November 23, 2017

The Best Reason to Blog — 2017 Edition

Sun rays over a lake and fall colors with text: Encouragement Is Something to Be Grateful For

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, try not to let my pathetic NaNoWriMo performance dampen my enjoyment of the day. *sob*

(Eh, since I was never planning on winning—just hoping to get words in—my only disappointment is that I haven’t been as good at getting words in as I’d like, but it really hasn’t helped that I’ve been sick for a big part of the month. My “sultry” voice from a sore throat turned into constant coughing that’s been keeping me awake. *sigh*)

This Thanksgiving post is now an annual tradition on my blog:

And gee, what a surprise! All of you are still the best reason to blog! *smile*

Encouragement Comes from Connections

As I mentioned last year about my goals for social media, I’ve done a lot of listening and learning from people of all circumstances. Along the way, my respect for my online connections has only grown.

That’s especially true when it comes to all my health issues of the past year and a half. Whenever I’m having a bad health day, my online friends, blog commenters, social media buddies, etc. have all helped give me the strength to continue. And between my multiple surgeries and dozen-plus rounds of antibiotics, two antibiotic-resistant infections, and physical issues with walking, I’ve experienced a lot of bad days over the past year.

Encouragement, cheerleading, or just plain being an ear might seem simple or shallow…until that’s exactly what you need.

I’ve needed all the encouragement I could get, and that’s what I received from all of you. Thank. You.

I hope that my posts here, whether craft, business, or life-related have similarly helped and encouraged you. If it weren’t for you, I would have given up blogging over this past year—and then felt even more like a failure.

So even if all you do is read my posts, you’re helping me. You’re encouraging me to continue, and you’re making me feel like I can still accomplish tasks and have something to offer others. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. *smile*

Learning from Others

It’s that same sense of encouragement and help for others that makes me so happy to share my blog with guest posters during NaNoWriMo month. I don’t know everything, and I’m only one perspective. But through the power of guest posts, we’ve been blessed to learn from others here.

I want to send out mega-thanks to all of my recent guest posters for sharing their knowledge and expertise:

…and next week, we’ll have:

Even though my NaNo progress is pathetic, I’m still getting more words done on my story than I would have without their help. And even better, we all learned something beyond our experience because they chose to share what they know. Win-win!

So as you finish up NaNo or enjoy this weekend, just know that I’m most grateful to all of you and I hope you find peace with others. Thank you! *hugs internet*

Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers
and Happy Thursday to everyone else. *smile*

Do you find that online connections help you just as much (or more) (or in different ways) than real-life connections? In what ways do your online connections help you? Does encouragement—even from those you don’t know in real life—help you during difficult times? What connections are you most grateful for? Is there anything special you’re grateful for this year?

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Comments — What do you think?

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Clare O\'Beara
Clare O\'Beara

Hi and well done for working through your difficulties.
Thanks for all the great posts to help us create better work or read with a more discerning eye.

Glynis Jolly

I was hoping you were over the lump with your health problems but obviously not. I am so sorry you are having to go through this, Jamie. At least your problems were minimal for Thanksgiving Day. {Yay!}

Julie Glover

I love when my online connections become real-life ones. It’s such fun to get to know someone online and then meet them in person; for instance, at a writing conference. (I clearly remember meeting you in person at RWA National!) Some people think you can’t get to know people through online community, but if people choose to be authentic there, they’re pretty much the same in person. Other than vocal pitch or height or things like that, I’ve had very few surprises and felt blessed to spend time face-to-face with people who were already true friends.

C. C. Cedras

Like you, Jami, I have not accomplished nearly what I wanted during NaNo. Still, I got some important pieces of the book hammered out, so it’s been worth it.

Some online relationships have turned into some of the most significant friendships and collaborations I’ve ever known, including with my two co-writers in this novel series! I’ve learned so much about writing craft and publishing over the past few years from bloggers like you, especially, Jane Friedman and so many others. THANK YOU! ??❤️


Writing is a solitary activity. It is hard to feel “in community.” I enjoy your sincerity and openness about the travails of writing and how life’s issues can get in the way, and I appreciate your basic stances on writing and writing advice. These saved me in a particularly dark moment. Maybe I am not so alone.


Olive Leaf Extract – my new antibiotic for all things respiratory. Cured Pleurisy after two rounds of antibiotics caused me to end up in ER because they weren’t working. Great stuff – I used to get bronchitis or pneumonia once or twice a year. That was four – five years ago. Try it. Hope you are doing better.


My online connections are very important to me. I don’t usually comment here but I love your editing tips (which are hopefully improving my work in progress) and how open you are about your health struggles. Dealing with dysautonomia means some of my days just getting through the day is all I can manage, let alone write, and real life support can sometimes be be thin. It can also be difficult and exhausting for me to connect to people in person for other reasons. Hanging out online gives me a chance to meet, help and learn from others that I would probably never happen to meet offline.


My mom still doesn’t relish the fact that I have so many internet friends and acquaintances XD, but she’s a bit old-fashioned. I love meeting people online, though, because you get to connect with people who have common interests. I know SOME writer friends in real life, but not nearly as many as those on the internet. It’s also fantastic to talk with fellow Pokemon fans in a Facebook group I’m in. I know some Pokefans IRL, but most of them aren’t very knowledgeable about Pokemon, unfortunately. Finally, it is very helpful to find people from a specific, small community, e.g. nonbinary people, or demiromantics and demisexuals. I know a number of enbies and demis in real life too, but you get to see sooo many people sharing their experiences and support online. There are some groups in Nanowrimo specifically for LGBT writers too.

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