What can I say about the community that has formed here at my blog over the last 14 months? I have learned SO much from the comments y’all leave and the discussions that have taken place below my posts. I have enjoyed your blogs and become a better writer thanks to them.
I appreciate you guys more than I can say, and I don’t say that enough.
The idea for this post hit me this morning when I got a notification from WordPress that my blog now has 1000 followers (that’s 1000 who follow in the WordPress reader. Adding email followers to that number, my stats say I’m at 1066.)
So I figured: great moment for a thank you post. Great moment to reflect on all I’ve learned from you guys this past year. Things like:
- It’s never a bad idea to ask what your audience is looking for and what kind of information would help them out. Whether you’re talking about a blog or dealing with the target audience for your fiction: when you don’t know what to write, why not ask? Talk about your genre on a discussion page somewhere to feel out the public opinion. Go to social media. Ask what people like and don’t like. For blog posts: when you’re running dry (like I’ve been of late), go to the people who are reading for your blog for ideas. I mean, you’re writing for them, aren’t you? When you’re not sure what they want to read about, seek that information out.
- Take suggestions from your community seriously. You guys have suggested posts about flashbacks and grammar to me. My very first social media post came about because someone requested my thoughts on how to use Twitter as a writer, and that category is always a success. Heck, the very idea of putting a writer’s handbook together came from you guys. Sure, I don’t have a lot of confidence, so it took multiple people telling me “You should make a book out of your blog” before I considered I could make a success out of that idea. But I started listening, and I can’t tell you how excited I am for July 31, when “Writing for You: A Novelist’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction” releases!
- I love it when you guys disagree with me. When you say “I do things differently” or “I don’t feel that way, and this is why.” I have learned so much and gotten so many great ideas by contemplating the differences in our styles, procedures, and preferences. Your feedback enriches, beyond measure, the value of this blog as a resource for all of us writers, and that includes me.
- “Success” means something different–and comes through different strategies–for everyone. Anyone who tells you there are hard and fast rules for writing or blogging success is wrong. My pattern for success works because it inspires and challenges me, plays to my strengths, fulfills my potential, and fits with my unique life situation. Those variables are different for everyone. Some people ROCK a baroque style or first person point of view. Some people have fantastic success with 2500+ word blog posts. None of that is me, and that’s fine.
- Respectful, honest, well-meaning criticism is a wonderful thing. Seriously. You guys helped me get the cover and table of contents for my writer’s handbook right. So thanks a MILLION.
Truly, y’all give me 1000 reasons to know I’m not alone.
1000 reasons to understand I’m not stupid or insane for chasing this dream of establishing myself as a writer.
1000 reasons not to give up or feel discouraged when setbacks come.
1000 reasons to look forward to the future and what’s to come.
Seriously, I am so grateful for your support and feedback, and so humbled. Here’s hoping our community continues to thrive across each of our blogs!