The Artist’s Road is, at its heart, a conversation with its readers. It draws its strength from the quality and depth of its comments, left by thoughtful, reflective commenters. I am continually amazed at the wisdom left there; I love that my blog posts allow me to learn from my readers.
So I’d like to take a moment and thank the Top Five Artist’s Road Commenters of 2012. WordPress tells me these five individuals left the most comments, but they easily would have made the top of the list of most substantive comments. It so happens all five of them have online presences of their own worth visiting as well. I’ve never met any of these individuals in person, but I do feel I know them, as much as social media allows such a thing, and I consider them friends. So, in alphabetical order by last name, please say hello to:
- CHARLOTTE RAINS DIXON: Charlotte discovered The Artist’s Road when it was only about two months old, and has continued to stick around. This Washington State writer has a great blog of her own, where she provides solid writing advice–she has an MFA from Spalding and offers both group and one-on-one writing instruction–and shares her own writing story, which includes a novel being published on February 12, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior. Just as impressively–okay, perhaps not–back in January of 2011, Charlotte wrote a guest post for The Artist’s Road, “A Responsibility to Creativity.”
- SUE MITCHELL: If you want to learn about the creative process, talk to Sue. She’s an accomplished creativity consultant at the site “Your Muse is Calling.” Longtime readers of The Artist’s Road know the blog began with a heavy focus on the creative process; it was a key topic in my cross-country artist interviews, and “creativity” was in my original Twitter handle. I’m sure it was in those circles that Sue and I first found each other. She always brings insight in her comments, and isn’t afraid to differ with me. I was thrilled when she won a contest I held that featured a book of your choice on creativity as a prize.
ANNIE NEUGEBAUER: Annie is an accomplished fiction writer from Texas with a blog that is both fun and thought-provoking. She brings that same intellectual curiosity to her comments here at The Artist’s Road. And, not surprisingly, I tapped her to be a guest blogger awhile back; her post addressed the tricky question about what terms writers should use to describe themselves, a post that generated discussion not just here but on other blogs as well.
- PJ REECE: One of two Canadians on this list, PJ has lived a fascinating life, traveling the world as a writer and filmmaker. He’s full of opinions, and they’re all worth considering. He’s also a published novelist with a craft book on writing, Story Structure to Die For, that is priced as a steal. Of course I had him as a guest blogger. And what would an adventurer call his blog? “The Meaning of Life,” of course. I don’t believe any reader has provided more feedback during my MFA Nugget posts; it’s like he’s at residency with me.
- CAROLE JANE TREGGETT: My other top Canadian commenter, Carole Jane played a role in me winning the Top 10 Blog for Writers award, nominating me when I didn’t even know the award existed. She’s been a loyal supporter when I’ve struggled to keep this blog going, and is quick to tweet new posts. A photographer, writer, blogger, and all-around creative person, she guest blogged here on the creative process.
Perhaps what I admire most about these five is that they keep coming back and leaving comments here, when I am notoriously bad about doing that with others’ blogs, including their own. I even teach in my blogging class that it is critically important to devote time to others’ sites, but it is an area where I struggle. So that increases my gratitude not just for these five, but for all of my readers who take the time to participate in my comment section, and add value to this blog. Thank you all!