Without further ado, here are the top five highlights from the first year of blogging (and pursing my dream for publication):
1. Making New Friends - Without a doubt in my mind, the best part of blogging is making friendships. In one year I've added over a hundred new Facebook friends, many of which I've met through my blog, or theirs. When I started this journey, I started it on my own, not knowing what wonderful people I would discover. To my complete surprise, and delight, I was quickly joined by many other amazing writers who are all seeking the same thing I am: to glorify God with our words. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”
|Just a handful of the amazing women I've met this year!|
3. Making Industry Connections - This one coincides with number one, but it goes beyond just making friendships. I've discovered the priceless gift of industry connections this past year. The old saying: "It isn't what you know, but who you know" may not be completely true in the publishing world (it doesn't matter how many people you know, if your writing stinks it's all for not), but it really does go a long way in this industry if you have friends who can refer you to agents and editors, offer pitch sessions at conferences (thank you Melissa and Lindsay!) and introduce you to writing veterans who offer wisdom and point you in the right direction.
|With Melissa and Lindsay at ACFW!!|
4. Getting Plugged Into My Book Therapy - I can't stress how important it has been for me to get plugged into a community of writing experts. My Book Therapy has offered resources, teaching, accountability and friendship. The writing retreats, seminars, blog posts, online classes and personal coaching from Susan May Warren has propelled my writing like nothing else this past year. I'm so grateful to Susie, Rachel Hauck, Beth Vogt, Melissa Tagg, Alena Tauriainen, Michelle Lim and all the other staff members of MBT. It's an amazing group of women and I feel honored to be among their friends.
|Storycrafter's Retreat in October 2012|
|Deep Thinker's Retreat in February 2013|
I wish all of you knew how much I appreciate your eagerness to come along on this journey with me. I've been encouraged by your emails, comments (in writing and in person) and your joy when you talk to me about this dream. I hope I've inspired you to seek your own dreams and to run after the desires of your heart. I can't wait to see what God has planned for this year!
What about you? What are some of the highlights from your past year?