Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Musings: Reflections post AND Glynis Symy launches her debut novel


The challenge was very different this year. Yes, it was fun visiting new blogs and having new visitors to mine, but my follower count didn't increase much at all, and frankly, I would be lying if I said it wasn't a compelling reason to participate in blogfests. I wonder if my expectations are realistic. Last year, my follower count doubled. This time, it increased by about 30. Most of us are writers who are trying to build a platform and a presence on line so that when we put a book out in the market, there is an audience who will be willing to purchase them because they know us and want to support us. In addition to that reason, I blog because I have things I want to share about this journey I am on called life --things I hope just might help others on their journey.
This year, I'm not sure the challenge was worth the time and energy and effort. I visited more than 800 blogs and followed most of them and definitely left comments even if I didn't follow. It makes me sad I didn't make it to all the blogs, but that is impossible with over 1600 blogs participating.
I am questioning why people choose to follow a blog and why certain blogs get so many more followers than others. If other participants had a different result, than I need to look at my blog and why it's not inspiring followers. I'm curious to see how other bloggers feel about this.

Today writer/poet, Glynis Smy adds author/novelist to her name. Her debut novel; Ripper, My Love, is launched in ebook format and paperback. The genre for this love story falls into the one of Historical Romance Suspense.

Growing up in late nineteenth century East London, Kitty Harper’s life is filled with danger and death – from her mother, her beloved neighbour and the working women of the streets.

With her ever-watchful father and living surrogate family though, Kitty feels protected from harm. In fact, she feels so safe that while Whitechapel cowers under the cloud of a fearsome murderer, she strikes out on her own, moving into new premises to accommodate her sewing business.

But danger is closer than she thinks. In truth, it has burrowed itself right into her heart in the form of a handsome yet troubled bachelor, threatening everything she holds dear. Will Kitty fall prey to lust – and death – herself, or can she find the strength inside to fight for her business, sanity and her future? And who is the man terrifying the streets of East London?

Who is Glynis Smy?

My PhotoGlynis was born and raised in England, in the coastal town of Dovercourt, near the port of Harwich (where the captain of the Mayflower lived). After qualifying as a nurse, she married her school friend, and they produced three children. During her rare quiet moments, she wrote poetry and articles for magazines. In 2005 she and her husband emigrated to Cyprus for a new life in the sun. It was here that Glynis lay down her cross stitch and started making writing friends on the Internet. With their support and encouragement she shared her poetry, and was successful in a few contests. She shared a short story with a friend, who wrote back telling her it was worthy of becoming a novel, and not to waste the premise upon a brief plot. The story is the one being launched today. Glynis found her love of writing 19th Century, historical romances and her second novel, Maggie's Child, will be published at the end of 2012.

Aside from writing and Cross stitch, Glynis enjoys creating greetings cards, and sells them to raise funds for a small hospice in Cyprus. One of her pleasures is to sit on the back porch with a glass of wine, and reflect upon her good life. She can often be heard chatting to new characters urging her forward.

Her desire to pay back those who had supported her is realised in a blog designed specifically to promote the books of others: New Book Bloggerhttp://newbookblogger.blogspot.com/. You can find her personal writing blog at www.glynissmy.com. Glynis finds the community spirit of writers on Facebook a valuable one.

Want to purchase a copy?  Launch day price for the Kindle is 99c/77p!


welcome to my world of poetry said...

I see where you were getting at as to why certain people attract followers. I gained about 30 but out of that 30 only 6 have ever commented so why follow someone if they have no intention on leaving a comment.
I still enjoyed the challenge , I aways do as it takes the loneliness from every day life.
Congrats on completing the challenge.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I didn't get a lot of new followers either. I think I gained just as many from my first blogfest right before the A to Z began. Some people followed without even commenting, too.

I probably will do it again next year, as composing the posts was really easy. Just have to figure out a new theme.

Liz Fichera said...

Karen, I wonder if it was the sheer size of the blogfest. It's impossible to visit so many blogs.

I enjoyed your posts in the Challenge immensely. :)

Talli Roland said...

I'm wondering if people got a little overwhelmed with the number of blogs involved? Maybe that's it.

Congrats to the lovely Glynis!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think a lot of newer bloggers didn't understand the concept of following or commenting back. I didn't gain a ton of new followers, but at this point, that's all right with me.

Suze said...

Love that Furtick quote!

K, as far as following and commenting -- I just think that people blog for different reasons and trying to understand why people do what they do (or don't do) can also be a bit of a vengeance against oneself.

All that said, I hope you do get the insight you seek and that you can apply it to get the results you want.

Have a beautiful week, my friend.

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, it's a mystery.
Diane, I'm not sure bout next year - we'll see
Liz and Talli, I do think the number of participants was a huge factor.
Alex, I think you're right and if I had your number of followers, I'd feel exactly the same way.
Suze, wise words, indeed, I need to look at my reasons, make sure they are from my heart and let go of everything else. Thank you, my dear.

Claudia Moser said...

Strange I also won around 30 and some followers, seems to be a magical number :)

Mason Canyon said...

I think a lot of people were overwhelmed by the number of blogs participating this year.

BTW, post on Glynis. Wonderful to see your book launch today. Have a great week.

Thoughts in Progress

Heather M. Gardner said...

I think I got about the same amount as you.
That's okay. We had fun anyway.
Thanks for all of your support.

Carrie-Anne said...

I didn't gain all that many followers either, though I visisted and left comments on a fair amount of blogs. About half the "followers" listed in my sidebar are apparently only Twitter followers and not actual blog followers. I guess that's okay, since I prefer quality over quantity, even if I don't regularly get many comments on my posts.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I had never participated in the A to Z Challenge before, but like you I was disappointed that I didn't gain more followers. Maybe there were just too many participating.

I'm so happy for Glynis! Her book looks wonderful. I'll have to hop over to her blog.

Donna B. McNicol said...

I "followed" every blog I visited, if there was a Google Connect or Linky Follower box. But I have to admit that I won't be reading them all. I use a standalone blog reader and those that I really enjoyed, I added to that list. Those are the ones I'll continue to read and when time allows, leave a comment.

I increased from 25 to 90 or so bloggers (I went over 100 this past week). I have noticed a huge drop in my reader visits since the challenge ended so not sure how many true followers I got. That's okay, I'll keep on blogging away!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks everyone for all your thoughts on this. I really appreciate the feedback and the sharing of how it went for each of you.

Jo said...

For me, the combination of daily posting and visiting my own visitors AND all the new blogs to read was really overwhelming. I felt "behind" all the time, and being honest, definitely didn't do my part on the "visiting new blogs" bit. I'm hoping to sort of "catch up" on that in June and slowly make my way through the whole list, if it's still up.

In Which We Start Anew

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I gained about 50 or 60 new followers (and commenters - though not on all posts obviously) .. maybe because I was writing something 'meaty' - ie castles! Last year it was the British countryside - I know these subjects appeal to the Brits and to overseas readers - purposeful choice of subject.

I'd rather have quality over quantity - and had decided I wouldn't follow anyone I wasn't interested in .. if they'd followed me I'd follow back - but probably wouldn't subscribe.

I didn't blitz blogs - I went quietly forward .. and people tended to find me .. I'm extremely thankful to say.

You have such a thoughtful empathetic story to tell - and your book and future books will sell well. Patience and Perseverance .. good luck and looking forward to seeing you around the blogosphere ..

Cheers Hilary

Cassam said...

I gained about the same number as most people have said,30 or so. I left comments on all blogs even just to say I'd been there. I tried to visit blogs of the people who followed me but some didn't seem to have blogs or didn't have their blog address attacted to their name. The only followers I really want are ones who will return to read my blog.

Sharon Lippincott said...

The number of blogs expands exponentially. Every aspiring author is told, "Start a blog. Early." Blah, blah. The unfortunate thing is that the number of potential readers is not expanding, time spent on Facebook, etc. is increasing, number of hours in a day are ... decreasing?

My hunch is that the peak of the blog bubble has passed. Some few will thrive, the rest will languish. We must always look for fresh new approaches -- or find a better use for our time and ways to stay connected.

It's a lot like writing a (memoir). Forty years ago 100,000 volume was a sales figure you wouldn't blush to mention. Today 10,000 is a best-seller for most titles and publishers. Most self-pubbed authors would be thrilled to sell all 1000 they had printed before POD.

Market fragmentation is the order of the current era.

IMO, we should blog because we love it, or forget it. I still love it, but in smaller doses than before.

BTW, I look at traffic flow, not followers. I generally glance at things, may or may not finish reading, and comment only if something comes to mind, like now. I think I'm pretty average. All groups (and blogs) have way more lurkers than participants.

mare ball said...

For me, when I found a blog I liked, I followed simply to have their link in my contact list, so I could check back. I won't visit all my favorites every day, but hopefully once a week. I also suspect that over the next month, I'll probably unfollow a few because I'll see that that bulk of their writing isn't interesting to me. The A-Z gives us all prompts and a time table, so we're limited to some degree from writing what we normally write about. I assume my followers won't look at my blog every day either, and some may drop off. I gained about 50+, which is nice, but I write for myself. Followers help mainly with exposure. Nice to meet you!

EvalinaMaria said...

Congratulation on finishing the challenge. During the challenge I didn't visit as many blogs as I would like to but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with the reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here. Thank you for spreading the word about Glynis Symy. Since we share love for cross stitching I bought her book (and yours). From a short description of Following the Whispers looks like our lives aren't much different...

Evalina, This and that...

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I think I'm done with the challenge. two years running I did it during an awfully intense period of my life. Last year, like you, I made many new friends. This year, just a few. It was exhausting and I didn't enjoy it as much. In fact, I don't think I'll do any more challenges - it's enough just to blog and chat with nice folks who take the time to stop by and let you know they did.