2013 is History

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.

2013 is history

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 GroupNAMW Facebook GroupMemoir Writers Society LinkedIn Group and Kathy PoolerSonia MarshBelinda 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:

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:

And it was an honor to be invited to visit the following blogs:

Thanks to each of these writers for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings as a guest on their blog.

Publications:

"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.

Other Thoughts:

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!

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