Tuesday, 10 January 2017

New Year Ramblings

Is the coast clear? Has the slew of New Year's resolutions and #goals blogposts come to an end yet? I've been hiding under a fluffy blanket trying to ignore the fact that everyone seems to be more focused than I am this year.
It's the first new year in a long time that I don't have a long list of things I want to change about myself or to change about my life. The first year I haven't been compelled to cast a critical eye over everything and vow that THIS WILL BE THE YEAR I lose the weight/eat better/write a novel/run a 10k/blog everyday/discover the cure for cancer/etc, etc...

While there are certainly things I'd like to achieve in 2017, I haven't had the urge to write them down and turn them into a promise to keep. It helps that some of the things I want to achieve are already underway - like my book!! And other things are ticking over from last year - like the show I'm working on. But, in general, I kind of feel like flying by the seat of my pants for a while - enjoying the things I'm doing at the moment and trusting that I will know what to do or change when the time comes.

I'm not the sort of person that is ever short of plans or ideas or ideas for plans, so I imagine I'll survive without a list of resolutions I'll potentially beat myself over the head with come February.

And if things start getting a bit unraveled, as they likely will at some stage, I'll reassess my need for that list of promises and do it then.

By then I won't have to call them resolutions either - so maybe that will make them easier to keep!

How are your New Year's plans looking?


Don't forget to check out my 16 From '16 Linky!
There are some fantastic additions from some brilliant bloggers and it's really fun to get a specially curated glimpse of a year in the life of a blog:

Friday, 30 December 2016

16 From '16

When I started this roundup-style post in 2013 I thought it would be a once-off. But here I am, putting it together for the fourth year in a row (and still struggling to think of an extra heading each time....) and not only that but other bloggers actually join in too. I love getting a specially curated snapshot of the year in the life of a blog.  And I enjoy looking back over my own witterings to see what I've deemed worth recording during my busy days. I always discover something I've completely forgotten about!

You'll find a 'linky' tool at the bottom so if you feel inspired to write down your own 16 from '16 please feel free to add it below.

Here are my 16 from '16:

1. Most Popular Blog Post
This year I'm counting two most popular posts. The post that brought the most hits to my blog was a piece about our trip to Rutland Island in Donegal. I mostly wrote it as a kind of holiday journal - to record our adventure for future posterity - but it got a few thousand views in a very short time. Donegal must be a popular spot! The other post that was popular got most of it's traffic on The Journal, where it was reprinted - 34k+ views to be precise. Here's the original and here's the Journal version.

2. Favourite Post
As is usually the case with these things, the post that was most popular is not necessarily the one I enjoyed writing the most. Although I really did enjoy writing about our trip to Rutland - and enjoyed being there even more - my own personal favourite was the post I wrote about my home town - Live Where You Live. It seemed to resonate with a lot of my old friends too and I got some gorgeous feedback about it. I feel like I have a million stories inside me set around where I grew up. Someday I'll write them all down.

3. Favourite Photo
I don't know why I add this heading every year because I find it so bloody difficult to choose! I think this might be it. Maybe.

4. Best Adventure
There was London, Leitrim, Lustybeg and Donegal. There was (is) a new job after a long time of insecurity. There were countless little adventures closer to home. In forests and gardens and on beaches - but I think one of my favourite adventures was attempting to write a book for children. And then actually doing it. And then a publisher offering to publish it. And then pinching myself repeatedly since then about it. I'll tell you more about it in 2017 - but to be honest - I think this is just the start of this particular adventure!
5. Favourite Craft
I haven't actually blogged it yet, but I made this little 'Craft Nook' for an advent craft swap hosted by Fionnuala from Three Sons Later. I was happily paired with Kasia, The Crafty Mummy, who I have been a fan of for quite some time, and knew that she is as crazy about crafting and tiny things as I am. I had a ridiculously nice time putting this together for her and I was delighted that it was well received.
6. Most Common Theme
I don't think I managed any consistent theme at all this year. I didn't manage to keep a series of any description going and looking back over the year nothing consistent seems to emerge. Maybe that's the theme actually. I was extremely inconsistent this year. Especially in the second half of the year! But also... television... I've talked about TV quite a lot this year. Both about the show I presented, my new role as a researcher and watching a lot of Netflix!

7. Favourite Comment(s)
All of them. Every. Single. One. Apparently people don't really take the time to comment on blog-posts these days. Except for trolls looking to pick a fight. Or spammers looking to drop a dodgy link. So whenever I get a genuine comment from one of my lovely readers it really and truly makes my day.

8. Favourite Celebration
My grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday in June. It was a beautiful day filled with family fun and a huge celebration of her life. I'm glad there was such a big fuss made of her because, unknown to us at the time, we were to lose her only a few months later. She was a very special person and will always be missed. We're utterly heartbroken to be without her.
A photo posted by Sadhbh (@wherewishescomefrom) on
9. My Best Move
Applying for a job I thought I wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting and then getting it.

10. Favourite Freebie
We got soooo luckyyyy this year in terms of working with brands. Not only did we get to continue as members of the Netflix Stream Team (which included an incredible trip to London!) but we had the opportunity to work with Sylvanian Families and Lottie Dolls as brand ambassadors and plenty of other companies sent us nice things to try. Being able to share these things with my family, friends and readers makes me very happy!

11. Best Blog Moment
Reaching the 7-year milestone and looking back to see how far I have come and how much this blog is responsible for. This blog began pre-parenthood, pre-redundancy, pre-a-lot-of-things. It's been a crutch to keep me going through tough times and a place to have fun too.  I can't imagine not having it in my life at this stage!

12. Worst Blog Moment
Missing October entirely! I completely lost my blogging mojo in October and the entire month went past in a blur of getting used to my new job. I did zero writing and missed it terribly. We did manage to have a lovely Halloween celebration at home with friends, family and neighbours, however. Here's a little video I made of our day:

13. Favourite Title
Again... titles are not my strong point. My book hasn't even got a working title yet, let alone an actual name... but I guess I was quite happy with Live Where You Live. It was the right fit for that piece.

14. Favourite Blog-Series
I haven't managed to keep a regular series this year at all! But I've really enjoyed reading series' on other people's blogs. I've especially enjoyed Lady Nicci's 'How I Write' series. I am obsessed with other writers and their processes at the moment and I always find these intereviews enjoyable.

15. What I Learned in 2016
To not be afraid. When I finished university and had no responsibilities and no husband and no mortgage and no children, for some reason I was afraid to follow my heart and strive for a creative career, despite having always wanted one. Now that I have aaaalll the reponsibilities I have somehow shed the fear of not having a 'real job' (two years of surviving unemployment can have that effect, I suppose). In 2016 I bit the bullet and started working for myself as a freelance television researcher and a writer. It is a completely precarious profession but I'm LOVING it.

16. What My Blog Did For Me In 2016
It kept me busy when I felt I had no other purpose. It connected me to wonderful people and opportunities. It has become a small but significant part of my livelihood. It has given me a reason to continue to make things and photograph things and to keep looking around me for inspiration. It has made me happy.


See all of my previous roundups here:

13 from '13

14 from '14

15 from '15


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