In the past week it has turned eerily quiet on the blogosphere. With Christmas, New Years and Holidays around the figurative corner I’m guessing you’re all enjoying a bit of good cheer, spending time with family, friends and loved ones, and taking a well-deserved break.
I’m not far behind you.
But before I wrap things up for 2011, I feel an end-of-year blog round up is warranted; 2011 was, after all, my maiden voyage as a blogger.
Storytelling Nomad began on the 20th May. I had seen a couple of friends on Facebook with blogs and thought ‘hey, I can do that. I have something to say’, and so with little more knowledge of blogging than that, my online journey began.
7 months, 119 posts, 1 blog revamp, 194 followers, 1,583 comments, 16,218 hits, 3 published articles, 1 guest post, 1 short story featured in an ebook (more about this soon) and many new friends later, here we are.
I don’t think I can truly articulate how valuable this blog has been to my creative practice. Apart from being a great place to share my thoughts and be involved in this wonderful online writing community, it has most significantly boosted the confidence I have in my own writing, which has in turned encouraged me to work harder at improving my craft.
Each and every one of your comments, feedback, ‘likes’, shares and subscriptions have played a part in this. A very, very large part. For that I thank you.
The highlights of my year included:
- Joining my very first writers’ group.
- Receiving my first piece of fan art (thanks Joakim)!
- Participating in and winning my very first NaNoWriMo.
- Having my story “The Dragon and the Moon” featured in a collection of short stories released over Christmas to raise money for Unicef (Again, more about this in another post).
- Working at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
- Coming third in my state raising money for Multiple Sclerosis through the MS Readathon/Novel Challenge.
- Having my Heroes and Heroines article published in LipMag and All that is Wrong with the World.
- Seeing my article So, where are you from published in Biscuit Magazine.
- Being invited by author Angela Wallace to guest post on her blog.
- Graduating from my Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing, surrounded by beautiful friends and family.
It was a year of firsts.
As for 2012, I have just been accepted into the Masters of Creative Writing program at the University of Tasmania, where I hope to further improve my writing and complete a large work of polished fiction under the teaching prowess of Vogel award winning author Rohan Wilson. I cannot wait!
In the meantime, I will be spending the next week not only making merry and eating far too much holiday food, but packing my suitcase.
You see, a nomad wouldn’t be a nomad without a noteworthy trip to end the year with. On Dec 30th I leave Sydney for a month in Europe, where I will have the pleasure of visiting my little brother in Hamburg, Germany who I haven’t seen since he left Australia over a year ago. Other items on the itinerary include a weekend in Krakow, Poland, checking out the town and visiting Auschwitz, which I can only imagine will be a life-changing and emotional journey into the horrors of WWII. Then, a week in London, England where a particular highlight will be meeting up with my childhood best friend, who I haven’t seen since leaving England over 16 years ago. A quick trip to Edinburgh, Scotland will see me catching up with a school friend from Italy who I haven’t seen in many years and a new Scottish friend I met at the Melbourne Writers Festival this year. The trip finishes in in the beautiful Northern town of Ferrara, Italy where I will visit my host families from past student exchanges before departing from Milan at the end of January. All this I get to share with one of my best friends, Hayley.
My upcoming European vacation
I’m going to need a holiday to recover from my holiday I’m sure.
With all these adventures planned, I predict an absence of posts in January, however, I will be active on Twitter, @katyhulme, when internet access is available.
With all that said, I leave you with my ‘Year in Review’ and again thank you kindly for your support and encouragement in 2011. I look forward to sharing my writing journey with you again in 2012.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Stay tuned for more about “The Dragon and the Moon” and the Ebook for charity.
A Year in Review
I eliminated negative influences/people. Forgive me for quoting Oprah Winfrey, but she wasn’t wrong when she said “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher”.
I reduced my (already pathetically low) intake of alcohol to zero. For no other reason than it feels amazing.
I stopped making excuses for not writing.
I lost my inhibitions.
I enhanced my editing skills through my Professional Book Editing, Proofreading & Publishing course. My inner nerd knows no bounds.
I started a novel.
I created my blog, Storytelling Nomad.
I loved and lost.
I was embarrassed by sharing my work and thoughts with the world.
I was frustrated by universally incorrect grammar, spelling and punctuation.
I felt crazy when I read messages of hate from those opposed to equality for all.
I regret not entering the Blogosphere sooner.
I needed more time for reading. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
I missed my friends and family that live across oceans and in faraway lands.
I went to places far and near, including Melbourne for the Melbourne Writers Festival, Sydney for Supanova Pop Culture Expo, and Gunnedah where I shot my first gun. Watch out!
I relaxed when on November 27th, I knew I was going to finish NaNoWriMo with 50,000 words.
I would use a magic wand to bring Hogwarts to life.
I felt gratitude when you all ‘liked’ my entry in the Facebook Short Story competition. I’m coming 10th by the way, still time to vote!
Time flew when I met James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) at Supanova.
I want to repeat this year. It had its ups and downs but for the most part it was extraordinary.
I should have done more exercise. I am terribly unmotivated.
I don’t know why I never joined a writers group before.
I felt most alive when I was creating new worlds, new characters and new stories to share with the world.
The best gift I received was an email from my favourite author Robin Hobb, with invaluable writing advice.
Physically, the biggest difference since last December is slightly shorter hair.
Psychologically, the biggest difference since last December is the focus on my writing.
Emotionally, the biggest difference since last December is my contentment and pride in all I have achieved this year.
Environmentally, the biggest difference since last December is I exchanged the sandy shores of Newcastle for idyllic Tasmania.
Socially, the biggest difference since last December is I have a whole new group of online writer friends.
My biggest ‘win’ was NaNoWriMo. Or maybe it was having an article published. No, wait. Having my short story published. No, wait! Receiving the email from Robin Hobb. Or, being accepted into my Masters course. And, graduating from my Writing course. And, and, and…!
I want more books. Gimme gimme!
The best thing I did for someone else was read as many books as I could in a month to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.
The best thing someone did for me was sketch me a picture based on my short story.
The best thing I did for myself was believe in myself.
The one thing I learned this year is I am the master of my own destiny. I will only receive of life what I put into it.
I am most grateful for my friends and family and their unwavering support.
I look forward to 2012 being different by writing more stories and becoming a better writer.
Questions taken from Lynn Scheurel at http://secretsofhersuccess.com/articles/your-year-in-review-questions/