A few months ago I attended a workshop to teach writers how to use social media. Bizarrely, I knew almost everything that was in that workshop – for my clients. I had even had a meeting with a client in the previous week and urged many of the things that were in that workshop. I had just never applied the advice to myself. So before I could frighten myself out of it, I bought susanrdixon.com and started this blog. That’s the first thing – to dare to be visible.

The second thing is community. The pleasure of writing comes from sharing it, hearing how others react to it, seeing how it moves people or how it could be better. But really, I think of community a lot like what happens when I plant a new tree in my yard and a bird lands in it. It’s validation for that tree and, by extension, for me. If a bird thinks it is a tree, then it is! The seal of approval.

So when Natalie Detert included my blog in her Liebster awards, it was like a bird had landed in my tree. I didn’t know Natalie but she was reading. I am grateful and encouraged and delighted with the Liebster Blog award because it creates a network of encouragement.

I am new to blogging in general so I don’t have five to award to but I do have this piece of encouragement. If you are a writer who has so far not dared to get out there with your writing because of fear of … well, just about everything (you know who you are), buy your domain name, set up a blog (it is so very easy and I will help you if you are stuck), and get to it! It doesn’t matter how “good” you are. What matters is that you write and share your writing.

So here are my picks:

Lydia – Writers Need to Write
I have known this author for years and admired her writing. I am so glad to see her sharing her writing now.

Elizabeth – Elizabeth Winpenny Lawson : Natural History and Writing
I have known Elizabeth for years also but did not know how beautiful her writing is until we sat next to each other at the aforementioned workshop and got each other going.

Painted Parrot – a literary journal associated with Zee’s writing studio.
Zee already got the Liebster award for her own blog. Painted Parrot is a beautiful project that promotes writing done in her writing sessions.

That’s three. I know of two more writers who have bought a URL but have not gotten their blogs going. They will get the award in due time.

If you receive the award, you should:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!