One of Lola's suggestions for paying it forward is to "shout out" your gratitude for someone who has helped you along your writing/blogging path. So many of you have been tremendous supports to me (thanks, guys!) but when I think about my blogging path, one person always comes straight to mind: Jackee Alston.
With the encouragement of some wonderful writing friends (thanks Sharon, Amy, and Tess!) I began blogging in November, 2009. It was a strange and scary place for me back then. For months, my only followers were those three friends, my cousin's wife (hi, Paula!) and a wonderful, supportive friend of Paula's (hi, Velva!) I visited only their blogs, and they were the only ones outside of my immediate family who visited mine.
Then one day, something amazing happened. I had a new follower! Someone I didn't know wanted to read my words! In that simple act of clicking the "Follow" button, Jackee opened up a whole new world for me and showed me what blogging is all about - connecting with people all over the world, people I've never met but who share a similar passion and willingness to support each other.
Since then, even though we've never met face-to-face, Jackee has become a cherished friend and critique partner. Last year she ran her Project Give a Book, Give the World and ended up sending out 127 school humanitarian aid kits. For prizes, Jackee gave away books written by fellow bloggers (how cool is that?) She also runs a Wild Wednesdays feature on her blog where you can send her a plant or animal related question and she'll answer it on her blog. Thanks for all you do, Jackee!
How about you? Is there a fellow blogger who has helped you along your path? Did you jump into blogging right away, or did you need a while to warm up, like I did?