has been tagged to take part as well and she will be discussing her newest work tomorrow, Wednesday November 28, here. Clearly, expanding your network, promoting your own work and discovering new ones is an important reason to blog. And it really does work.
But today I want to write about another reason we blog, and that is to create an online community of support, be it emotional or spiritual or even psychological. The person I know who has done the most to tap into this positive potential of blogging is Fiona Robyn. Over the years, she has created online communities and initiated "blogsplashes" which bring hundreds, if not thousands, of people together around their work and experiences. Today, she is creating a new blogsplash which I'm happy to take part in, and invite you to do as well. This one also has the plus of alerting us to the release of her novel Small Kindnesses which will be free on Kindle today. Today, she is asking us to write something about being kind - a memory of someone who was kind to you, a list of kindnesses over the past week, or something kind you did for someone else. It'll be a celebration of kindness in all its forms, especially those little kind acts that make all the difference. To find out more visit Fiona's blog or join the Facebook event .
It's a lovely idea, I think, and of course it has made me think about all the many small kindnesses which have been bestowed on me over the years. I'd like to think I do the same for others whenever I can, but today I want to mention the incredible kindness shown to me during my last trip to Cambodia. Last year was the first time I went there to work for an extended period of time. This wasn't a holiday. I didn't travel around the country or stay in fancy hotels. Instead, I stayed in a guest house which caters predominantly to long-term volunteers, and I woke up each day and made my way to the shelter, Anjali House, to teach my writing workshop as well as generally help out however possible. The weather was at it's hottest and the hours were very long. If left to my own devices, I would have kept to myself, ate alone and sat in my room each night watching downloads of tv series. I can get very solitary sometimes, and that's not a bad thing. But an older Australian couple, Kev and Glenda, wouldn't let me. They encouraged me to join them for breakfast each morning. They asked me out to dinner many nights, even when they had friends from back home visiting them. This was more than just being kind to a fellow traveler. My trip would have been an important and fulfilling experience without them. But with them, it became a life changer, enriching me in unimagined ways. Yes, they even bought my novel, A Clash of Innocents, and encouraged many others to do the same. Such kindnesses are important, but the ripple effect that follows on is even more important. The sales of those novels has donated crucial funds to the street kids of Siem Reap. In Cambodia, $10 goes a very long way. Kev and Glenda have gotten to know and appreciate the work I do, as I have gotten to know and appreciate theirs. They have encouraged me and I can see the effects of that encouragement in the work I do here, back home. They have shown me a different way of living your life, a new way to approach retirement, an exciting and positive way to live in the world. Plus, I have new friends on the other side of the globe.
So I thank Fiona for giving me this platform to express my gratitude for their kindness. This is the kind of thing Fiona spends her life doing, actually. If you don't know her and her work, please do check her out. And join in. You won't be sorry. It may sound hoaky to some, but it feels awfully good. And maybe that's the real point of blogging. There are all sorts of marketing, networking, informational reasons why it can be an important thing to do. But mainly, it feels good.