Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thanks to Jackee!

Have you entered Lolapalooza yet? If not, get on over there! If you've already joined, read on!

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?

26 comments:

Brian said...

That is such a great friendship story! Yep, blogging happens!

Jackee said...

Oh, Man! My face is burning! Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan. :o) When I found your blog I knew I'd found a soul like mine. You were so genuine I couldn't help but come back and back. And then there is your awesome writing I get to critique!!!

Thanks for being my friend. Someday we'll solve the face-to-face issue. :o)

Joanne said...

What a nice story, the blogs are definitely a wonderful community of people. I started out slowly, too, not sure what to expect, and it wasn't long before the blog took on an independent life of its own!

Bish Denham said...

Angela over at the Bookshelf Muse has been a HUGE help to me, and, I've come to think of her as a friend.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwwww what a great heads up for the lovely Jackee!! Yay!!!!

Oh I took a while to get blogging but once I was in, I jumped!!!

Blogging so ROCKS better than any other social network, imo!! :-) Take care
x

Candyland said...

Aw how sweet:) There are quite a few bloggers who have been there from the beginning. They all helped shape and mold me and I'm forever grateful!

Susan R. Mills said...

I had a similar experience. I blogged for about a month with 0 followers, and then one day, someone commented and followed. Yes, she pushed me to the next level of blogging.

Lydia K said...

Hooray for our blogging friends! I warmed up to it within a few weeks, but the beginning was kind of touch and go!

Lynda Young said...

I didn't even know what a blog was for ages. The moment I discovered them I jumped in head first. And yes, there are some standout people who helped me along the way :)

Jai Joshi said...

I love Jackee too and think she's such a kind and supportive person. Glad to know her and be her blogger friend.

Jai

Shelley Sly said...

Aww that is a really sweet shout out! I'm happy that you've had such a wonderful blogging experience! I'll have to check out the blog fest, too.

Theresa Milstein said...

How sweet you wrote a tribute to Jackee. She deserves it! Jackee has been a good blogging friend to me too.

Lola came up with such a nice idea for a contest. Loving the blog love.

I don't know who I would pick. Old Kitty has always been so loyal and upbeat. Jackee and Aubrie have been wonderful blogging and critique buddies. It took me months to figure out how to connect with other bloggers, but one I did the support has been great.

By the way, Rachael Harrie has a new, special crusader badge on her blog now.

J.L. Campbell said...

Jackee sounds like a peach. Luckily for me, when I started I had the support of fellow writers from an online network, so I had a few followers immediately. The crusade being hosted by Rachel is a wonderful way for us to get to know each other and form support groups.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Oh, I love Jackee, too. What a nice shout-out, Susan. :)

Have a lovely day!

Amy

Medeia Sharif said...

Jackee's awesome.

I remember several people who helped me blog in my early days, because I had no clue what I was doing or if anyone was reading my posts.

Stephen Tremp said...

I jumped into it right away, but had the help of Yahoo! Writers Group called BBT Cafe. A great group of people they are. Even met my terrific editor there too!

Al said...

I'll have a look

Stina Lindenblatt said...

When I started, I knew nothing about getting followers. I happily blogged once a week about photography with no pressures of knowing someone was reading what I was writing. Several people started following, and occasionally I got a comment (when I didn't post photography tips). It wasn't until I changed my design, added the followers thingie, and posted about things other than just photography that people started to actually follow me (at that point, I had 14 followers and was excited about each one). A year later, I had over 400 new followers. I also discovered the work involved in blogging . . . but I wouldn't change it any other way. I've met so many friends through it. :D

Dominic de Mattos said...

Hi Susan
I cme to the blogosphere through reading about a blogfest on twitter. I wanted to enter so had to start a blog! Through the competition which had 55 entrants I picked up loads of followers and of course found loads of amazing writers blogs. Now we have the wonderful crusade to help us find each other!
Thanks for the follow. Look forward to getting to know you.

:Dom

Rachel Morgan said...

Yay! Happy story!

In my version of this story the name Jackee Alston would be replaced by Rachael Harrie :-) She was the second person to follow my blog who wasn't someone that I already knew :-) I "met" her just before she started her first crusade and THAT is when I became blog-alive! (Before that I would consider myself blog-dead!)

Zan Marie said...

Hi, Susan,

You just got a new follower! I found your link in my followers at In the Shade of the Cherry Tree and followed you back. I do know what you mean about the scary start of this blogging stuff. A few friends, writers from the Forum, and now all these new Crusaders...It's wonderful!

It's great to meet you! See you around.

Angela Scott said...

I had cold feet about blogging. I've been at it over a year now, but not real constant until recently (I didn't really know what I was doing).

Joining a few blogfests and blog contests have opened my eyes and I love it. Meeting new people, supporting one another, has been truly fantastic. I have learned so much.

My shout out would be to Diana. A consistent blog commenter and good friend.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh, I just teared up. Yay for Jackee...she is a sweetheart, as are you, Susan.

These kinds of posts make me over the moon giddy. Thank you. Thank you most of all for being you.
You are always a ray of sunshine. *hugs*

Love,
Lola

Jeanette Levellie said...

Jackee, you get a trohphy for wonderful and kind.

I have dozens of helpful blogging friends--the ones that come readily to mind are Susan Reinhardt of Christian Writer/Reader Connection and Rhonda Schrock of The Natives are Getting Restless.

And unlike you, I jumped right into blogging. I don't think I've ever done anything by baby steps!

Robyn Campbell said...

Jackee is THE woman. Great post, Susan. My writing partner, Beth Revis got me into blogging. One day I was feeling down about not having any followers or anyone typing comments (except her) and she put the word out on her blog. They raced to my blog in droves. *wink* How ya doing, girlfriend? :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

What a great tribute to Jackee. I adore her too! One day I'm going to make it out to her place....She's an amazing person. Blogging is amazing it brings you a whole new group of friends, ones that you really miss when you aren't able to chat on line with them....

Susan you are such a wonderful writer and so full of knowledge, it's no wonder so many people enjoy reading your blog. :)