Where Did the Year Go?

It has been a crazy year.

I’m not even going to try to re-cap everything that happened in my life, but will rather stick to just the blog and writing.

This is the year that I truly got serious about writing.  Oh yes, I’d taken writing classes, and I’d participated (and even ML’d!) NaNoWriMo before.  But this was the year that I decided I was going to be serious about being a writer.

It started with the Yahoo! Contributor Network.  As much as that was a learning experience, I quickly realized that style of freelance writing was not for me.  I will be finishing the ABCs of Fiction Writing series that I started there, but I’ll probably pull it from that site and work on it on my own.  I still own all the rights to it.

Shortly after I started with YCN, I also realized that I really wanted to spend my time doing my original fiction.  I was blogging on my personal blog at that point (which I am ashamed to say has fallen by the wayside to this one), but had much more to say about writing than day-to-day life.

So, on May 20, 2011, Black & Dark Night was born.

Oh, what an amazing seven months it has been!

I discovered Kristen Lamb, and while I don’t read her blog religiously, her books helped me know what I was doing.

I joined Twitter.  Several years after most of my writing friends . . .

I joined Google+ before it was open to the public.

I started a Facebook fan page.  That was frightening.

I went to my first writing conference.  Placed for the first time in a non-fan-fiction writing contest while there.

(Did I ever mention that I used to be the head of the Rohan Story Guild on the LOTR Fanatics Plaza?  No? Oh well . . . I’m actually quite proud of that fact :D)

Participated in my first ‘blog tour’ of sorts – the insanely-massive-it-will-take-over-your-life Writers Platform Building Campaign.  It was the best decision I ever made, but next time I’m limiting myself to no more than 3 groups.  Preferably less.

I’ve passed 50 followers, and am well on my way to 100.  I thought, a month ago, that reaching 100 followers before my birthday (May 30) would be an achievement, and now I see that I’m selling myself short.  I’m thinking 150 followers by then would be a better goal.

I had no idea I’d have 5,000 views by the end of the year.  I think my original goal was 1500.

I did all of this in addition to working a job over the summer that I thought was going to be long-term, but God informed me otherwise.  All this despite my dad being in and out of the hospital, and at one point we were seriously concerned if he even wanted to live.  All this, despite my husband not being happy at his old job, and then somehow, miraculously, he applied for a job, was turned down, and then they emailed him again to say they’d made a mistake, when could he interview?  That’s the job he’s at now.

Somehow, I won NaNo this year, despite my dad’s health problems and some other family things going on.  I was seriously doubting on the 25th that I would be able to catch up, but I wrote 7k in a single day, despite some major family drama that caused me to break down at a write-in.

If I can do that, I can do anything, if I really want to.

This year has been both heaven and hell in many ways.  But it’s taught me just how strong I am, both in my writing, and in my personal life.

Not to mention, Oklahoma set a lot of weather records this year.

We started with a blizzard.  Between that, and the drought this summer, we were colder than Nome, Alaska, and hotter than the Mojave Desert – within a single year.

We had record-setting (and tragic) tornadoes.  It could have been worse, but Joplin suffered that fate, unfortunately.  For those of you not familiar with this part of the country, Joplin is an hour, give or take a little, over the Oklahoma-Missouri border.

We had an earthquake and a tornado AT THE SAME TIME.  Yes, people, Oklahoma really is the home of the ‘Quakenado’.

We had the largest earthquake that Oklahoma has ever had in the middle of a virtual write-in for our NaNoWriMo region.

We were in the middle of a writing challenge.  The chat room was completely silent, and then it was inundated with ‘OMG DO YOU FEEL THAT?!’

It was kind of hilarious.

But, last and most certainly NOT least, I met amazing, wonderful, people.

There are too many of you to thank individually.  Just trust me when I say that you have become so very precious to me.

Another writer has said it in better words than I ever could have:

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy . . . (Philippians 1:3-4 NKJV)

Because you, my dear friends and readers, are what have made this year amazing!

Well, I had planned to post some goals for 2012, but this post kind of exploded.  I think I’ll post that tomorrow instead :).

What about you?  Has your year been as exciting as mine?

Posts of 2011:

Most popular – How to Use Index Cards to Outline, Part 1 and Part 2
Most commentsCampaign Challenge #1 & NaNoWriMo
Most sharedDesires – Sunday Devotional
Post I am the most proud ofConfessions of an Aspiring Author