Another year of blogging

This post has been percolating for a full month. I meant to write at the end of December. I meant to write at the beginning of the New Year. But we went to Costa Rica for a week and it was so lovely there, I put it off.

IMG_20160110_060808_hdr

Sunrise from our place in Costa Rica

I’m finally writing on the second to the last day of January. Which means, I’m slacking. Or I’m busy. Take your pick.

For those who know me outside my writer persona, I have a full time career in technology. I enjoy my work and have been lucky enough to have had a career that has been both satisfying and challenging. Lately, it’s been time consuming. It doesn’t appear that’s going to get much better this year – as I map out the next eleven months, busy just seems to be a norm. I’d better get used to it and not use it as an excuse to NOT write. Or I’ll stop being a writer and just be someone who talks about writing.

I’m a storyteller. It’s what I do. This has been a part of who I am since I was very young. I tell myself stories all the time and some of them I like enough to turn into writing. Some are just to keep me from losing my mind when I’m stuck in an airplane aisle way waiting to deplane.

This past week, I was invited to present at a technology conference in New York on the work my organization is doing around Digital Transformation. It felt like a daunting task – until I remembered that I’m a storyteller and that I knew this story better than anyone else did. So I crafted the story and told it, adapting it on the fly for the audience. It was fun and I loved doing it. (If you want to read some of what I shared, it’s here)

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

I’m an accidental technologist. I didn’t set out to be in Information Technology. I stumbled into it. I took one programming class in my senior year of college to fulfill a science requirement. I learned enough to write some simple scripts and see how logic applied to the commands. My first job as a professional was as a manager for a group of people who managed the telephone lines and numbers in the Network organization for a local telephone company. They pulled reports from a large database and had to do the same commands over and over. I figured I could write a simple script to automate that process for them. I did, it worked, and I was suddenly a wunderkind who was highly technical. Ha! I was anything but, but I did know how to solve their problem. The rest, as they say, is history.

So today, when I talk about technology, I always try to approach it from the “why does this matter to the business?” angle. I like to think that I have been a translator from the bits and bytes to the dollars and cents – using technology to make business run better, faster, and more efficiently which turns into a stronger bottom line. That’s what keeps the business running, after all.

Day jobs – writers have to have them. Luckily I like mine.

But back to blogging. In my rather cursory year in review, I find the following:

  • I hit 67% on Friday Fiction – not bad, but could be better
  • I didn’t get anything published
  • My novel is stalled following the last review by an agent with more revisions needed
  • I completed another novel but haven’t gotten back to it to polish it or even begin to query it
  • I started another novel and am about a third of the way into what I think is an interesting story, but need to get my fingers back on the keyboard

In short, I fell short. But that’s OK. Because I haven’t given up hope nor have I stopped. I’m just in a bit of a lull – regrouping, perhaps – refueling.

Things that I have been doing that are more positive:

  • I’m still reading for a literary agency
  • I attended a Meetup for local writers and had a lot of fun talking with them
  • I met in person one of the Friday Fiction writers (Hi, Dawn!) and participated in a Bloggers Unite posting on gratitude
  • I remet a writer friend from Salt Cay (Hi, Anne!) and we’ve been working on some business ideas together as she shapes her plans
  • I read and helped advise on an autobiography for a lovely woman in her nineties who is an alumna from my university
  • I met another writer whose work is fun to read and have my fingers crossed that her book, which is now represented by a wonderful agent, is published soon

All of this means I’m still out there, still trying and still hopeful.

My blogging stats show pretty much what I’d expect – most of my posts were my Friday Fiction and most of the readers came just for that. One post that came in first is a bit surprising – it had the most readers but zero comments. I’m not sure why that is. Talk to me, people!

Capture

Zero comments? Really?

All in all, 3,000 visits from people in 57 countries. I feel pretty good about that.

Here’s to 2016 and continuing to silence the little voice in my head that says I’m not a real writer. I’ll just keep plugging away until I believe it myself. Happy (belated!) New Year to everyone!

2 thoughts on “Another year of blogging

  1. Happy New Year to you too, Erin.

    I loved this piece, mainly because I recognise some of my year here, but also because it is so well written.I fall short too. My intentions to write are good, but somehow my day job always gets in the way and I find that most days I have written nothing at all, apart from reports or emails or appraisals…

    The short story that has been buzzing around in my head, still buzzes, although now I begin to question whether the idea is such a good one after all. My novel has a beginning and an end but no middle – yet. It doesn’t matter how you write as long as you write, right?

    I retire from my day job at the end of March. I’m signing off after 23 years of doing something that I love and that has given me great satisfaction. It is daunting, but I hope the void it leaves will be filled with writing, travelling and, well, more writing. I hope I can make a contribution to Friday Fictioneers every week, I have met some lovely people there, you included, and I would hate to lose that connection.

    Here’s to a more productive 2016 and forget your ‘little voice’ you are a writer and you should believe it.

    Best wishes
    Dee

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