The Best Reason to Blog – Part 2

by Jami Gold on November 24, 2011

in Random Musings

Tree with fall color

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.  The day we eat too much food, roll our eyes at the antics of our extended family, and think about all the things we’re grateful for.  Or in my case, wait for the tryptophan to kick in from the turkey so I can catch up on sleep.

Last year for my Thanksgiving post, I revealed that the best reason for me to blog is all of you.  And that’s still the case.  In fact, my gratitude for all the friends I’ve made via blogging and Twitter goes even deeper this year.

Last year, I spent a good portion of my Thanksgiving weekend working on my entry for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest.  So I tried to learn from that mistake and have been working non-stop for the past month and a half to finish my entry before Thanksgiving.  Sounds smart, right?

However, that meant I needed a last-minute-sanity-check beta read of my 52-page entry on the day before Thanksgiving.  *cue the “good luck with that” laughter*  Despite the unlikelihood of a positive response, I put out a call for help on Twitter.

I had more people offering to help than I could use.  *hugs Twitter*

Angela Quarles, a Twitter friend and regular commenter here, stepped up and not only read the whole thing on her phone (while she was supposed to be doing other things), but she also typed up paragraphs’ worth of feedback on her phone.  My thumbs cramp just thinking about that.  Do we need more proof than that of how awesome the writing community is?

We do?  Okay, my thanks go out to my Tech Guy (who’s also a beta reader extraordinaire) and PW Creighton who also gave their help yesterday.

These connections we make with social media, blogging, and Twitter are real.  We do favors for each other and support each other.  Heck, even Dean, the guy from OfficeMax who helped me with the printing and shipping, went out of his way by printing up a free, bound copy of my entry to keep.  How cool is that?

I’m grateful for this contest deadline because it gave me that reminder.  Even though I always try to be conscious of all the blessings I’ve been given, a little reminder to stop and be thankful for all that others do for us doesn’t hurt.

So my sincere thanks go out to all of you.  You make this all worth it and you show me every day how much we mean to each other in our real life.  *hugs internet*

Have you ever been surprised by an online-only friend going out of their way to be helpful to you?  Did you meet your critique partners or beta readers online?  What online writer communities have you had the best luck with for finding friends?  What are you thankful for?

28 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Sarah Pearson November 24, 2011 at 7:22 am

I’m thankful that there are other people like me out there in the world, and that I finally became brave enough to join in.

Happy Thanksgiving from across the pond 🙂

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Jami Gold November 24, 2011 at 7:47 am

Hi Sarah,

And I’m so glad you did! *hugs* Thanks for the comment!

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PW Creighton November 24, 2011 at 9:34 am

Well said Jami! It’s always great to help out a friend. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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Jami Gold November 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

Hi PW,

Yes, I’m compulsively helpful (as Kristen Lamb would say) as well. 🙂 Thanks again and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

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Kyla November 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

Friends? I’ve never been a very social creature, on or off the computer. It’s one of my biggest defects. My mom says that I’m socially retarded, while I prefer the term socially inept. The fact of the matter is, while I can be social, if in a really good mood or forced (and for some reason, all the people who love me like to force me on occasion), I hate it. People tend to take advantage, and/or be overprotective toward me. While it’s true I understand humanity’s dark-side surprisingly well (as proven by my often-times dark writing), in my relationships, I’m almost pathetically naive.

It’s something I think all people have trouble with: we all expect the people we meet and greet to think and act like us. We accuse others of doing the horrible things we would do if put in such a situation (think of that when you’re significant other accuses you of cheating). Or we assume someone won’t steal from us, because the thought of stealing from them would never occur to us (an issue I ran into in early adolescence; I let the same person steal from me 5 or 6 times before figuring out, hey!, they weren’t very nice people).

Anyway, sorry for the tangent. I’m really not a very social person, unfortunately, though I try. I’m much better at developing relationships with animals and imaginary characters, then flesh and blood humans. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to connect with my fellow man, and have a wonderful day!

Hope you win your contest!

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Jami Gold November 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hi Kyla,

I understand what you’re saying, but I’m going to disagree with you on one point. 🙂 I’ve seen you here commenting on my blog, and that tells me you’re not just trying–you’re trying very hard. Many people, myself included, respect that. In person, I have to force myself to be outgoing as well, so I can relate to your difficulties.

In other words, yes, people don’t always think like us. And yes, that causes issues. But people don’t always not think like us either. And your comment proves you have a gift for analyzing yourself, others, and how people relate. Just because that understanding isn’t as automatic or natural as you’d like it to be, doesn’t mean you’re defective. I appreciate who you are, without worrying about all that. 🙂 *hugs* And thanks for the comment!

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Kyla November 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Thank you. That was very, very nice of you to say. I know I understand people better than most, but I don’t interact with them well. It’s odd. Like I said, I’m socially inept. I don’t know what to say or do, so I avoid people, and when I talk, I tend to run out of things to say (funny to think of, when I always have so much to say when I’m writing). I even have the problem online, because I am not consistent. Something happens to me and I don’t talk to anyone for a month or more.

This little tendency of mine makes people less inclined to continue friendships with me. Of course, they may just think that I don’t want to be friends with them anymore, because I vanished.

Lol. I like you, too. You seem like a very nice person. I love how you always take the time to answer people. It draws me to your blog when I don’t want to read or comment on others. Thanks again for the kind words of encouragement! I better get back to work on my novel before I get so distracted I won’t get today’s quota done. 😛

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Jami Gold November 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

Hi Kyla,

Oh, I understand that “running out of things to say” aspect. Small talk with strangers can be very difficult–and draining. I don’t mind talking to writers as much because even if we’re complete strangers, I know some questions I can ask (“What do you write?” and things like that). 🙂

And in general, I’ve discovered that people are very forgiving about “disappearances.” People are busy, and they tend not to notice our silence as much as we think they do, and other writers understand the need to unplug every once in a while. 🙂 Good luck with your writing quota (Are you doing Nano? If so, good luck!) and thanks for the comment! *hugs*

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Kyla December 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Not doing Nano this year. I wanted to, but I’d already started my project anyway…wish I’d finished it during November. XD But I’m trying to write as much as I can every day, preferably finishing one chapter every two or three days. If I managed that, I’d be done with the first draft in no time.

Of course, if wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry. Anyway, thanks for all the advice and support. Have a great day and happy writing!

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Jami Gold December 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Hi Kyla,

Yes, I’ve never done Nano for real. Last year I was in the middle of revisions and this year I was finishing up a WIP. So I was mostly a cheerleader for those who were doing it and participating in the various 1k1hr writing sprints. And LOL at the fish fry. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Kathrine Roid November 24, 2011 at 10:21 am

Time for a shout-out to a wonderful community: Holy Worlds. http://holyworlds.org They are a group of a few hundred Christian science fiction and fantasy writers at varying levels in the writing journey (a few days ago a historical fiction “wing” was opened, so you can add that genre in as well) who will always wow you with their response to anything.

Specifically there’s “Cat” Noordhoek. We met on Holy Worlds nearly a year ago, I guess, but it feels like longer. Apparently we had matching magnets in us, we clicked so fast. Now we alternatively cheerlead and threaten each other to do whatever needs doing. We’re together for the long run, and that means one thing: we need to actually meet each other at some point in our lives! 😀

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Jami Gold November 25, 2011 at 9:09 am

Hi Kathrine,

I haven’t heard of that community before, so thank you for sharing that. 🙂

I know how much having supportive friends have helped me, and I hope all writers find that support from somewhere. Just because we work alone doesn’t mean we have to be lonely. 🙂 Thanks for the comment and I hope you get to meet your friend in real life someday!

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Kristin Nador November 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

I met a great writing friend through a local MeetUp group online, then in person. She’s been a great encouragement to me in my writing, and I’ve been a beta reader for her. We both went through some ‘crazy writer in the writing group’ drama together, and I think that helped us bond. 🙂 I’ve also met so many great writers both online and in my local community, and though I’m not the best socializer, just having contact and interacting with each of them gives me hope that I can reach for my dreams just as they are.

I am thankful for so many things I keep a list to remind me, which is what I wrote about over at my blog today! Thanks for always having great blog subjects, Jami!

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Jami Gold November 25, 2011 at 11:52 am

Hi Kristin,

That’s a cool story. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and thanks for the comment!

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Teresa Robeson November 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

You have some truly terrific friends! I’m sure I can count on my trusty critique group buddies if I’m ever in such need…but I don’t have to run into any killer deadlines (which is a highly optimistic hope since I’m not known for my planning ahead ability).

Yup, I did meet my critique partners online (at least one critique group). They are the best bunch and I’m definitely grateful for them in my life.

I, too, am grateful for my online friends – I’m an introvert in person, so socializing online is a great way for me to “be with people” without getting too exhausted.

Hope you’re having a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!

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Jami Gold November 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Hi Teresa,

The sad thing is, this was my “planning ahead” plan–to avoid all this chaos while extended family is in town. LOL!

Almost all my close writer friends are people I met online. I can’t imagine being a writer before word processing programs, internet, etc. More to be thankful for. 🙂 I hope you have a great holiday weekend and thanks for the comment!

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Kerry Meacham November 26, 2011 at 3:56 am

Humm. I think I remember some lady helping me with a pitch session and then dropping everything she was doing when it went well and I had to send in a first chapter right away. OH WAIT!!! THAT WAS YOU!!!

I so wish I hadn’t been on the road and missed your Twitter request. I am actually bummed that I missed it and couldn’t help you out. You know I would have, Jami. Having said that, I am not surprised AT ALL that you had so many people jump in and help you out. You’re so giving to the online community. I’m glad you were able to “get ‘er done.”

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Jami Gold November 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

Hi Kerry,

LOL! No worries, my friend. We’re both going to be fabulously successful and have lots of deadlines in the future. *cough* So there will be plenty of opportunities for us all to help each other. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Angela Quarles November 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

Thanks, I was happy to do it and now want to read the rest, so hurry up and revise 😉 It was definitely a weird experience reading a story from such a tiny screen 🙂

Good luck with the contest!

Hope you had a happy Turkey Day!!

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Jami Gold November 26, 2011 at 8:45 am

Hi Angela,

I let my dad read those first 52 pages last night. A romance. *cringe* He loved it though and called it “excellent,” so I have the Dad vote wrapped up. LOL! Many of the readers for this story are pestering me to finish revisions so they can read the rest, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign for the contest. 🙂 Thank you again and thanks for the comment! *hugs*

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Dean K Miller November 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I’ve found a couple great writerly friends via blogging and such. Even though I’ve never “met” them, just know if I asked (and in return, if they asked), a favor of a beta read or edit would be fulfilled.

Nothing like on-line comfort food to ease the soul of a writer.

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Jami Gold November 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Hi Dean,

Yes, I think it’s great how supportive the writing community is. It makes this journey into the unknown a little brighter. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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Nancy S. Thimpson November 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

I met my very best friend in all the world online. I was looking for a critique partner via Nathan Bransford’s website forum. She lives in Philly & I in Seattle. We’ve never met in person, at least not yet, but I love her like a sister. We email each other several times a week & have gotten to know each better than any other person on earth. It’s one of the best, most unique relationships I’ve ever had.

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Jami Gold November 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Hi Nancy,

That’s very cool. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and thanks for the comment!

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