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.
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…