Time to look back and ahead!
A quiz on Facebook last December gave me the following predictions for 2017:
· A journey that will change your life
· A year of success and growth
· You can look forward to new friendships
· Good health will make you happier than ever
I did take several trips that were great changes to my daily routine. From a family trip to Florida to two concerts in Chicago and another live show in Milwaukee, it was a year of variety. I developed new friendships on social media from a range of interests and have shared my book with some people I did not know of in 2016, but who have taught me some important lessons this year. My health is pretty good- I’ve bobbled some lately, but I feel on the mend and have continued to run, dance and lift weights routinely.
To me, these are all lights. Lights that brightened my outlook and fed my body, mind and spirit.
I had hoped to receive 10,000 hits and reach 6 continents on verbostratis.com. While I am suspicious of some of Google’s data, I believe I can legitimately claim the 6 continents at least. People in Columbia, India, Ireland, Australia, Canada and Kenya all saw my blog. I’m also up to over 1,300 followers in Twitter and I’ve also started up another blog just for my book.
My most popular blogs? The power of KPop shone even for me, with 2 of the top 5. The remaining 3 all dealt with dear topics to me and I was glad to see they resonated with others as well. Stronger by Falling, Hopes and Opportunities, and What Drives You Forward? all deal with getting back up amongst struggle.
I published Dear Teachers on April 30, 2017. I’ve sold 32 copies on Amazon and distributed an additional 114 as either direct sales or gifts. Not bad for a completely cold start-up without advance advertising. I’m so grateful for everyone who have given my book a try!! Taking expenses into account, I’m only about $250 in arrears overall and have learned so many things!
I had 3 articles accepted and published on websites this year. It was fun to try different voices and receive feedback from a variety of editors.
TeachThought's Professional Development Blog, July 8, 2017
Dear Teachers: Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourselves
Notre Dame Academy's Fall 2017 Women of Vision magazine
On Being Beautiful...Confidence and Kindness
Beyond Type 1’s Share Your Stories blog
To Love, Honor and Cherish
Looking to 2018:
I am thoroughly enjoying the writing process, however, I need to improve the monetization of my ventures. The reality of life is barging in on my craft, but that’s OK! It’s as it should be. I will continue writing. I will continue networking. I have published a book of my own words and that’s what I sought to achieve.
My goals for 2018 are vague. When I try to picture myself in 12 months, I just hope to feel connected. 2017 was excitement and change. 2018, I just want a better sense of place. I have a rough draft of another book, but it is disturbing me. I’m not sure where it will take me. I have another book idea of chapter titles that I could begin to flesh out and ½ of a novel that I really should complete, too. Perhaps this wintertime will help me reflect and nurture something as I pause by the hearth. I’d also like to explore a script idea for a video I have with someone with that kind of experience.
One thing I was reminded of in 2017 was that there are amazing people around the globe. Huge hearts. Huge brains. Huge lives of drive and conviction, seeking to breathe life into amazing ideas. It’s not all gloom. It’s not all hate and anger. My voice is one voice. There are many others. The more we speak out, the more defined our links will become, and the stronger we will become.
I guess that’s what I really want for 2018: to experience and be a part of helping light rise out of the darkness. Let’s all be a part!