November 24, 2011

The Best Reason to Blog – Part 2

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?

Comments — What do you think?

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Sarah Pearson

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 🙂

PW Creighton

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


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…  — Read More »

Kathrine Roid

Time for a shout-out to a wonderful community: Holy Worlds. 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! 😀

Kristin Nador

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!

Teresa Robeson

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!

Kerry Meacham

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.”

Angela Quarles

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!!

Dean K Miller
Dean K Miller

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.

Nancy S. Thimpson

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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