In the ever-transmogrifying world of social media, it takes a village to spread the word about anything. My blog lives because of its readers, and I appreciate every one of you. But, for the remainder of this week, I am going to thank some special people: my advocates. These people go beyond reading my blog and telling me how much they enjoy it. They share it with their friends and spread the word about it whenever and wherever they can. That I never asked any of them to be my advocate is even more humbling.
Michael Carnell asked me to bring him several things from my recent trip to England: magazines on model trains and model cars, another magazine on the MG and loads of Panadol, a pain killer that is only available by expensive prescription in America because it contains codeine. I sussed out the drugs without incident, but the journals proved to be another matter. Carnell, I am sorry to report that I never found the one on the MG.
Once ensconced on the train, I pulled out the magazines and thumbed through them. I almost had to pop several of the Panadol because 1. I did not understand what in the world could be satisfying about building silos for model train tracks out of plastic cylinders and miniature copper tube; and 2. it is clear that I have spent my entire life investing in the wrong things. How, HOW can a stupid model car from the 1960′s sell for thousands and thousands of pounds???
Still, caring about our friends means trying to understand what they like. Carnell took an interest in my writing a long time ago. It amazes me to go back to the early days of this blog and find his faithful, and often hilarious, commentary. He listens to me complain and kvetch and have attacks of insecurity about this whole writing thing more than just about anyone save MTM. Sometimes, he even says the hard things no one else will say.
Several months ago, he became a full-fledged advocate for my writing when he took it upon himself to get my Facebook Author page over 1,000 likes. It’s a process that is maddening and stacked to be hard. When he was done, my page had almost 200 new likers, the biggest jump from a single effort.
Writing is hard. It’s lonely. When trying to make the transition to being published or getting paid, it is vicious, demoralizing and demeaning. Over the past few months, I have fallen into the trap of wringing my hands and despairing over what I don’t have instead of counting my blessings.
Carnell is a selfless advocate. A few magazines I don’t really understand and some drugs aren’t enough to thank him for all the support to keep me writing. I hope this Fascinating Aida video I discovered while in the UK will add a bit of raunchy color and bawdiness to make you stop squirming while I say thank you, Carnell.