanks Juliana! You certainly make a difference here with your input. Being a teacher in today’s world is often a thankless job. Unfortunately, parents don’t take enough responsibility for themselves or their children and yet they expect the teachers to pick up the slack. But what can you do? Kids today need someone they can look up to. I have no doubt you are providing an excellent role model. Thanks for being a teacher. The job you do does not go unappreciated!!!

  5. I was so humbled when Juliana stopped by my blog. She mentioned this post and I hadn’t read my blogs this evening! So I was pleasantly surprised. I have to tell you. I’ve wanted to develop relationships with other writers through my blog. This is a very positive step for me! I want to surround myself with other writers so I can learn from them. As you said, we haven’t known each other long, but from this post alone I can tell you seem to be after some of the same things that I am. I will visit each one of these blogs and I look forward to getting to know not only you, but these other fellow bloggers! Thank you so much for including me in this. Made my day!

    • You’re welcome! I really enjoyed the opportunity the other day to share some of my experiences with you, and was really impressed with your interest and energy and honesty. It is fun to get involved with a community that has a like minded interest and as importantly, a common desire to share and develop those relationships.

      BTW…did you start on your schedule yet? Do you feel like you have a better understanding of how you want to organize yourself and what you want to accomplish? I’m interested to hear how all of that feedback you have gotten has materialized for you. How is that new program you downloaded?

      I hope you have a fantastic weekend Jason!!

      • I did start on a schedule. I started working around 5 am, and did that until I got the kids up for school. After I dropped them off I came back and worked a little more. That seems to work well for me. I do have a better understanding of how I want to proceed and I am planning a blog post early next week about my conclusions.
        Between Scriveners and Evernote I think I have the tools to go forward. I won’t give it all away here because it will be part of my post!
        I hope you have a great weekend as well.

  6. Indulgent? Well, maybe, but one thing I love about this blog is that you offer things that are meaningful to you. I find it really hard if not impossible to connect with people otherwise. Reading this made me happy. I have three close friends, one super close, that I met on line. I’m a social worker and I can remember many long discussions in class, about ten years ago, about whether connections made through social media, or even over IM, were valid and real, or if people were just fooling themselves and settling for that because they weren’t capable of making real life connections. I didn’t believe it then, and I certainly don’t believe it now. The last three years I’ve been living in a situation that has left me fairly isolated in real life (it’s by choice, and it’s temporary, but it’s still really hard) and my on line connections have saved my sanity. Not to mention the joy that comes if you get the opportunity to meet in person. But even without that, on line relationships have provided stimulating conversation and new ideas, crazy fun and laughter, and emotional support during one of the hardest things I ever had happen. I mostly just feel sad for people who don’t have that. And I feel incredibly blessed every day that I do.

    • WOW…thank you for sharing a part of your life with me Jackie. I’m blessed that I have such amazing people in my life to support the work I do and to be a part of that, sharing their stories as I share mine.

      I love seeing your comments across my little world (Twitter/FB/Blog). I always appreciate it when someone takes the time to read what I’ve written, and even more when they take time out of their own day to comment on it. You are a huge part of a group that provides a meaningful conversation. You are inspiring.

      Here is a quote that I like to go back to from time to time.

      “Everything in life is temporary. So if things are good, enjoy it because it won’t last forever. And if things are bad, don’t worry. It can’t last forever either.”

      I hope the sun starts shining in your neck of the woods real soon…

      • Oooooo, love that quote, thank you!

        And thanks for the kind words. It’s been really fun to chime in on whatever happens to be going on, silly or serious. You have a welcoming, inclusive way about you that people, including me, respond to.

        Things will get better, I have no doubt. I’m doing what needs to be done to make them better. In the meantime, I’m always looking for ways to balance out what’s hard. They’re out there, and they sometimes come from places that you’d least expect. Which is fun. I’m learning tons and I’m getting free. What else is there? 🙂

  7. I have never been a posse before! Seriously though, thank you kindly, I am very humbled by your words, thoughtfulness, and positive attitude.

  8. How wonderful of you Greg to call out those you admire. It would seem that at times blogging can be somewhat competitive, as with any form of artistic endeavor. I applaud your words, thoughts and sentiments! A true gentleman!

    • Thank You!! I began this blog as a tool to market my books, but I never really wanted it to be just a point for people to “click”. I want it to be a place for people to meet and talk. It’s a place for people to learn about me, and my work. Most importantly for me, I want to KNOW who’s reading my work. I want to learn more, and have conversations that provide me with a different perspective. I want it to influence my writing…

      Your comments mean a lot to me. If I have one positive impact a day it means I’m on the right path in life. Thanks again for taking the time to chat!

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