So, in my typical non-focused fashion, I managed to procrastinate long enough with my “best of 2016” post that the proper timeframe in which to unleash such a thing whisked right past me. Part of me was a little blue that I didn’t get around to it, as a year-end wrap-up has become something of a tradition with those of us who have been blogging since Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet. On the other hand, I was somewhat relieved that I had missed the deadline since, despite what some might believe, I’m really not that comfortable with blowing my own horn.
But as fate would have it, I was perusing my WordPress feed the other night (okay, maybe fate had nothing to do with it, because I’m always doing that) and I happened to land on this “best of” post by Christi at Feeding on Folly. It’s clever and engaging and deserves some type of award for accomplishing its mission without any hint of being self-serving. Naturally, this increased the blueness of me not doing my own “best of” post. I really should have slapped something together, and probably still could, but I didn’t have a structure, a hook. (Especially so after watching Christi hit it with nothing but net.)
Then, just a few hours ago, in a comment conversation with Sailaja at “Speaking Up for Myself”, she said some things that really touched me, “wrapped a string of lights around my heart”, if you’ll allow me to steal a bit of dialogue from an underappreciated movie, circa 1985. And that’s when it hit me, the hook, the line, the sinker. The best part of 2016 for my blog was the people who come visit regularly, those folks who show their support, even if what I have to share that day is a bit of a clunker (and there are a lot of clunkers, I fully admit). I cannot even begin to tell you how much every single “like” and every single comment activates those lights around my heart, even if some of the likes are merely courtesy clicks.
Now, there’s no way I can possibly thank everyone individually. If I start a list, I’m going to inadvertently leave out someone critical. I don’t want to go there. I hope, with fervency, that I have shown a proper amount of appreciation to the regular visitors here at Bonnywood. But I also know that once you pass a certain threshold of followers, there is only so much time in the day and that time does not allow for proper gratitude. I’m aware that I haven’t been the best of pen pals, not always responding in an expedient manner, and occasionally not responding at all. Sometimes we fail regardless of intentions.
With that in mind, instead of highlighting my own efforts on this blog, I thought it better to focus on the folks who visit. I’ve done this before, on a sporadic and individual basis, with my “Blogger Spotlight” series, but I’ve never gotten around to collecting all the spotlights in one place. I’m doing so now, with a simple guideline of “oldest to newest”, just so no one will trouble themselves with a concept of “ranking”. (I know how some of you are, wink wink.)
By the way, this will be the 500th post here at Bonnywood Manor, one of many blogging concepts I have tried throughout the years, and the most satisfying, by far. This makes it even more appropriate that I mark such a milestone not by lauding my own stories but by celebrating the people who read them. The best blogs are those that have an essence of community, and I hope that everyone who drops by Bonnywood feels like they have a place at the table.
So, fix yourself a nice beverage, squirm around in your chair until you get adequately comfortable, and let’s check in with some of our neighbors. Enjoy.
I’m About to Expose Myself in Public and I Want Others to Join Me (Not a traditional Spotlight, but I do some blog shout-outs, and there’s the tease of possible nudity, so yeah, click on this one if you haven’t read it.)
(Okay, I’m tucking this way down here so as not to bog down the flow of the main narrative. Some folks have asked how they can get one of their posts featured in the Blogger Spotlight. It’s a completely random thing, but I follow two general guidelines. One, I try to feature bloggers that don’t have a tremendous amount of followers, although there have been a few exceptions (hello, Victo!). The successful bloggers don’t really need any help from me. Two, and this is the tricky part, it works better if they are stand-alone pieces. You can have the best blog in the world, but if your posts reference each other or are full of inside-jokes, it will be confusing to a new reader and make them less apt to follow you, which is the whole point, in the end. This is why a lot of you have not been featured, but it should not be considered a “bad” thing.
For the record, I just checked my “candidate” list, and there are currently 33 posts that I am considering and/or waiting for a good fit in my own post lineup. So some of you will be featured, you just don’t know it yet. And yes, I always work with the writer before sharing, and I don’t post without your consent, so you will have time to tidy up your blog and make sure it’s current before I do so. Cheers.)
Categories: The Journey