It’s the last day of the year and so, as is tradition, I’m taking a look back at my blogging year. Oh, I won’t be sharing stats or anything like that – rather, just revisiting some popular posts and summing up my 2016 blogging experience.
For it has been an experience indeed! This year I’ve met some wonderful new bloggers, many of whom have chosen to follow Journey to Ambeth. Thank you to everyone who decided to take the journey with me – your comments and input are so very appreciated.
I also released two new books this year; Hills And Valleys, the third in my Ambeth series, and A Thousand Rooms, a standalone novel. I was amazed by the support of the blogging community, who shared, commented and reblogged, helping me to reach an even larger audience. Thank you so much!
In June I attended the second annual Bloggers Bash in London. I’d attended the original Bash in 2015, where we’d all bonded over lunch in Pizza Express before heading to a local pub. This year we had a room to ourselves in (another) rather nice pub, more than double the number of attendees than the previous year, and the charming Luca from WordPress giving a talk about blogging. I reconnected with old blogging friends and met new blogging friends, as well as being nominated for an award. (I didn’t win, but it was awesome just to be nominated!) Here’s to the the 2017 Bash – can’t wait!
In September I spent a magical weekend in the hills with Sue from The Daily Echo, then November saw an evening of laughter, magic and writing talk with the fabulous Suzie from Suzie Speaks, Lucy from Blondewritemore and Sacha Black. To say that blogging has changed my life would not be an exaggeration – I’ve made some truly wonderful friends and really enjoy being part of such a wonderful online community.
So, as the year winds to a close, here are the ten posts that seemed to resonate most with readers:
Memory Box – I wrote this post way back in January, about a chance discovery during a new year house clean.
Stuck Writing Your Author Bio? Try The (Totally Not Serious) Author Bio Generator – Probably my most popular post of the year, I wrote this as a bit of a piss-take after reading several rather, shall we say, overwrought author bios. However, turns out the Author Bio Generator actually works! Try it and see…
Thinking Aloud – this post was a close second to being most popular, and was written as a response to the idea that, as artists, we should be happy to work for free to gain ‘exposure.’
Hills and Valleys – New Release – self-explanatory, really. However, a very popular post, for which I’m extremely grateful.
Old Meets New, With Bonus Orb – this is one of those posts that just keeps on going. I think I had someone like it just the other day. It was written after a trip to London with a friend, where we were struck by the juxtaposition of architecture in the oldest part of the city. More fun than it sounds, I promise!
What Happens Next? – This post was inspired by a comment Craig Boyack made on one of my Thursday Door posts. He started a story based on my photograph, I wrote a short response, he kept going, then we decided to open it up to everyone. The resulting story was published, in all its glory, in the follow-up post The Crypt – Completed.
Circles Beyond Time – Arrival. This was the first post in my series about a weekend away in the Peak District with the Silent Eye. It was an extraordinary weekend for many reasons…
When The Forest Calls – this was a rambling, stream-of-consciousness sort of post. I’d had a day of doing this and that, but was trying to decide what to write about. And the forest was calling…
Published! A Thousand Rooms – one of the most popular posts for the year, and I’m so grateful to everyone who shared it around.
Under The Moon – this was one of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompts, and I wrote a piece of prose about a woman and her dream under a full moon. Or was it a dream…?
Wishing each and every one of you a healthy, happy and bright new year – may 2017 bring us all that we wish for! Looking forward to seeing you all in blogland and beyond… xx
If you enjoyed this post, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.
Happy New Year, Helen! Hope its a great one for you and your family. Xxx
Thanks, Ali! A Happy New Year to you and your family too, here’s hoping it brings lots of joy 🙂 Good luck with all your studies as well xxx
Thank you! I have exams week after next… haven’t sat an exam in over 30 years! Yikes! I know my brain will turn to mush and I’ll forget everything I’ve learned.
I’m sure you’ll be brilliant, though I totally get your trepidation. Wishing you the very best of luck with it! xx
Happy New Year may it be a great one. x
Thanks, Adele – wishing you a very happy new year too, and a wonderful 2017 xx
Have a great 2017 Helen ❤
Thanks, Chris! And a happy new year (and birthday) to you too – wishing you a wonderful 2017 xx
Going to have a play with the author bio generator! Happy New Year to you and yours … Eric.
Thanks Eric! Happy New Year to you and yours as well, hope you have a great year 🙂 xx
I hope you have a wonderful new year, Helen. All the best to you and I wish you much success in 2017!
Thanks, Steven. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 as well, I hope it brings you all that you wish for! xx
Thanks, Helen! 🙂
Happy New Year to you too. 😀
Thank you, and the same to you! Here’s to a fab 2017 xx
I always enjoy your posts ❤ Happy New Year Helen!
Thanks, Kristin! I hope you get back to writing in the New Year as well – I want to read more about your vampires 🙂 Happy New Year to you, hope it’s a wonderful one xx
Thank you! Yes, the vampires were going strong…hmmm, good thinking! 🙂
Yes! Head back into the darkness… ;-D
Hahahaha! I love when you pull me back in! 😀
Apparently I’m a bad influence like that… ;-D
Here’s to having a lollop in June 🙂
And a Eurovision in May! But yes, definitely a lollop in June 😀 xx
And a Melodifestivalen in March 🙂
Ooh, what’s that? Sounds vaguely germanic ;-D
Swedish! Swedish! It’s the final of the Swedish Eurovision selection 🙂
Oh, Swedish, of course! Yay for the Melodifestivalen 😀🎤
And a Happy New Year to you, too!
Thanks, Angelika! Happy New Year to you too, hope you and your family are having a lovely time 🙂 xx
Happy New Year! I remember so many of those wonderful posts. It has definitely been fun following you and your wanderings this year. Here’s to many more!
Happy New Year to you too, Allie! I’ve loved following your musings as well, and look forward to reading more of your words in the new year. Hope you and your family have a great one! xx
happy new year, oh wise one; loved your take in writing for free, brings it back to see it again. And the Bash moves forward at a speed that, to Sacha feels like a particularly dozy glacier but to the rest of we acolytes feels like a highly polished skate on an ice rink. See you in June. Be gentle with us…
I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in June, Geoff, if not before – I’m sure it does feel as though you’re moving towards it at the speed of light. Wishing you and your family a very happy new year too! May it be full of writing and laughter and love 🙂 xx
Thanks Helen and if you find yourself heading for the smoke before and need a coffee and a chat then let me know!
That sounds lovely, Geoff, will do 😀 xx And if you ever find yourself in the wilds of Hemel Hempstead, let me know too.
Never say never!!
I loved that orb photo, and had a lot of fun with our door story. Hope 2017 brings you even bigger success.
Thanks so much, Craig – the door story was great fun 😀 thanks again for the suggestion. Wishing you a happy and successful 2017 as well xx
Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year to you too, Traci!
Happy New Year to you and yours, Helen!
And the very same to you, Mick! Wishing you a bright and happy 2017 🙂
There is nothing quite like reviewing the year ~ unless it is reading someone else’s review such as this one, as it brings to light great posts/writers/blogs I’ve missed. Wishing you a great 2017 Helen.
Thank you so much! Wishing you a wonderful 2017 too, filled with much exploring 🙂 x
Cracking year, we need to do another evening together 😀
It wasn’t a bad year, actually 🙂 And yes, another evening together would be awesome! x
What a terrific post, and a great look back at the year. It was lovely to meet you at the Bloggers Bash and I’m looking forward to the next, and more great connections. Happy New Year to you and yours!
Thanks so much, Jools – Happy 2017 to you and yours too! It was lovely to meet up last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again in June (it is June, isn’t it?) 🙂
I believe it is!
A great reflection, Helen. I love seeing popular posts and recaps! They get me all excited for the new memories we make going forward. Hope 2017 is an even better year! 😀
Thanks, Shaun, and a Happy New Year to you too. That’s a nice way of putting things – we look back then we go forward. Wishing you a wonderful year!
“We look back then we go forward” is a lovely little motto 🙂 Wishing you all the best!
Thanks, Shaun, and the same to you x
These are great posts and some great times. 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!
Thanks, Sarah – wishing you a very Happy New Year too 🙂 Had a lovely Christmas but then the gorgeous girl and I were ill until about New Year – bleh! Still, we’re both on the mend now. Hope you had a lovely holiday season xx
Happy New Year to you too, Helen. Looking forward to more wanderings and portals and other shenanigans this year 😀
Thank you Tara, Happy New Year to you 🙂 I’ll do my very best…
Looking forward to more biting witty insights into the monster that is publishing, as well as Tark and Mara eventually taking over the world (if they haven’t already) 😉 x
Word has it that their PR people are trying to talk them into taking over the world more quietly. Be careful what you wish for 😛