Wednesday, December 10, 2014
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.
I'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.
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.