2014: My Year in Review
Was it a waste of my time?
In 2013, I posted to this blog once a week and enjoyed some pretty great stats. 47,000 unique page views. Up from 20,000 the year before.
But at the beginning of 2014, I declared (a little facetiously) that this blog was a waste of my time. Instead of posting once a week, I posted sporadically. About 17 times total.
And a funny thing happened: I still got about 43,000 page views.
How did this happen?
- Well, I think I got Googled a lot because of the musical.
- A lot of my old posts about Statements of Purpose and LORs, etc. still get read a lot.
Truthfully, a lot of my blogging energy went into this blog, maintained by my department at Ball State. If you read the post I’ve linked to, you’ll see the stats, etc.
Lately, my blog posts have been about administrating in higher education and my personal life rather than teaching and writing. I guess that’s what happens as time passes–the things that occupy space in your brain change.
I’ll be happy if you continue reading, despite these changes. Thank you.
My year in review
My husband published an essay at the Rumpus on the occasion of the death of chef Charlie Trotter.
The Indy Star did a nice story about me.
Spoke about Literary Citizenship at the Antioch Writer’s Workshop “Paths to Publishing” event. Reunited with Erin Flanagan and met Kirby Gann and Steve Saus.
The night I came back from Yellow Springs, my dog was hit by a car. He lived. We rejoiced.
Went to Seattle with my husband for AWP 2014. Loved Seattle. For some reason, I felt compelled to blog about my marriage while we were there. I put them on Tumblr rather than here. I don’t know why. “Traveling as a Couple,” “AWP Spouses.” And this one, too.
I wrote about my fear of and desire to be looked at on my Tumblr blog. (I wasn’t sure if these personal stories were appropriate for the Big Thing. I guess I felt safer posting them in this little corner of the internet where you might not see it.)
Took part in a roundtable discussion on Money and Creative Writing Programs with some amazing writers (Dinty Moore, Robert Hass, Elizabeth McCracken, and Yiyun Li. ) for Scratch Magazine.
Helped my mom start a caregiving blog.
Redesigned this blog. Click around. It’s kind of pretty.
Started a new job as Assistant Chair of the English Department.
Gave a talk at Hanover College because my book was the “common read” there. What an honor.
Published a two-part essay in Inside Higher Education about starting over in academe. Part 1. Part 2. (This essay started as a blog post, which I sent to IHE instead of posting to my blog.)
Published an essay about the value of a degree in English at The Millions. (This too started as a blog post that I sent out rather than posting here.)
Taught with Dinty Moore at the Grailville Retreat Center for the Antioch Writer’s Workshop.
Found out I’m going to be an aunt again. To a girl this time.
Read with Ben Clark at the R.J. Julia Bookstore and at the Mark Twain House and Museum. What an honor.
Went to French Lick for a book signing that went bust, but got to stay at West Baden.
Did a webinar for AWP’s Career Services on Requesting Letters of Recommendation.
Saw two of my former graduate students publish books: Karin Lin Greenberg and Katie Coyle.
Saw a new production of The Circus in Winter.
Launched my department’s first e-newsletter.
Lost two members of my extended family to cancer.
Reunited with an old high school friend and started trading work. Thanks to a new set of eyes, I got excited about my novel again. Worked on it a lot over Christmas Break and have applied for a sabbatical so that I can get that baby out the door.
I started writing this post feeling like “Man, I don’t feel like I accomplished much this year,” but now I see that I was as busy as ever in 2014.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Have a great year!
I think I can explain some of the stat mystery (I’m a bit of a stat geek myself): as time goes by and Google realizes your website offers good content (as opposed to viruses, scams, spam and other such), it pushes the blog up in Google results. Also, the longer you blog, the more followers you gather and the more likely you are to be linked to or discussed. (And, well, people who read your books or saw the production of The Circus in Winter might be interested in googling you)
I’m personally a fan of the Google Analytics + Jetpack by WordPress combo when it comes to stats. Jetpack offers some really solid data about where people came from and what pages they viewed in the past day/week/month/year (and also what they clicked on – I have 57 outgoing clicks to cathyday.com on my Romanian blog last year). I swear by that plugin, it’s quite useful.
Now, leaving stats aside… I enjoy reading your latest posts as much as I enjoyed reading your 2013 posts. I find them fun and interesting to read. I think I missed your tumblr account somehow, so I’ll go check it out, even though I usually avoid that website like the plague.
Thank you for offering a list of where you’ve written this year, along with other achievements! I definitely hadn’t seen some of those.
I’m not surprised at all that you still got all those views, Cathy. You remain one of the most thoughtful and honest commentators on matters relating to higher ed. And to writing. Sounds like a great year to me!