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Last week, I mentioned the honor of appearing in “Celebrating 14 Women Who Used to Be Strangers” over at Profound Journey, a website by writer and educator and online community builder Karen Hume.

I met Karen through the A to Z Challenge, which just wrapped up April 30.

(I referred to the A to Z Challenge in pretty much all of my posts during the month of April, with a little descriptor just above “About Of Love + Light,” so look through those posts if you’re interested in knowing more. I’d participated in A to Z years ago with my writing prompt blog, but this was the first time doing it for Of Love + Light. In fact, it was the first time doing anything with Of Love + Light, beyond setting up the “Coming Soon” splash page! Consider it the fertilizer to the seed of my ideas.)

Karen was the first person ever to visit my site and leave a comment, and she was supportive throughout the entire month. I can’t express how wonderful it was to read her thoughts and her comments all month.

The A to Z can be an intense time, posting 26 days in the month and visiting other people’s sites, and for me it fell in the middle of my kids’ Spring Break and a weeklong visit from my sister. In other words, in the middle of really great adventurous, social days—amazing for memories, not so amazing for computer schedules.

But knowing Karen would stop by and comment motivated me a lot to get a post up most days! She’s a great cheerleader.

It turns out, according to her Celebrating Women post, that she’s also a selective cheerleader. She writes on her blog that she spent the weeks leading up to the challenge culling through the 600+ websites that had signed up, looking for 28 intentional relationships she planned to foster. Of those, half interacted back, and that’s how she whittled it down to 14 of us.

(I’m not as good at the consistent interaction as many of her site’s users—perhaps partially because of where I am on my life’s journey right now, raising children and actively building a business, and partially because I’m a relatively slow reader who absorbs every single word and gets antsy to get offline and outside once I’ve spent a couple hours in front of a screen, but I do settle in happily to read what she writes and very much appreciate her perspective and her research.)

I have to say, I found her method very wise. It was still a lot of work for her, but selecting a portion of the list for long-term relationships meant she could put more time into those sites, and forge stronger connections, ones that will last beyond the month of the challenge… rather than try to visit all 600+ websites, at 20+ sites a day, with no repeats.

When I A-Zed with writercize (my archived writing prompt blog), there was a general consensus that people should make an attempt to visit every site. With 3,000+ blogs opting in at its height, that could mean upwards of 100 visits daily. It was all too much to handle, even for the fastest, most sleep-deprived of readers.

This year, I tried to visit three to five sites each day, but I was making a conscious effort to visit different people, spurred by topics that interested me. I think next year if I do the challenge again, I’ll do a hybrid… I’ll pick a dozen or so that really interest me, and then visit each a couple times a week, catching up on missed posts on those visits. Plus, I’ll leave room for one or two visits to blogs that post on topics that strike my fancy day-by-day, checking the spreadsheet for inspiration.

All that said, the real reason I wanted to dedicated a full post to Karen’s list of 14 women, though, doesn’t have to do with her method. It’s to say that:

These women that she found, that she invested in with her reading hours and her comments, are really, truly a profound group.

I spent some time today and yesterday stopping by a few of the blogs and websites on her list, and I’m impressed. The quality of the writing and the variety of the posts inspire. Thanks to Karen’s insight and spotlight, I’ll be able to glean from a community of 14 strong women (including Karen!) who share interesting thoughts and stories as well.

When you’re looking to expand your online bandwidth, and read what other women have to say about life and writing and creativity, and whatever else is on their minds, I recommend you stop by her post, dig around her website some, and then start hopping around to visit the women she mentions.


I hope you find them as inspiring and inspired as I do.


Of Love + Light is a place for uplifting media, creative inspiration, art, nifty creative publications, and storytelling. I also offer editing, creativity coaching, and small business communications planning services. Founded by Alana Garrigues, Of Love + Light is your place to come, relax, feel inspired and loved, and share more of what’s good on this beautiful planet.

Of Love + Light has infinite possibilities, and YOU are a huge part of what this will look like. Want to talk? Send me an email!

“Profound Women” was posted as part of the Daily Dose: Inspired series. 

Daily Dose: Inspired… Looking for a small something to get you inspired to take on the day? This is the place to come for a photo, a song, a pick-me-up quote, a little slice of happy. At least, these are the things that inspire me!