One thing I have found in my ten months of blogging and e-meeting so many diverse people is the variety of ways people help you widen your circle of contacts.
It’s like a fantasy cocktail party; as you enter the blogroom, as tentatively as at any cocktail party where you know no, or only a couple of guests hoping for a friendly face or two in the sea of unknowns you know are out there. You make a hopeful stab at approaching one or two others, who might themselves look a little lost – only a few followers, a rather coy set of widgets adorning their sleeve – but all the time you are aware of the popular set, floating effortlessly across fifteen likes and twenty seven comments in the first hour of a post, and you know that couldn’t ever be you.
And there the analogy ends.
In real life you cling to your fellow wall-hangers trying and failing not to look like you’d prefer to be with one of the glamour groups, tinkling with confidence.
In the blogroom it is so very different. People approach you. They encourage you. They bring you into their chats, they engage. Sure they have a lot of followers but they want you to have the same; they want you to see a link that is complimentary to a piece you posted. The thing is they don’t hoard their contacts, they aren’t jealous of you interacting with another blogger who they also know. There’s plenty of room and time and the e-Prosecco and rather fine sparkling e-lderflower (for we teetotallers) flows effortlessly as do you on the coat tails of the experienced and the well-informed. And if you commit a faux-pas – the blogging equivalent of farting in the presence of Royalty (‘Did you fart in front of the Queen?’ ‘Oh goodness, I never realised it was Her Majesty’s turn’) – you are not shunned but provided, free, with some perfect remedy.
And that’s where these sorts of blog hoppity-doodahs come in.
This one is the concept (conceit?) of Brighton & Hove’s Blogging Equivalent of an E-National Treasure – Hugh Roberts (here) but I’ve been name checked by the prolific and polymathic Sue Vincent (here). If you don’t know these two, go and have a rummage ; I really do defy you not to like them and find something fascinating to keep you engaged.
And so the purpose of walking on sunshine is to introduce you to bloggers you may not know.
Some are easy to pass on – I’ve followed them and they’ve engaged with this blog for what seems like my forever – they are the glitterati in the centre of my blogroom – but if you don’t know them go chase them down.
Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch and on Elmira’s Pond, Norah Colvin spreading wisdom from her chalk board in busy Brisbane, Anne Goodwin who is, second to none, the best book reviewer of new authors going (as well as my longest serving blogmate and undoubtedly the reason I’m here today), Sarah Brentyn, who seems permanently snowed in but still finds time to be the driest wit on the web and Dylan Hearn who is a super author of two cracking books but also the supplier of many good tips on self publishing – I think, other than the remarkable Chris Graham and his ape colony (I refuse to accept his blog is the work of one primate) Dylan is the most generous with his paying it forward initiative and sharing his accumulated wisdom (of which there is tonnes – are tonnes? Bugger grammar).
Some are new to me (though ancient in blog years) and that freshness demands I hand them forward and expose them to your curious gaze. There’s Esther Newton and her varied weekly diet of prompts tips and marketing advice, Elizabeth at Autism Mom with her stiletto sharp insights into the world of living with a child on the Autism Spectrum and the constant joys and fascinating moments that come with that challenge, Sacha Black and her bundle of nervous energy and constant CAPITALS as she fires out ideas and information for us all to benefit from and RachelSquirrel, an Aussi in Aberdeen sharing her daily musings with wit and wisdom.
And then there’s a woman who I’ve been following (in a nice, non stalking way) for a long while, who wrote easily the most challenging and stunning read I’ve had this last twelve months and who has both shown me some fantastic ways to increase the readership of my book as well as providing some laugh out loud moments this last year, especially involving a pet rat and a dislocated shoulder. If you don’t know Lori Shafer and if you haven’t visited her site, do. And if you want a read that is unputdownable, then you have to try her memoir ‘On Hearing Of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened’. A word of warning – Lori also writes ‘Humorous Erotica’ which I haven’t found the, erm, courage to go there. Not yet anyway.
Do join in. Go have a look at any you don’t know. No one mentioned here is under any obligation to do anything but if you want to name check a few bloogers, under Hugh’s Weekend of Sunshine then you have the rest of today and tomorrow to do it. But, well, I don’t suppose Hugh will object if you do it sometime next week. He is, after all is said and done, A Treasure.