Here we go again, it’s that time of year when I recap on my blogging year past and make sure you haven’t missed anything amazing! As part of my blog buddy’s linky over on Where wishes come from, here is my 16 from 16 (Don’t tell anyone but I couldn’t think of 16 and skipped a few!). Why not call over and see some of the other posts in the linky or better still create your own and join in?
1. Most popular post. “Why you should donate blood. Daniel’s story.”
In hindsight I’m not surprised this is my top post. I don’t always link my blog to facebook but I did share this one and many who knew and loved Daniel read and shared it. Prior to reading it no one would have understood how big a miracle it was to bring Daniel home for his final few days and they would never have thought that the people who were responsible for that were not only the doctors and nurses who ensured he’d enough pain medication to allow him home, but the men and women who days earlier had given up an hour of their time to give blood. Perhaps as they donated they may have thought they were helping a young baby or road traffic victim but I doubt any of them knew that their blood would keep a young boy alive so he could get his final wish and return home for the last time. There he would spend three sad but precious days surrounded by all who loved him, all thanks to those unknown heroes who gave blood a few days earlier.
2. My most read post. “What is life like after abuse?”
Apart from my ‘About me’ page my most read blog post this year was a very personal one. I took quite some time to post it but I was blown away by the reaction I got on line, on facebook and privately. To all who contacted me I’d like to say ‘thank you.’ I remember each and every comment and am still so grateful to you all.
I have never liked the idea that I was a victim or even that I am a survivor. For me this was my life and in many ways I feel I am the person I am because of all that happened. There are days when I remember too much and I struggle to act ‘normal’. I wrote this post on such a day and with each word I wrote I realised it was okay to remember and feel weak but the reality is that I am strong and getting stronger with each passing day. Life after abuse is not easy but it can be all you thought it could never be. I and many others are proof of that.
3. My favourite post. “I have a secret photo album”
There were quite a few posts I wrote this year which have lived on in my memory but this is definitely my favourite. In a world where so many share their lives online and are directed by facebook to their memories I delight in the fact that my photo album is private, stored within my mind and regardless of how may years may pass will be there when those memories will be all I have.
4. My favourite photo.
This year, despite my family thinking I may be about to be murdered, I met up with a great blog buddy of mine all the way from the USA. Beth from ‘I didn’t have my glasses on’ has been reading and commenting since my earliest days blogging. She has been a great source of solace and comfort during difficult days, as well as great fun and inspiration. Meeting her on home turf was a definite highlight of my year, as is this photo of the two of us, with the small pressie I gave her to remind her of a well known Irish phrase I may or may not have introduced her to. Her buddy Karen was also with us but didn’t make the photo!
I’m afraid I don’t really have one this year, unless it was the fact that because of my blog I was asked to write a weekly column with the Irish Examiner. Perhaps they’d not read too many of my posts as they asked me to write ‘humour’. After initially thinking I’d refuse, because I felt it was way out of my comfort zone, I decided to give it a go after all you are never too old for a challenge.They haven’t sacked me yet!
6.Worst blog moment… ‘Hey you writing those lists, a slightly drunken post’
Again I don’t have one. Although for the first time ever I sunk to a new low and posted a rather drunken post where I said exactly what I thought about those who write lists. To be fair it was a post I’d stored in my drafts but renewed my resolve to never press publish after wine, in case ‘wine becomes whine’. As I continue to enjoy wine I’m not sure this will never again be repeated!
7. Favourite comment.
I am very lucky in that I get great comments on almost every post I write, so to pick any one in particular would be impossible. Some have made me laugh out loud and others were just the right measure of thoughtful or kind, most especially on my most read post. So to each and everyone who ever took the time to write a comment on this blog, be sure I love to read them all.
8. Favourite blog title. Is it ever okay to lie?
I am not at all creative with my post titles and most usually tell you exactly what to expect. However when I posted this post it caused quite a stir and I think many clicked on it expecting some sort of dreadful deceit, especially as the first lines read…
“What would you think if you discovered the rock you leaned on, the solid in your life had been lying to you… for weeks?”
It was however not at all as it looked and was in fact about an amazing night in which himself and my family and friends managed to surprise me with a birthday party I never saw coming. It was a real shock but one of the greatest nights of my life to date.
9. What my blog did for me this year.
When I first began to blog, almost four years ago, my blog was my online journal,quite literally, ‘my thoughts on a page’. I wrote from the heart my everyday musings and used it to make sense of the world when young Daniel got sick. Writing here was also a form of therapy/ grief counselling after Daniel died. However in the last year I feel a change happening. This blog has led me to writing and opened up a world I can’t get enough of, a world of flash fiction, short stories and even the odd poem. I have an idea for a book, and indeed have the first chapter written, but time and again I keep returning to writing short stories, so for now anyway, my book will have to wait.
As well as short story writing, this blog led to my getting a weekly writing column in a national newspaper this year. While I am still not at home with meeting others who read my column, I am becoming more used to it and less likely to wish the ground would open up when they mention it.
10. Who reads my blog?
I doubt it will come as a big surprise to you to know that Ireland is the country where I am most read, closely followed by the United States of America. In third place comes the United Kingdom and in fourth is India. Yes India! That one has surprised me too, but in the past year I have more readers joining me from India which I find fascinating (and if you’re in India reading this…thank you.)
11, 12, 13,14, 15 I haven’t a clue what else to write and you’re probably tired reading here anyway, so let’s just pretend they were interesting and amazing titles.
Finally..No 16. What are my goals for my blog this year?
We all blog for different reasons and mine is very simple. I love it here. I’ve no real interest in stats and numbers of followers and unlike many I have never for a moment considered writing a post a chore. This is my safe space, my away from everyone place. Here I can let my fingers loose and often what they write is something I never saw coming.
With that in mind I have no real goals other than to continue to use my blog to connect with other bloggers and as a place to write regularly. I can see myself giving more time to actually writing this year, which will mean I probably wont be able to post here as often as I have done in the past, but I’d still hope to post once a week.
So there you have it, that was the year that was and I look forward to sharing 2017 with all of you.
Photo credit. Sadhbh’s blog… where wishes come from.