“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.” – Aristotle
Bourchercon is going on this weekend, and I’m not there. I’d be lying if I said that I was fine and dandy with that. It’s the first genre-specific conference I attended, after my brilliant friend Robert Ward demanded I go, and I’ve been in love ever since. I hadn’t yet started blogging (Wait… Life existed before then?!?), and where I learned the value of being submersed in a community who accepts, encourages and seems to truly get you.
My bit of blah has reminded me of my favorite perks of social media: friendships and community. From the time I started pursuing writing professionally until late 2011 B.B. (before blogging), I found myself in lonely slumps every so often. I was happy overall, mind you—more gratified by my creative and professional life than ever before. I still am. But even the most wondrous life events can’t fulfill us without cherished connectedness with others; I finally get that.
When those slumps occurred back then, writing seemed like necessary medicine and an escape. It was truthfully, at best, a temporary fix and a distraction. Everything benefits from connectedness with others, our work included. That’s where you all come in. While there’s no substitute for in-person mingling, I no longer have to wait months or more to feel a sense of community.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth articulating again. I’m crazy grateful for the support, friendships and interaction social media provides. You all are a special breed of awesome! There have been countless times when I’ve felt a bit down or frustrated about one of life’s bumps and someone (likely one of you!) on the inter-web uplifted me—often without have a clue that they did so. Difficult happenings seem more tolerable when we share them. Good news morphs into magnificence. And those of us who spend a heck of a lot of time working solo can rest easy, knowing we’re part of something spectacular—a community of likeminded, like-hearted people who have our backs.
Sure, social media also brings challenges. We’re just as likely to run into heated debates and rudeness as we are in “real” life. Sometimes it’s worse, as people feeling somewhat anonymous may spout out nastiness they’d never say to your face. But as with the rest of the world, we can choose what we focus on, and whatever we choose grows. Add to that the fact that we tend to attract people with commonalities, and I’d say that the social media world is a pretty dang magical place.
On Monday, I noticed that I’d received my 10,000th blog comment. The person who posted it is special for numerous reasons. Though we’ve never met in person, I consider him a pal. He’s friendly and supportive, has a keen sense of humor and posted one of my most cherished comments to date a while back. I hope I’m not embarrassing him by sharing it, but I think you’ll see why I value it so much:
*reaches for tissues* See what I mean??? David also has a blog you should all check out if you haven’t, and a brand-spankin’ new release! I hope you’ll pop by his blog living room and say hello. You can also follow him on twitter: @davidnwalkertx.
To take the celebration further, I’d like to have a little link-share party. To participate, post one link you’d like to promote in the comments below. (More than one will send your comment to spam-land, and that’s no place to party.)
You have two options: Share a blog post of your own that made you laugh, smile or SQUEEEE!, due to the post itself or people’s comments. Or share a post you read that totally made your day—then let that person know you did so. Then stick around or pop back later to check out others’ links and keep the support and fun flowing!
Thanks again to ALL of you for the continual support! The fact that you take time out of your day to consider my thoughts and words then share your own means more than I can say. To the many more of you who don’t post comments or interact with me elsewhere, please know that you mean just as much! It’s many writers’ dream to have their words and stories not only in existence, but read. You are magic. ♥