2017 Blog Navel Gaze

Grab your celebratory beverage of choice and join me as I reminisce on most viewed posts; a hilarious search term that landed a confused internet user on my blog; my wild card entry of a post that had a great impact on my creative output for the year; and finally, resolutions for 2018!

Most viewed posts

WordPress stats make it easier to navel gaze and we all know that with statistics (and lies and damn lies), there are always conclusions we can draw, and in this case, it tells me that despite my focus on fiction, my most viewed posts are on my parenting experience, collaboration with other bloggers and a non-fiction post that was re-blogged by a blogger friend. From this thorough statistical analysis, I can almost confidently say that collaboration and blogging community support (e.g. via linkbacks, reblogs, engagement) influences views, and child-related posts are very popular on WordPress. While I am not a “mummy blogger” I am a blogger who happens to be a mummy and the ones on parenting are amongst those I have put the most love into, so I am glad that is reflected in this list and also in the most popular posts (based on ‘likes’). Without further ado, the top 5 viewed posts were:

  1. Optimal Daily Word Count: an in-depth look at the daily writing quotas of famous writers and how that translates to reward, motivation, and perception of success as well as other qualitative factors. Although written in August 2016, it got some love in 2017 thanks to Robert Okaji re-blogging it. This has been most-viewed not just in 2017 but in the entire history of 10000hoursleft- thanks Bob!
  2. Parenting Haibun: a little ode to the love I feel for my toddler and how even that worries me. It also features a watercolour illustration I made to accompany the post.
  3. My Threenager: the third birthday post for my son, what has now become a solid tradition here at 10000hoursleft, and one which I hope will be a nice legacy for him.
  4. Half a Haibun 2: a collaboration with none other than Mr Robert Okaji. Hmm that is two out of five posts he has had a hand in getting into the top 5…I think I need to create a badge that reads “as seen on Robert Okaji’s blog!”
  5. Half a haibun 5: a collaboration with artist/poet Kerfe Roig, one half of methodtwomadness. A fun collaboration, as all in the Half a Haibun series have been. Look out for the next in the series  early in the new year which has been delayed due to my dawdling (apologies to my collaborator- you know who you are).

Best search term

‘write five nouns and their anthonys’. They probably landed on one of my early posts when I started this blog and challenged myself to thirty consecutive days of blogging. One of the prompts I used was Ray Bradbury’s noun list twist where you take five nouns and build a story around them. I used a random noun generator to get the five nouns (money, egg, station, summer, zebra) and  the result was the micro tale ‘The Accident’. Re-reading it over three years later, I see similar themes in at least two stories I have written since and got a weird feeling of the writing being ‘mine’, I guess that’d be my writers voice which I didn’t realise I had established. Not necessarily good or bad, just recognisable.

Wild card

The timeline series got another lease of life when I decided to start an Instagram account (@10000hoursleft), largely for illustrating my stories. As I had six stories in the series, it seemed perfect to start illustrating each of those stories while awaiting other drawing/painting inspiration. The series began with Missing Person. Drawing and painting has been one of my creative highlights for the year and I look forward to continuing with this re-ignited passion.


I’m big on resolutions year round, but changes I will be making around about now are:

  •  Zero waste journey– I am still learning so much and getting more conscious of my consumption choices.
  • Digital balance – I’ll continue with screen time limits I’ve had in place for a few months now, switching off my phone most days by 20:00, and generally not using my computer beyond about 21:00. The only downside to this is that I have not been reading as many blogs or engaging as much with other bloggers, but I will look at carving out a space to catch up on blog posts outside of my digital downtime.
  • A structured approach to writing goals – monthly and weekly goals using my incredible Pilot 2018, a diary for writers which includes writing tips, writing prompts and a calendar of events and competitions. For at least the first quarter of 2018, my goals will be centered around my third draft novel writing course, but I will also write in response to the Pilot 2018 monthly writing prompts and submit to at least one writing competition I’ve spied for January. Aside from that, there’ll be blog posts on a whim, occasional writing in response to Sonya’s Three Line Tales, and hopefully more collaboration with other writers/bloggers/instagrammers.

I’d love to hear your wrap up of 2017 and what you hope to achieve in the new year. If you have written a year in review post, share a link in the comments. Oh, and if progressing a novel is one of your goals, in case you missed it from my last post, I have created an editing/review template which you can download for free (based on my interpretation of the feedback template my writing tutor uses):

Click to download.

Thank you all for another fun year of connections, collaborations and creativity! Wishing you a great 2018, filled with the fruition of your hearts desire,

Mek xx


17 thoughts on “2017 Blog Navel Gaze

  1. This is enlightening! I thought one of your changes would be to mommy blogger 😉 maybe next year. At any rate, this is very useful in reflecting and and progressing. My future focus will published soon. Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR MEK! Glad to have met and become friends with you here ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My hope is, as always, to write a few good poems and to find homes for some of them. I’d also like to complete my full-length book manuscript (I’m reworking the one in existence) and then send it out. Pretty dull, I admit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love you understatement. Are you even capable of writing a bad poem? Please tell us mire about this book!! Not dull at all. Btw, I still need to email you about that conversation we had in comments somewhere about an illustration collaboration! I’m on holiday at mo’ but will do soon 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! I certainly write a lot of mediocre poetry. But truly, the goal is always to write a good poem, one that makes me say to myself “Now that’s GOOD!” Doesn’t happen often. Oh, the book – just trying to assemble a full-length book worthy of publication. I entered the old manuscript in various competitions, and achieved mixed results (finalist, short-list, honorable mention), but not publication. So I’m working on improving it. And it is taking shape! But slowly. Yes, email when you’re free!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year, Mek! And thank you for the editing template. I seem to be the only person who is beginning the New Year doing the reflecting and planning that other people did weeks ago😂. Anyway, I wish you a beautiful 2018 filled with creativity and love. And I’m taking notes from your resolutions. Thank you for your readership, encouragement, and invitation to collaborate in 2017 – great gifts I won’t soon forget😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Leslie, and you’re welcome! New beginnings at or around 1 jan are overrated…go with your own timeline! I just created this post cause it was an obvious topic during a bit of a lull in inspiration 😂

      Thanks for the lovely well wishes. I hope each day is filled with reasons (or no reasons) that make you smile…from that, anything and everything is possible 😚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mek, I missed this as we were on blog break at the time (Nina in fact still hasn’t figured out how to work art into her new job schedule–I’m sure you can sympathize–so is still pretty much on blog break). I’m honored that our collaboration is among your most viewed! And I’d love to do another one at some point.
    I’m already not keeping up too well with my vow to not be angry so much. But it’s still a goal. Although our government is not being much of a help.
    I always hope to get organized and focus, but based on the past 66 years I think it’s unlikely. I will keep making as much art as I can, and keep throwing it out to the world. Last year was filled with rejections, but so far this year is much improved.
    I admire your goals, and I’m sure you will succeed! K.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late reply Kerfe. Really nice to hear from you. I am unofficially on a blog break, in that I am just not blogging or reading blogs as often as I used to. Ah, anger is hard. Have you tried breathing exercises? Left nostril breathing is a good one. Also, focus on activities, colours and foods that have a cooling effect (unsolicited ayurvedic advice stops now haha). The government isn’t much help, but really, I think we can all find some reason, somewhere to be angry about regardless of the times we are living in. Despite all the external shit, the one thing we have control over is our own personal reaction to things. I hope you find ways to not be angry. 66 years is a good place to start a new approach 🙂 I hope you never stop making art, regardless of how it is perceived xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Mek. I am trying to take at least 10 minutes each day to just be still and breathe. I do use alternate nostril breathing which is very calming. It’s really hard to be still! but worth the effort.
        Don’t worry, I will always be making something…

        Liked by 1 person

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