Here we go!

Happy New Year! 2014 was an amazing year, and I’m a bit sad to see it end. But I know 2015 will be full of blessings and I am excited to discover all it has in store for me and those I love.

I have mentioned My 500 Words before on this blog. If you look over to the right you will see I have added the badge for the site. Today marks day 117 for me. There have been a few days when I did not quite get to 500 words. However, I have written every day for the past 117 days. Some of the words have landed here. Some have remained hidden in my journal. Some are ideas for future blog posts or essays. There were days I planned I would take a break, and I would have every intention of taking a respite. Somehow I found myself itching to write – ideas swirling around my head, impatient for me to give them space on the page.

I joined the group to help me be accountable. The Facebook community has been encouraging and supportive. I have made friends and found inspiration. The members celebrate successes, offer support and prayers to others in times of struggle, and provide encouragement to those who are fearful or full of doubt. I can’t imagine achieving this milestone without them.

I launched this blog the day I joined the group but was afraid to share it or announce it to the group. My goals seemed so small in comparison to their accomplishments. Over time I realized my goals were realistic goals for me, and comparing them to other bloggers or writers did not mean they weren’t good goals. I started to share posts, and grew as a writer through the feedback and comments I received. I did not keep a close eye on statistics or blog numbers, focusing instead on developing as a writer and learning to share without as much fear.

Then the folks at WordPress decided to throw statistics in my face. Somehow, without much effort on my part to try to grow an audience, I met a goal! As part of the Intentional Blogging Challenge, I had to name benchmarks¬†I would use to determine success as a blogger. Without thinking about it, I decided it would be nice if I had 100 blog followers by the end of 2014. I woke up yesterday to discover it had happened! When I hit “publish” on this post, 102 readers will get notices. For someone who was not brave enough to declare herself a writer prior to September, this is a heady thought.

Thank you for making 2014 the best year of the decade so far. I have learned from you and I hope you will continue to help me grow through 2015. I look forward to sharing my adventures and I am honored to have you join me. I will continue to experiment and try new things. There will be more guest posts and new blogging challenges.

And I will continue to write my 500 words – 507 if you’re counting this today.

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