It’s that time of year when I devote a whole post to recap on the past year blogging and pressure you into reading anything you might have missed. Like last year I’ve joined a blogging buddies linky called ’15 from 15′, (We’re fierce imaginative in Ireland). My blog buddy blogs at ‘where wishes come from’ and in case you’re interested her name is Sadhbh (a good one for scrabble). It’s actually a beautiful Irish name pronounced Sigh ve). Why not check out some of the other posts or better still perhaps join in yourself?
1.Most popular post.
This is my most popular post for the second year in a row. It’s called ‘I am married twenty years and I still hate being a wife’. Every day it gets a silly number of hits from poor misfortunates who google ‘I hate my husband’, or ‘I hate being married’. In case you don’t click on it and are worried about my marriage, it’s only a tongue in cheek post about how I hate being called ‘wife’.
2.Most read post.
This should be posted under my most popular post, as over a few days it got thousands of hits and as wordpress so happily told me, sent my stats booming. It was a beautiful post, heart warming and honest, BUT… here I feel the rage… IT WASN’T WRITTEN BY ME. I posted a letter my younger brother wrote me in good faith, and what did he do? He won all your hearts and you fell in love with him, not me. So if you are one of the only people who never read it here’s your chance. It’s a letter he wrote me as we held our breaths waiting for the results of Ireland’s referendum on gay marriage. He and his partner are together eighteen years so you can only imagine how important the result was. It is called, ‘This is my life’.
3. My favourite post.
I must admit I’ve enjoyed revisiting some of my old posts and finding a particular one I loved was difficult. In the end though there was one which stood out for me. As many who read my posts regularly will know, I’m a bit of a sentimentalist, so you can only imagine how I felt as I watched my mum, the matriarch of our clan, walk my daughter, the youngest member of the family, up the aisle on her confirmation. However it was what my mum said when I told her how I’d felt that really blew me away. It’s a moment in time I’ll never forget. Surprisingly enough the post was called, ‘One moment in time’.
4.My favourite photo.
Well this title is a bit of a challenge as I don’t usually post family or personal photos on my blog. However I did do one post which featured a number of photos I took of my favourite place on earth. It’s a place called Allihies in West Cork, Ireland. I challenge anyone to look at my photos and disagree. The post they feature in is called imaginatively enough, ‘Welcome to Allihies, West Cork, Ireland’.
5. Best Blog Moment.
This is an easy one. It is without doubt the night I won two awards, best writer and best personal blog, at the Irish Parenting Bloggers Awards. Hearing… ‘And the winner is… My thoughts on a page’ is something I can never forget. It’s definitely my proudest blog moment ever and will be hard to ever top.
6. Poxiest Blog moment.
I don’t think there was one, but there was one post which was about something poxy so I wonder can I count that? I’ve written occasionally about my past and although I’m not ashamed of it, I still find it hard to be open about it. However I decided this year to publish a letter here which I wrote a while ago. I’d written it as a sort of ‘therapy com feck you’ exercise. It was called ‘To the one who stole my childhood’ . It was read by a lot of people much to my horror at the time. As I re read it today I’m happy I wrote it and maybe it was of help to somebody somewhere, although I’ve still not had the courage to post it on facebook.
7. Favourite Comment.
I am lucky as I regularly get comments on my blog posts and even after almost three years I never tire of reading them. There are many among you who comment on almost every post I write, which means the world to me. I feel we have become more than writer/reader and I have come to really value your advice, encouragement or humour. I don’t think I can pick a particular comment but I remember a few clearly, especially when I wrote the post I featured above, my letter. There were a huge number of comments on it and I’ll admit some were so kind I cried. So can I take this moment to thank anyone who has ever taken the time to write a comment on any of my posts. They, above anything else, are the reason I love to blog.
8. Changes to my blog this year.
You may or may not have noticed, that I no longer post every day. Unlike many, I have struggled to stay away. I decided to cut back for a couple of reasons, one being posting so often many were not getting the chance to read everything and the other was, I needed to wean myself off blogging and put more time into actually writing. I’ve written a number of short stories lately and I’m beginning to enter competitions. I’ve had a couple published and been short listed in a couple of competitions too which has been a good boost.
9. Favourite title.
I’m afraid I’ve not very imaginative as regards titles. They tend to say exactly what the post is about and are not a clever hook that has nothing at all to do with the content. Some were a little more eye catching than others such as ‘A pox on skinny jeans‘ or ‘He loves me he loves me not’ but most did exactly what they said on the tin.
10. Series I enjoyed on my blog this year.
Well this is an easy one. Unlike 2014 I only did one series which was my ‘freshly impressed’ series in which I pick posts I’d read which made me think, laugh or cry. I’d have liked to have been able to post it every fortnight but finding time to read new blogs became a bit of a challenge as the year went on, However it is something I’d like to return to.
11. Dear God will this list ever end? Lets pretend you all loved number 11 and we’ll move on.
12. Most common theme.
Well yahoo, grief is no longer one of my top categories. Surprise surprise, ‘personal’ is, but others which featured this year were humour, (I know you’d never have guessed), parenting and ’empty nest’ which surprised me.
13. Guest post.
I’m not sure I did too many guest posts but I did appear on a series by fellow Irish Parenting Blogger, called Office Mum stories. In it she speaks to different mothers and asks about their work/life balance, be they a stay at home mother, or working part or full time outside the home. (Do you see how PC I was there?) It’s a really interesting series which goes to show there is no one way to be a mother.
I also shared a couple of posts on Herfamily.ie. I got some Kudos for this when my children saw how many times they were shared and for just a moment they were impressed. Their respect didn’t last too long though.
14. My writing this year.
I feel for the first time ever I’ve crossed a line. I was invited to join a facebook group administered by the author Carmel Harrington. It’s a small group called, Imagine, Write, Inspire, where we share thoughts and dreams as well as doing writing challenges and critiquing each others work. Joining this group, along
with the completion of a writing course with Fish publication, has given my confidence a massive boost. For the first time ever I believe I am a writer of sorts and improving all the time. I am experimenting with short and long stories and even have the beginning of a book written! I’m not sure where I’ll go with it all, but I am enjoying the challenges writing brings me and with the encouragement of Carmel and the gang who knows what 2016 will bring.
15. What my blog did for me this year.
This blog is my biggest weakness, my worst addiction, my greatest joy. It is everything my diary used to be, with a side of online friendship thrown in. Not only have I made friends here, some of whom have promised to look me up when they come to Ireland to visit, but I’ve also met a fabulous group of fellow bloggers in the form of . I can’t begin to tell you the conversations we have on facebook, but suffice to say nothing is sacred. They are a group of individuals I now value as real friends and it was a great thrill to meet quite a number of them in real life this year.
One of my greatest challenges this coming year will be to wean myself away from it a bit more so I can channel some of my thoughts into other writing challenges. I’m not sure I’ll be too successful though.
Phew, at last I made it to number 15. Now let’s drink to 2016 and all it may bring. I wish you all a peaceful and healthy new year where ever you are.