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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Making friends through Blogging

It's December, in case you hadn't noticed.  All around me people are sorting out gifts for friends and family, and making arrangements for seasonal celebrations, both in our homes and on our blogs.

One of the things that I didn't expect from the A to Z Challenge was that I'd make friends.  It seemed strange, the idea of blogging friends, but of course, once you get people you meet regularly, it's just like any other community.  You may start by passing someone in  the street.  Then you smile, or even just nod.  Then maybe something happens and you speak.  If that goes well, it may develop - you may stop and chat, and perhaps even share a coffee break if you're in the right place at the right time.

It's not until you have to do something together that it changes from an acquaintance to a friendship.  Thinking about the place I used to live, what suddenly bonded a street together was fighting an unwelcome development in the old school playing fields.  In my new home it has been building a new village hall, and setting up new activities.  On my website I made some friends through discovering shared interests during the A to Z Challenge.  Some of those are like people I've known for years and still exchange Christmas cards with - I visit during the A to Z and wonder why I don't visit more often (I could do that with the Road Trip!)  Others I follow more diligently, and love the range of their posts and the experiences they share with me - and with other readers.

BookElves AnthologyI've had two experiences that I really wanted to share - things that I feel have made a real difference to me, and I hope you will find the equivalent in your blogging lives.  The first was when a writer, Sally Harris, invited twelve of us to join her in a Valentines Day project - putting out a chapter of our books in one volume, with a puzzle hidden within it.  Readers who solved it were eligible for a draw for a major prize.  Working with these other authors has led on to other projects - this year we brought out an anthology of short stories for readers aged 8 and over, the BookElves Anthology Volume 1.  One of my 'physical' friends asked about the 'Volume 1' bit.  I just love the optimism of thinking it might be the start of something regular, worth repeating.  I hope so, anyway.  If you write, I hope you find a community you feel you can work with on projects too.

The other experience I wanted to share was the fun and friendship I gained by being one of co-host Damyanti's team for the 2014 A to Z Challenge.  I worked closely with six other blogging enthusiasts (and most of us write), and we still share our activities and support each other's blogs.  You saw last month that the Challenge 2015 co-host team has been announced.  They will all need minions, so if you feel you want to get involved, do.  I assure you it'll be worth it.  You'll make some real friends.  Even if you never meet them face to face!

Thank you all for your interest through this year, and very best wishes for 2015.

Have you made friends through blogging?  Tell all!

Jemima Pett writes fantasy for younger readers in the Princelings of the East series, and is working on an adult scifi series. Read her blog, or find her on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.


Vidya Sury said...

Such a lovely post, Jemima! You know, I was reflecting .. and thought, how wonderful this year has been in terms of connections made! So glad we know each other!

I love the idea of a Volume 1...opens up so many possibilities! :)

Great to see you here on the A to Z blog. And imagine - barely another three months to go before all the hectic activity for A to Z 2015 kicks off!

Hugs to you, my friend!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have made some great friends through blogging. I hope I can find some minions for A to Z. So many of my bloggy friends are already involved in some capacity.

Jemima Pett said...

Vidya, I am delighted that we have got to know each other. Your blog is an inspiration!

Susan, I expect lots of new friends will come forward once the word is out! Good luck in 2015.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some of my best blogger buddies have come from the five A to Z Challenges.
Yes, we will all need Minions!

G. B. Miller said...

I have made quite a few friends from blogging that have translated to Facebook and the real world as well.

Father Nature's Corner

Jemima Pett said...

Thanks, Alex and GB :)

Unknown said...

When I started blogging, I really hadn't imagined that I would gain friends through it. Now I am amazed at the number of wonderful friendships I have made as a result of blogging, many of them from the A to Z Challenge.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jemima and Alex ... the blogging fraternity has been one of the most amazing things ... so friendly, so interesting, so helpful and I'm fairly certain will be around a long time ...

The A-Z has been a real jelling force ... I can't help this year ... but 2016 isn't that far away if 2015 is only 3 months away now?!

Happy Christmas and seasonal cheer - Hilary

Jemima Pett said...

Hi Michelle and Hilary - I'm glad that's been your experience too. - and Hilary, since you are one of those that I described as 'Christmas card friends' I hope you'll be blogging from A to Z in 2015, and it was just that you couldn't help out!