January 1st. Day One of 2014. Today I want to look back at my 2013, its highs and lows, and tomorrow talk about the changes on my blog and goals for 2014.
Reflections perhaps seem unusual on the first day of a new year. Yet our year has ended with a trip to the ER for my husband and some nursing on my part. Needless to say, my priorities suddenly shifted, and this post was put aside.
With 2013 now history, I can’t change anything, nor would I want to. As a family, we had our share of difficulties and experienced healing in some of those. As an individual, I grew stronger as a woman and wife, mom and grandma.
Most importantly, I grew as a writer. The encouragement I received from various communities and several people is gratifying. Thanks to the following communities and people: Gutsy Indie Publishers Facebook Group, NAMW Facebook Group, Memoir Writers Society LinkedIn Group and Kathy Pooler, Sonia Marsh, Belinda Nicoll, and Mary Gottschalk. Many others have played a role in my 2013, but these three groups and four people have helped me discern the direction I should take in 2014.
Now for the countdown of the good and not so good of 2013:
All-Time Top Post: How to Use Mind Mapping In Writing Memoir
All-Time Top Guest Post: An Adoptee’s Story | Interview with Linda Hoye, Author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude
Top Posts in 2013:
- How to Use Mind Mapping In Writing Memoir
- Save Time on Social Media by Using Shortcut Keys
- Memoir Writing Resources
- An Adoptee’s Story | Interview with Linda Hoye, Author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude
- Beta Readers | How They Function (Part 1 of 2)
- Morning at Wellington Square by Susan G. Weidener (A Review)
- Beta Readers’ List of Don’ts | Writers’ Expectations (Part 2 of 2)
- Petulance Can Be So Irritating!
- Swimming with Maya: A Mother’s Story by Eleanor Vincent (A Review)
- Mourning the Past — A Future Blossoms | A Guest Post by Susan Weidener
Firsts in 2013:
For the first time this year, I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge held in April. My posts centered around character development. Indeed, posting daily for 26 days was a challenge but a lesson in realizing that I am capable of writing every day. Granted in this challenge, I had the benefit of working ahead a bit but the concept was always in the back of my mind.
Another first for 2013 involved my extending invitations to others to guest post here and in turn several bloggers invited me to guest post on their blogs. I enjoyed this interaction and the opportunity to work with other writers in accomplishing our goals for the various posts.
My guests included:
- Susan Weidener (Mourning the Past — A Future Blossoms | A Guest Post by Susan Weidener)
- Linda Hoye (An Adoptee’s Story | Interview with Linda Hoye, Author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude)
- Belinda Nicoll (Guest Post | Belinda Nicoll Presents The Big Picture)
- Carol Bodensteiner (Interview with Carol Bodensteiner, Memoirist Now Writing Historical Fiction)
And it was an honor to be invited to visit the following blogs:
- Madeline Sharples (Benefits of Writing Your Story)
- Mary Gottschalk (Divorce and Teenagers | A Guest Post on Mary Gottschalk’s Blog and Parenting During Divorce | A Guest Post on Mary Gottschalk’s Blog)
- Joan Hall (Interview with Sherrey Meyer)
- Clara Freeman (Guest Post at Clara Freeman’s Blog on Insights Gained While Writing Memoir)
- Kathy Pooler (How to Review a Book in Eight Easy Steps)
- Sue Mitchell (Living with Fear | Guest Post on An Untold Story with Sue Mitchell)
- Susan Rowland (Giving the Inner Child a Voice — An Interview at Journal with Sue)
- Susan Weidener (Hope and Fear: Inseparable Emotions)
Thanks to each of these writers for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings as a guest on their blog.
“Mama and Her Arsenal,” “My Gutsy Story” Anthology, First Edition, compiled by Sonia Marsh, Gutsy Publications (September 1, 2013)
“The Unexpected,” “Fall: Women’s Stories and Poems for the Season of Wisdom and Gratitude“, edited by Debra Landwehr Engle and Diane Glass (September 20, 2013)
Inside Beachside: 2013 Beachside Writers’ Conference | Readings, Writings, Reflections, compiled and edited by Roger Hite (March 2013)
Additionally, Womens Memoirs accepted two short pieces to be published in 2014 in a four-part series based on the seasons of the year.
All of the above represent high points and growth in my writing life. Yet there were some questionable decisions I made — starting a book review blog which may be outgrowing my ability to keep pace with it in 2014, not giving enough thought and energy to building my platform and developing my brand while writing my memoir, and others I won’t bore you with.
What I’ve learned from the above is that there is a wealth of knowledge and information yet to be unearthed among the writers on the Internet and those leaders in specific areas of expertise. Keeping up with it all has been a challenge in 2013, and I’m still trying to figure out how to manage time, especially social media time vs. writing time.
Lastly, thanks to all of you who have faithfully followed my blog, encouraged me with your comments and support, and who have become priceless friends, some of whom I had the joy to meet face-to-face in 2013.
What would we do without community?
Come back tomorrow and let’s talk 2014!
- A Year in Review (redthreadbroken.wordpress.com)
- Reflections on 2013 and Remembering Kitty (debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com)
Sherrey – It’s great to see how you are growing as a writer. You have been a big encouragement to me and through your site, I’ve found a lot of valuable resources. Wishing you all the best in 2014 and I look forward to your post tomorrow. (And, I like the new look of your blog.)
Joan, some day we will sit across from each other and share all the things we’ve shared here. I feel it to be so! Sending best wishes for you in 2014!
You have quite an oeuvre, Sherrey. I am very proud of you and honored that you follow my blog, offering subtle advice and helpful hints here and there. Just think, last year at this time I was not at all familiar with you or with the websites you cite. So thankful! — plain and fancy girl
Marian, thank you for stopping by. And thank you for your generous words. Yes, it’s hard to believe that just a year ago we didn’t know each other at all. I believe it was Shirley Showalter who encouraged me to look you up. So, my plan and fancy girl, I’m so glad we found each other! Happy New Year to you and Cliff!
You had a good year and have every right to be proud.I hope your husband will be well in a short time.
and a very happy and prolific new year to you
Sue, hello! Thanks for your good wishes for my husband; today has been another somewhat difficult day. He is not inclined to be still, but moving creates pain, and so still he is! Sending you wishes for a very happy 2014 and one that brings you only the best.
Enjoy your blog and enjoyed your overview of 2013. I hope 2014 is a good writing year for you.
Thanks for following me on the road to publication. And I hope 2014 is a good year for you as well.
By all accounts 2013 was a rousing success, Sherrey. You were deliberate and thoughtful, making adjustments as needed, and keeping your eye on your goals. Looking forward to stepping into 2014 with you and seeing where it takes us. Happy New Year!
Linda, you know how good it feels for things to go well in this writing world! 2014 has big things ahead for you, I know, and I hope and pray that all goes well. Happy New Year!
What a full, creative and amazing year you have had, Sherrey! Congratulations. I am so impressed with how diversified you have become in building community. It is such a pleasure to know you and work with you. I am honored by the mention and can certainly echo the same sentiments right back to you. Here’s to another fun-filled, challenging and productive year. I look forward to all 2014 holds in store for us. 🙂
Kathy, my mentoring friend and fellow writer, thank you for always being a part of my writing world. You mean a great deal to me and my writing dreams. I love working with you; I love knowing you as a friend. Looking forward to sharing 2014 with you, wherever it takes us. 🙂
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You’ve had a tough year-end challenge, Sherrey. I hope your husband is on the mend!
And what a long list of accomplishments. I’m so impressed by your energy. I sense a new focus in 2014, and I want to be part of your support team. Happy New Year. And yes, I will claim credit for putting you and Marian together. 🙂
Oh, Shirley, I have one of those men who is not happy being down, and unfortunately the only medical assistance so far was in the ER. We’re still waiting to see our doctor on Monday afternoon. The pain is being kept somewhat at bay by pain meds but is still there if he stands, walks or moves the wrong way. Praying for relief for him moment-by-moment.
Thanks so much for gracious and generous words. Yes, a new focus has come to my writing world, and I love that you want to be part of my support team. Happy New Year to you as well. So glad I gave the appropriate credit for my new friend, Marian. She is special! 🙂
Best wishes to you and your family for happiness and good health. Thank you for being out there. Cheers!
Robin, so glad you stopped by and left a few words of cheer. Hoping that 2014 brings an abundance of happiness and good health for you and yours. Glad to connect now and again. Blessings!
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