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One year retrospective

Updated: Apr 5

One year ago, I was fresh off one of the biggest tragedies of my life, had just returned from my first AWP, and was looking for anything that might make me feel like I was making some kind of forward momentum. Thus, this blog about writing was born. I started with the ambition of writing a new blog every week. I figured I had nothing else going on (besides my actual jobs) and might as well fill the time by stressing myself out trying to come up with topics to write about. It was stressful, but kind of a fun challenge to pump out a decent message every week. I made it twelve weeks before I started to falter. By falter I mean that I was starting to pull myself out of the hole I was in (with the intense help from my family, new friends, and therapy), and part of getting better meant that this blog needed to take a bit of a back seat. I switched to posting every other week. I was afraid of losing followers if I scaled back, but I realized it wasn't worth trying to gain arbitrary followers if it meant I was killing myself to produce a half-assed blog.

The point in saying all of this is that I'm really proud of myself for keeping this blog going for a whole year. With over 30 posts I feel like I've been able to explore what it means to be a writer, along with share some of the harder lessons I've learned over the years.

In the past year, I've also taken my writing more seriously because of this blog. I've had to make it a priority to get the blog done. Not that I have so many readers outside of my family, but I still feel a certain kind of pressure to keep up a publishing schedule with the small hope that anyone might benefit from my experiences.

When I started this, it was with the idea that I didn't have much value worth sharing in the larger writing community. However, I did it because I was told I needed to have some kind of internet footprint if I wanted to publish a book eventually. I wondered who would want to listen to me, someone with basically no publications and an MFA from a program that no longer exists? What I found though was that I did have something worth sharing– companionship. My value comes from the notion that we're not alone while on this long and difficult journey to get published. Talking about my failures and successes and all the attempts in between is enough to remind other writers that they can do this too.

That's also the idea behind the new podcast my friend Maddy and I are starting. We want to grow our writing community by sharing everything we've been through or are going through so that people just starting off or even those in the same stage of their writing journey as us, feel less alone. Trying to make it in this industry can be incredibly isolating at times. We're told writing is a solitary pursuit, but this blog proves that's not entirely true.

This past year has been filled with a lot of growth. Outside of this blog I've finished the edits to my first novel and will soon be sending it out to query agents. I've also grown a small following on social media, which means my writing community is getting bigger. Hopefully, that means someone, somewhere, is benefitting from these rants.

I don't want to prattle on too long about where I was a year ago, and where I am now. What I will say though is thank you to everyone who is reading. Whether you've been with me from the start, or you're just reading this post as an introduction to my blog, thank you for being here. Thank you for your support and I really hope something I've said has helped you on your own writing journey. I'm going to keep at it as long as life allows and I have ideas to share. In the coming weeks, I'll be on maternity leave with my first child and Maddy is going to take over for a little bit sharing her insights into writing. I hope you'll entertain her work as much as you have mine, and check out our podcast which will be coming out soon.

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