The Grand Blog Hop: IWSG

This month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group is being hosted as always by Alex J. Cavanaugh. His co-hosts this month are Sheena-kay Graham, Julie Musil, Jamie Ayres, & Mike Swift!   Thanks!

Once you’ve read my post, please Click here  to “hop” to another blog on the list to support and share with others.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

For the IWSG in January I made it my goal to visit and comment on every single blog posting for the blog hop. It appeared do-able. Heck, in the five months I’ve been participating in IWSG it seems like Alex J. Cavanaugh has been to any of the blogs I’ve ever hit – often moments before me.  He’s only one man. If he can devote his time each month to sharing that much affection, then surely I could do it just this once.

At the time I started, there were 317 blogs on the linky-tools list. I figured it would take me about three days to complete making the rounds to everyone. I would average a few more than a hundred blog visits per day. That was if everyone on the whole list posted. I assumed not everyone would.

Lucky for me they didn’t and jeez, was I wrong about the three days.

It ended up taking me an entire week to hit all of the blogs with actual postings. Wednesday to Wednesday. During five of those days I was juggling work and hopping. Besides having to earn a living at my day job, there were other potholes that impeded my progress. On Friday I had a hard time figuring out where to start because the bloggers who had missed two ISWG dates in a row were dropped from the list.  The number system I was using to keep track of my progress no longer applied. I must have clicked on fifteen links for folks that already had a comment from me.  Then over the weekend I was forced to use a turtle of a computer (maybe turtle is being gracious…it was a snail of a computer) to squeak in as many visits as I could because my regular machine was misbehaving. Though these things slowed me down, they didn’t stop my aspiration.

I approached this huge task (I honestly didn’t realize it was so huge at the time) by starting at the end of the list and working my way forward. That way Alex J. Cavanaugh would be my final visit.  Out of the original 317 on the list, 225 of you actually posted for January. I’m glad to say I got to leave a comment for every one of you.

One thing I wish is that I kept better statistics as I went. My main method of record keeping was putting hash marks on an old envelope. Very scientific, I know.

Somewhere around the middle of the list I realized that most of us are women. I wonder at that, because traditionally (until the last few hundred years anyway) writers were men.  Could it be that we women are just more insecure about our writing than the men? Hmmm, something to think about.

Also, most of these blogs are on Blogger instead of WordPress. This doesn’t seem strange because people tend to find blogs on their own system and the ISWG is a blogger hosted blog. What did surprise me was that there were Facebook pages in the mix. I never would have guessed that (It was a happy notion nonetheless).

By far the most distressing part of this hop was visiting blogs were no one else had posted a reply.  I sometimes would go from a popular blog were the writer had fifty-eight replies to ones that had none (or simply none when I got there…).  From the very beginning of my ISWG experience I have had warm comments from my fellow ISWG participants. It has bolstered me. The fact that I got to play even a small part in bolstering someone else made this grand hop worthwhile.

I found that we writers in the ISWG range from seasoned pros to just getting our typing fingers wet. Even so, many of us have similar insecurities (trust me on this). We worry if we are good enough and how we’ll find time to write and if we’ll ever come up with another idea (we are and we’ll make the time and ideas will always come…they might just show up on their own schedule).

For almost every insecure blog, there was another one meant to hearten the readers. I loved these. They made me feel good, plus I got to accept the support with a “thank you.”

Now I want to say thank you again. This first one goes out to all of you who turned around to visit me after my path took me past your blog’s door. You encouraged me to keep going. That was a big feat.

I also want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this whole, crazy blog hop. You are one amazing person (you must command a group of minions or have cloned yourself….hmmm. Maybe that’s why you write Sci-Fi). Please know that you have touched more people than you know…because others chose to pay it forward.

(Another thing I learned was an appreciation for short posts…eek! Sorry this one was so long. I’ll do better next time. Leanne)

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “The Grand Blog Hop: IWSG

  1. I cannot believe you hit all those blogs! A HUGE kudos to you. I think you should be given a prize for that! Seriously. I think the most I’ve ever hit were 100. Now I’m good to hit 30-40 + who comes to my blog. Unless we’re talking last month, which I failed to visit anyone. Had a seriously bad month. 😦 Better now, though!

    First off, LOVE your blog background. Is that a WordPress background or one you designed? Blogger and WordPress don’t play well in the sandbox, so I have to post through my Facebook page on WordPress blogs. No worries. Here’s my blog url if you want it. http://cfitewrite.blogspot.com/

    Happy IWSG!!

  2. Whew! I’ve done that before–hit every single blog in a hop that large. It is exhausting–and surprising to see how many actually comment back after the fact. I love that you took the perspective of boosting others while commenting. I should take that view as well. =)

  3. Wow! Well done!

    And speaking on behalf of my tortoises, they’d like to say they are definitely faster than any old snail. 🙂

  4. Wow – massive respect to you! It takes so long to visit a few blogs, so that was an amazing feat!

  5. Leanne. I commend you! That is incredible. Even I don’t make it to every single one. (And you’re right – it is a good thing not every one posts!) I have comment verification on posts older than four days, so I believe yours did show on my post.
    That’s cool you kept track. There are just more women authors and writers period.
    I have co-hosts so that hopefully not many fail to get a comment.
    Thanks for your dedication and glad you enjoy the group!

  6. I had no idea that it would take that long to go to so many blogs. Seriously, how do people like Alex do it? Even with a relatively fast computer, it takes all my free time of an evening to visit twenty blogs, I swear. Good on you for checking in with the whole group. Very cool.

  7. Diane Burton

    Wow, Leanne. You went through all of them??? Major kudos to you. Talk about support. Thanks so much for visiting my blog (along with all the rest).

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Leanne! Your visit certainly did not go unnoticed.
    I wonder if the reason that so many of us are women is that women are taught that it is ok to be insecure about things, while men are expected to always be confident?

  9. What a wonderful undertaking. My hat’s off to you. It sounds like you got as much out of it as you put in. A lot like any goal we set out to accomplish. Great post!

  10. Cows full of holes! You are amazing! Grats on tackling such a large undertaking.

  11. I’m still making my rounds…and probably will go into the weekend and I’m not even going for everyone like you did last time. How amazing are you? Very. Very amazing.

    Thanks so much for the recap. How interesting to read your findings…and now I’m sad about the people who don’t get the encouragement we all need. Too much work but if you remember any of the blogs, I’m sure the rest of us would be happy to know. Of course we can look ourselves so no worries lol

    You ROCK! 😀

  12. Hey, Leanne,
    I lift my hat to you for visiting all the blogs. I’ve been lacking these last two times as life kinda got in the way. I find though that once you leave comments, people will find you. If you don’t take time for a few visits, then other bloggers wont stop in. I see this when I get bogged down with other stuff.

    It’s a wonderful way to connect with each other, this IWSG.

  13. I remember you saying you were going to visit all of them and that was a major accomplishment – congratulations on that! It is a really great community. 🙂

  14. This was a great post, Leanne. I loved reading about what you saw on all of our blogs – similarities, differences, etc. And it really does highlight that Alex IS NOT HUMAN. I mean, seriously. He’s amazing. Thank you for visiting all of us!!

  15. Fantastic job visiting all the blogs. I’m trying to get around to doing at least 5 per day throughout the month–if I don’t hit the blog for the IWSG post, at least I’ll visit them for something else. I’ve found it amazing how many people so far this month don’t have a post up, and I imagine as I go through the month it’ll be harder to keep track of.
    Thanks for your time, and inspiring me to be more consistent with visiting. If you could do all of those blogs in a week, I can do at least a few blogs every day.

  16. What a wonderful thing to do, well done. It was really interesting reading this round up. Whilst I always try and drop in on a a handful of new blogs each month I will make an extra effort this month to connect with more.

  17. Making all the visits is amazing. I try to do at least a third every month but I don’t always even get that many done. This month I lost power on Wednesday so I’m still catching up.

  18. Leanne,

    This was an absolute pleasure to read. Well researched and thought out. And since it was a pleasure to read, length didn’t matter—it flew by.

    Honestly, I struggle with the visiting. I make sure to visit those who visit me and to comment on their comments, but the time involved. It’s difficult, to say the least. I’m still visiting, as you can see.

    Honestly, in my message board, chatroom, and blogging experience, many of my “fellow” posters have been women. It seemed most were stay at home moms, retired, or didn’t work. Also, blogging seems more…hmmm…well, less physical. A thinking man’s occupation or hobby. Machismo keeps many men from sitting down and expressing their feelings.

    That’s my thought, anyway.

    And I gotta call you out…you missed my post last month. 😉 But that’s okay…it was a long one! LOL. Take care, and it was a pleasure meeting you.

    – Mike

  19. I can’t believe you visited that many blogs last month. That’s awesome.

  20. Thank you for taking the time to go through the entire list! It’s amazing how much time it takes to go through such a big list, or even smaller lists. There is reading involved and commenting, even if it’s only a few words. Definitely an accomplishment!

    Have a good weekend!

  21. Yes, mirroring everyone else, thank you for investing so much time to get to know us all better and share some of your insights!

  22. And this was my favorite part of your post: “We worry if we are good enough and how we’ll find time to write and if we’ll ever come up with another idea (we are and we’ll make the time and ideas will always come…they might just show up on their own schedule).”

  23. Amazing job in January, I certainly appreciated the comment and thanks for coming back to mine again this month. The comment you made about a large majority of us being ladies is interesting. I wonder if the social aspect of a blog hop might be what attracts us (as well as the insecurities).
    Look forward to checking out your March post. Happy writing/revising.

  24. Thanks for sharing what you learned. I do visit a fair share of posts, but I’d like to visit every link one day since I don’t know all the IWSG’ers. This is a great community Alex set up.

  25. Oh my GOODNESS! WOW! You visited every single blog participating? And it only took you a week? That’s amazing! I really admire your determination to support every single one of us insecure writers 🙂 I remember the comment you left on my blog, and I definitely appreciated it 🙂

  26. Go you for hitting all those blogs. It was interesting reading what you found. I wonder if some of those commentless blogs just had moderation on and hadn’t approved any yet.

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