Tag Archives: achievements

Did I Achieve Anything in 2018? Top Posts

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It’s that time again—time to look at the most successful posts of this past year! You may have noticed this blog has been a little less active these past few years, but this year there is good reason for it—I’ve had several pieces published in other publications! Some of you fellow writers out there may be able to relate to plateauing as a writer for a period of time, and then suddenly making a breakthrough. Or, in other words, finally gaining a greater understanding of what would improve your craft. This year was a bit like that for me, for two reasons: first, I spent the first part of the year in school, where my brain was stimulated; and second, I had health challenges that restricted my ability to do things other than write (at times it even restricted my ability to write). So perhaps that’s a silver lining?

For that reason I’m going to link to the very best of all the pieces I sent out into the world this year, not just my blog posts. At the end, I’ll give a little summary of my fiction adventures. If you succeeded in an area you hoped to succeed in this year, I’d be super interested in how you achieved that as well. Do comment below!

Here’s the list:

Top Blog Post:

Top Ten Works of Christian Fiction—What Are They?

This is basically my realization of how difficult it is to classify Christian fiction, before one even attempts to rank them. I’m glad it was viewed so often—I do think Christian nonfiction gets more attention than Christian fiction, and this should be rectified.

Another blog post that did well was Reasons for Declining Ebook Sales. This industry trend surprised me!

Piece I’m most proud of:

Contemplating My Uncertain Future, One Potato at a Time (The Globe and Mail, April 2018)

I used to read the First Person essays in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and think, I could write one of those. Except I clearly didn’t believe it, because I never submitted an essay. This year I did submit a personal essay about my experience seeking ‘useful’ work after graduating university—comparing my achievements to the useful potato-farming work my grandparents used to do. This is the first time I’ve been published in a national newspaper, so of course it’s the piece I’m most proud of this year.

Piece I put the most thought into:

Should a Christian Ever be Discontent? (Reformed Perspective, July 2018)

This piece was intense for me to write, because I felt like I was giving advice in an area of faith I hadn’t fully figured out myself! In addition, I didn’t want to write this one in a blog-post type of style, but I wanted to rather dig deeper and find more solid conclusions. As so often happens, the issue clarified itself for me as I worked my way through writing about it. I was glad to hear from readers that I managed to write about it from a slightly different angle than the topic is usually discussed from. I do want to take questions of human emotions seriously, especially emotions I experience myself.

The other pieces I published this year are: On Not Hurting Anyone While Dating (Christian Connection blog), Shocked by Augustine’s Confessions , (Reformed Perspective magazine), and Tips for Christian Women—How to be a Godly Leader in the Workplace (Christian Media Magazine). One great benefit of writing these type of retrospectives is that it forces you as a writer to look back on your progress—I think I might not have realized I did achieve more this year than last year if I hadn’t set out to write this post! So this is an exercise I do recommend you creatives to do.

On the fiction front, I just released a new short story for Christmas, I Believe in Santa. I also released Prince Charming in paperback! I had a lot of fun selling tangible copies that people could hold in their hands. Another ‘tangible’ work that I sold copies of this year is Six Decades, Three Generations—One House, a short personal story about the city I grew up in. This booklet gave me the wonderful experience of working with local retailers (Tix on the Square and Mandolin), which was quite exciting. So all in all, it was a year of new experiences! These inspire me to start the new year with new energy and new goals.

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What Would You Attempt to Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

quotables button“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Launching a Leadership Revolution*

The first time I read this quote it hit me hard, because the answer is – a lot more than what I’m doing now. I can’t count how many times the fear of terrible things happening to me stopped me, all because I couldn’t count on these terrible things not happening. And I’m not alone in dreaming of a world of failure-free achievement, judging by the number of self-help books that use this quote.

It is true that many successful people plowed on despite failure and in the face of more failure, but I can’t shake the nagging knowledge of people who plow on after failing and keep on failing. I know failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it does make you feel like a useless piece of humanity using up the world’s resources, for a little while.

So I find it difficult to ignore the thought of failure, like this quote advises me to do. Or accept failure as part of the process, even though I know I need to. The quote does, however, inspire me to dream about what I’d like to achieve with my life. It helps cut to the chase of what you really want to do, even if you feel at the moment that that’s unachievable.

I’m pretty sure a balance exists between a healthy wariness of failure, and a healthy persistence in the face of failure. I just haven’t found a way to wrap my mind around that yet. Hopefully I will someday.


*I attributed the quote to the book I first read it in, which is Launching a Leadership Revolution, by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. However, a quick Google search shows it’s not an entirely original thought, and many people have asked a similar question – for instance, several sites attributed it to a Robert Schuller.

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