Dec 23, 2013

2013 Recap

A little-known fact about me is that I'm also a ThirtyOne consultant. My director sent out this little survey a week or so ago and it made me realize I could apply this to blogging. So, here is my 2013 recap.

1. What was remarkable about the year?
It was three years ago this month that I started toying with the idea of blogging. I had never used twitter, never really blogged before (does livejournal count? No?), and had no idea how to obtain and keep followers. 

Now I have over 2,200 followers, nearly 700 facebook likes and over 1,600 twitter followers. I have attended BEA twice and plan to go again this year. I'm also going to attend ALA MW for the first time ever in January. This year I was asked to speak on a panel about blogging at the Baltimore Book Festival, went on a PubCrawl in NYC, and attended more book signings and launches than I ever dreamed possible. 

In short, this year has been a dream.

2. Who came into my life this year and made an impact?
This is where I'm getting a little misty-eyed. When I first started blogging, I felt so isolated and out of touch with the blogging community. Slowly I started to make friends, but I must say that in 2013 I have found several people who have changed my life for the better and I don't know if I could survive without them.

Jen (Jenuine Cupcakes/YABC): Back in April I attended the Annapolis Book Festival and a few seats over was Jen. Imagine our joint shock when we realized a few minutes later (after an amusing argument with my mom we still chuckle over) that we lived less than 10 minutes apart. Since then, I have crossed many a state lines attended book events with her, carried (and eaten) more cupcakes than I can count, and found someone who will listen to me rant, rave, and giggle about books and writing. She's talked me off more writing ledges than I can count and entertains all my crazy ideas. Her friendship is truly a God-sent blessing in my life.

Nicole (Paperback Princess): You know when you find that one person, who fills this void you didn't even realize you had in your heart? That's Nicole. She gets me in a way that few people do. She is one of the most generous, giving, compassionate women I know. I know I can call her in the middle of the night if I need to gush or cry or need help hiding a body. She's my person.

YADC: This is a group started by Andye (Reading Teen) for bloggers, authors, librarians and book fanatic in NoVA, MD, and DC. Through YADC I have met some of the best people, who I adore completely. Not just Andye, but also Liza, Steph, and Christina - I love you guys. 

Liza (Who R U Blog): You are one of the most amazing, talented, and organized women I've ever met. I wish you lived closer so I could see you every day for your hugs alone. 

Mary (The Book Swarm): I wouldn't have met you if Jenny hadn't introduced us at BEA this year, and that would have just sucked. You are so vibrant and bubbly and fantastic. I love having you in my life.

3. What were my best accomplishments and achievements?
The best thing I did this year was adding a co-blogger. Gabrielle has given me room to breathe and more flexibility with what and when I read. Before I was constantly feeling like all I could do was read books I was obligated to review. I bought 10 books for Christmas and didn't touch any of them because I had no time to just read for me. Having someone to share the review load with was the best choice I made. Plus, it's helped bring me closer to my cousin, which I adore. Love you, Brie!

4. What am I most proud of and why?
I've done several series of posts this year - ARC Essentials, BEA Blitz, BEA Tips & Tricks - which have gotten a lot of attention and, yeah, made me kind of proud.

5. What was my BEST surprise?
The day I came home and had an envelope waiting in my mailbox from Kasie West was pretty epic. She sent me a copy of SPLIT SECOND, a follow up to her smash debut, Pivot Point, that I utterly adore beyond words. That she took the time to send me one of her books meant more than she will ever know.

6. What was my favorite time and moment?
I think PubCrawl 2013 will go down as my favorite time and moment of the year. Jen and I spent a day in NYC, visiting and hanging out with different publishers and learned so much. 

7. What was my biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment wasn't so much blogging related, although I was annoyed with
myself several time because I mis-timed blog posts and blog tours and went through a bit of a drag where I didn't post as much. On a more personal level, I'm disappointed that I didn't complete one of the many novels that are bouncing around in my head. I was a #NanoFail twice this year.

8. When I look back on the year, I could never have imagined ___________ (fill in the blank).
I would be so blessed. With books, with people, with memories ... 2013 was amazing.

9. What was the single most significant event of the year?
BEA (BookExpo America) was probably the most important event this year. Between the networking I did, parties I was fortunate enough to attend, and friends I got to meet in person, it was the best four days of the year.

On a more personal note, the biggest event of the year was the birth of my niece who is now an energetic, giggling, adorable 11-month-old I can't get enough of.

10. How do I want next year to be different?
Not different. I don't want different. I want more of the same. More books to fall in love with, more authors to engage with, and more friends to laugh with. This year has been a wild ride, and I can't wait to see what happens in 2014. Bring it on.


  1. Oh my gosh! Hannah, you brought tears to my eyes. You've transformed my life this year. Only people in this YA community can understand how meeting someone special makes life so much more meaningful and amazing. You are that person for me! Thank you, thank you for you kind and loving words. xxxxxx times a million!!!

    1. Liza, you truly are amazing. And I am so fortunate to know you. :D

  2. *huggles* Meeting you (that Jenny girl. She's awesome. She's like the connector!!) at BEA and chatting with you online has been an AWESOME addition to my 2013. Here's to BEA 2014! (...if my boss lets me off, that is.)

    I'm definitely hoping for more blogging awesome this year! Cheers, girl!

    1. That Jenny is pretty freakin' awesome. I cannot wait for BEA to hang out with you again.

  3. I love this and not because you're the best cupcake carrier, EVER! Thanks for blessing my life in so many ways this year too. :D

    1. *bows* I do carry the cupcakes pretty awesomely. For reals. If it were an Olympic event, I'd be on my way to Sochi.

      For reals, yo.

  4. Ahh, Hannah you're making me blush (*touches red cheeks*). I love you too and Jen, Christina, Steph and all the awesome book lovers of YADC, most definitely including our ever approachable authors.

    *Waves* see you next month at ALA :)

  5. I would love to learn more about YADC! I just moved to Northern Virginia (Ashburn) and am definitely wanting to connect with other book bloggers and book lovers in the area! I really hope I get to go to BEA this year. Everybody says that it is literally the best experience ever. Glad 2013 went so well for you! Happy New Year and I hope 2014 brings more great things to you!

    1. Sent you an email about YADC! Welcome to the area!

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