Kudos to the Artist’s Road Commenters of 2012

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.

Just before Christmas, I had the opportunity to see how the White House was decorated for Christmas. The State Dining Room gets two trees, and why not?
Just before Christmas, I had the opportunity to see how the White House was decorated for Christmas. The State Dining Room gets two trees, and why not?

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.
  • The gingerbread version of the White House is under siege from an oversized depiction of Bo, the First Dog.
    The gingerbread version of the White House is under siege from an oversized depiction of Bo, the First Dog.

    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!

23 thoughts on “Kudos to the Artist’s Road Commenters of 2012

  1. Kudos to the commenters! As a former blogger, comments make all the difference in the life and direction of a blog. You have a terrific way of getting people engaged, Patrick, so kudos to you too! 🙂


      1. You are more than welcome, Patrick! I’m sorry I’ve not been around as much – work, some medical issues and also looking at the next phase of my business (the steady income portion AND the fine art portion) have been eating up the majority of my time. I do love your blog, and have already recommended your online class to someone I know (Lora Fisher, who is somehow connected to you and is going to keep her eye out for the class). So awesome to see you go from the first “aha!” about it being time to delve into an art committed life to now, you are kicking booty and taking names! 🙂


  2. Well, I guess it behooves me to leave a comment, now, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for the shout-out, Patrick! I always enjoy my visits here. I have actually abandoned my blog for the most part as I’ve been handling family matters and getting ready to rebirth my coaching practice with a focus on beginning memoir writers at http://www.AnUntoldStory.com, so you don’t need to lose any sleep about not commenting on my blog! 🙂


    1. I kind of put you on the spot, didn’t I? 🙂

      Thank you for the link. I just clicked on it, and it came up with a “maintenance mode” page. Is it live? As a budding memoirist, I could make use of it!


  3. Wow, I’m honoured to be mentioned with such creative powerhouses, thank you! I’m going to echo Amy and Annie, and add that it’s always a true blessing and privilege for me to come here to spend time at your “hut”, Patrick, and continually become more enlightened and encouraged to stay the course with my art-committed life as a result of being in your stellar company.


    1. Hi Carole Jane! First off, let me say how much I love seeing that “u” in honoured. You and PJ make me feel so international!

      And wow, I can’t believe you remember my “hut” reference. I wonder if my former students remember that.

      For those confused, in my curriculum materials (and apparently here on The Artist’s Road) I cite Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel in his discussion of cohesive societies and how a blogger should foster that, and since he spent most of his career in New Guinea among tribesman, I refer to other blogs as huts that we need to drop by, while encouraging folks to drop by our hut. Carole Jane just proved what a loyal, and careful, reader of The Artist’s Road she is! 🙂


  4. charlotterainsdixon

    I am so honored and thrilled to be one of your top commenters this year! And forgive me for feeling a bit smug about being one of the first to discover your wonderful blog. I am especially pleased to be in such great company!


    1. I don’t know if being an early discoverer of my blog is a source for smugness, but I’ll take it. You and Milli Thornton are the two readers that I think back to when I recall the birth of this blog and my first interaction with fellow creatives.


  5. Corey Barenbrugge

    What a great introduction to these five bloggers. Thanks Patrick! And thank you to the five of you for helping make the Artists Road an engaging route to follow!


  6. It was just over a year ago that I found your site via the “10-Best” award. I decided to dabble in them to create a presence for myself in the blogosphere — purely self promotional, I assure you. But one soon tires of oneself, and so only the substantial blogs could nourish me. That’s what I needed–nourishment! Patrick, your blog had a unique flavour, especially with the clips of artists from your road trip. I felt my time on your blog was not wasted. With so much e-noise out there, we’re becoming ever more discriminating. If I’m a frequent commenter on your blog, then it’s because your site provides something worth discussing. Thank YOU.


    1. Hi PJ! I still marvel over that award, since I don’t consider myself a “writing” blog per se, and under their new guidelines I am explicitly excluded from consideration. But I’m so glad it found you to this blog.

      I’m serious, PJ, when I say that in many cases I view you as a co-author. You never fail to make me think.

      And yea for “flavour”! You and Carole Jane can keep giving me the “u” spellings! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Valerie! Yes, WordPress provides a lot of info. The Annual Report seems a bit over the top in presentation, with fireworks and so forth, but the ranking of commenters by number was very useful.


  7. I think it’s great that you’ve recognized your top commenters, Patrick. Praise well deserved (and a stellar group of folks)! Like you, I’ve struggled, myself, in 2012 to visit the number of blogs I want to! Now off to read your MFA post. Hope all is well and that you’re ramped up for a fantastic 2013!


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