I really can't remember how it started ... did I leave the first comment or did she? However it happened, I know I'm the one who has benefited most from the friendship.
And yes, I said friendship. Despite what my daughter and others say, that you can't really be friends with someone you've never met face-to-face, I consider Jill my friend - and I don't toss that word around lightly.
Friend (noun): someone you know, trust, and like; an ally in a fight, cause, or struggle; a patron or supporter.
Jill made it a point to comment on my blog almost every day - it bothered her that I didn't get many, if any, comments, and she was determined I'd get at least one. (It bothered me, too, and made me doubt myself and question why, oh why, I spent so many hours composing a post that would just drift into a void, seemingly unread, because without comments or feedback, that's how it feels. The answer, of course, is that I did it for myself - but it still bothered me.)
She would also email me ideas on how to make it easier to comment (she was brainstorming for me!) and give me shout-outs on her blog ... all in the hopes of increasing the number of comments I elicited.
Just knowing she thought my posts should garner more readers and comments made me feel more confident and less alone in the huge Blog World, which you might not realize can be a lonely place at times, full of cliques, until you find a comfortable niche of your own. (Kind of like junior high.) Despite two years of blogging under my belt and quite a few blog friends, I still felt on the outside looking in until Jill reached out to me.
She had plenty of readers, her own circle of well-deserved fans, drawn to her beautiful photography, poetic words, and loyalty. She didn't need me, yet still she reached out to me and pulled me up, and not just with my blog, but also with my photography: through her invitation to a FlickR group, I found a new network of support and encouragement that helped ignite my latest obsession...
...which led to Confessions of a Photography Addict. Go ahead - click over there for a second. See the photograph at the top? It's mine, but Jill took it and created that beautiful banner.
I didn't ask her to - she just did it.
That's a friend.
And a few days ago, she sent me an email with marketing ideas for my Silpada jewelry business. Can you believe it?
The thing is, I suspect I'm not the only one she supports like this. She is an amazing woman. I don't have to meet her face to face to know that.
But I hope to someday, anyway.
Thank you, Jill! I doubt you know just how much your friendship has meant to me the past few months.
Now do yourself a favor and click HERE to check out her blog, and while you're there, be sure to click on the link to JG Studio Cards. I can vouch for the beauty of Jill's cards, all created from some of her own amazing photographs.
And be sure to visit A Recommended Daily Dose (another wonderful blog) to find links to the other shout-outs! Thanks so much for hosting this and inviting me, Kate! I'm glad we've connected here in the Blog World, too!