I have found a second home here in the blogosphere, with too many benefits to mention.
I started my blog a little over two years ago, but I didn’t get really involved with the blogging community until my book Leap came out in February 2010. I had posted a few of the poems from my 2008 collection Where the Butterflies Go, but I hadn’t tried a poetry rally yet, or done an interview with any other blogger. I hadn’t hung out with you guys yet. Now I have, and I’m hooked. Plus, I’ve had people from 84 different countries visit me in the last three weeks (actual page-view visits of more than five minutes)–how cool is that?
Getting feedback on my work, reading your lovely comments about my poems and photos, checking out your posts–that would be enough for me to keep doing this forever, but wait, there’s more.
Publishers have found me through my blog and bought the rights to my photographs and poems. Young writers have found me through my blog and asked for some advice. It’s very rewarding to be able to help them out as best I can, and I’m looking forward to watching their careers unfold.
I’ve sold more books thanks to my blogging than I have at any public reading (a lot of swapping, not buying, goes on at readings) and best of all, through sales of both books, I’ve been able to donate to Unicef’s Gift of Education project three times. That’s three children who have received an education they may not have otherwise received, thanks to you readers!
Today, as a Christmas gift to thank you for visiting, commenting, giving me special awards, buying my books, and for your friendship, I’ve donated to Unicef (Canada) again. The $18 just bought 900 pencils for an entire school. Can you believe how much just $18 can do? Please do look at the Unicef link if you still have hard-to-shop-for people on your list.
My hopes for my 2011 blogging year? New friends, new projects, and more book sales so I have can get a fourth ($75) education for a child in need–or, perhaps–and this is a big reach but it’s a dream–a $500 water pump for an entire community.
I said it in 2009 to some most excellent friends (who later got me a t shirt saying I can’t rap), and I’ll say it again: I’ll be the very model of a modern networked blogger, yo!