2011: A Year in Review
It's the New Year – time to sit back, relax, and reflect about everything that has taken place throughout the past 12 months. Reflecting is good for the soul… and also for my sleep schedule since it's almost midnight already and I promised I would be blogging daily during the 13 Days of Blogging.
- The beginning of AverySegal.com. It didn't have a focus or purpose at first;- the main reason I created it because of a GoDaddy $1 sale on domain names.
- Most of the posts consisted of merely puns.
- Favorite pun: 'Death of a Salad'
- This month's posts were primarily about food. I posted a recipe for the my favorite soup, and also talked about eating my least favorite soup.
- Two videos I helped make were posted- the unaired Valentine's Day commercial and a trailer for our drama production, Rehearsal for Murder.
- Restaurant reviews for Cesibon and Cafe Normandie were posted. This was done primarily to become better at writing about all aspects of the dining experience, but also because I was looking for a part-time job as a food critic.
- Obviously not my best month for posting – the only post all month was a terrible squirrel pun.
- During April, I was saddened to find out that I didn't receive NSLI-Y, but I was happy to become a YES Abroad alternate. To provide more information about the process for generations to come (and to help win-over the evaluators), I compiled a post of general YES Abroad information, with notes about the semi-finalist interview event.
- In early May, I found out that my alternate position had been upgraded to that of a finalist, and that I would be going to Ghana. I announced it on this page.
- June is a lost month. If anyone finds it, please let me know ASAP.
- During July, I was flown to Washington D.C. for the YES Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation.
- I compiled a list of several Ghana FAQ's. This is the most viewed post I've written – with over 440 views to date.
- Waiting for my day of departure, the only notable post in August was my introductory vlog- the 'YES Pre-Departure Video'.
- This was where my blog started picking up steam, for it was the month of my arrival in Ghana.
- After several frustrating experiences, I wrote about the concept of time in Ghana.
- Favorite post of the month: 'Epic Laundry Time'. I actually halfway through shooting this video before I had the epiphany of making it a parody of Epic Meal Time. This 'epic versus ordinary' difference is very noticeable in the clips which I didn't have the patience to retape.
- This month marked my adjustment to Ghanaian secondary school. I started out by writing an overview of schooling, and followed it up by more about rules and discipline abroad.
- Favorite post of the month: 'Jogging'.
- While I was away on a study tour in northern Ghana, I filmed an 'I Will Survive' parody music video to play at my brothers wedding. This was by far the most elaborate project I've attempted – it took over 8 hours of filming and 15 hours of editing (mainly due to the lip-synching).
- I finally posted about 'Gratefulness' – after over a month of working on it.
- Favorite post of the month: 'Obruni/Caucasian Stereotypes'.
- With 20 posts in 31 days, this was by far the most active month of blogging. This shows in the data as well – from December 1st until the 31st, my blog has received the same number of visitors as it received the months of January through mid-September.
- Highlights included my successful 'The 13 Days of Blogging'.
- Favorite posts of the month: 'Homosexuality in Ghana' and 'The Death of Kim Jong-il'.
- I've now received hits on my blog from over 70 countries.
- Every state has visited my blog except for North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Hawaii. If you have friends in any of those states, spread the word!
- Over 20 people have found my blog by searching, "Where is Ghana?"
My New Year's Writing Resolutions:
- Write More Often: This was my only resolution last year and has returned to make the list once more. While I'm happy with the amount of writing I've done in the latter parts of 2011, I intend to make 2012 more well-rounded.
- Write Better: This is done through Resolution #1 – as the only way to improve writing is by writing more often. As you can clearly see by comparing last year's New Year's Eve posting to my more recent posts, my writing has improved dramatically throughout the past 12 months. Don't get me wrong – it still has a long way to go, but I'm pleased with how it's coming along.
- Discover the Purpose of my Writing: As much as I love blogging about Ghana (almost more than the country itself), I realize this is only temporary. Once I get back, I'll have to think about how I want to use my writing in the future, because no matter what I do, I want to pursue writing in one form or another.
Finally… What's Next?
I don't want to spoil too many surprises, but I will say that there are plans for several blog posts, videos, and at least one music video in the works for early 2012.
I also began writing my first novel today, which I hope to self-publish on Kindle/Nook. But that's still a work in process…
*whistles and walks away slowly*