2013 in review

I did a lot of writing in 2013 – and I loved it! In addition to doing a lot more writing here on my blog, I’ve been working on a book about TCKs. Writing has been my creative outlet this year. It’s funny – I always have a creative outlet, but rarely more than one at a time! It might be musical composition, or performance, or visual art, and often a little cross-stitch thrown in between projects. This year, it’s been writing.

So, the book. It’s a book about the experience of being a TCK – a Third Culture Kid. (A child of expat parents, growing up abroad, in a place that is not “home”). The goal is to write broadly without being too dry or academic. I cover a range of different TCK experiences and explain how these experiences affect the way a TCK sees the world. I also discuss ways to better support TCKs as they mature into adulthood. These explanations are then peppered with quotes from TCKs, sharing their own stories. (Actually, I’m still looking for more TCKs to share their thoughts with me – if you know someone who might be interested, I’d love to be put in touch with them!)

I didn’t set out to write a book, but that’s where I’ve ended up. It’s been a lot of work (and there’s a lot more work still to be done) but it’s an exciting project. That said, I probably would have given up on it by now if it wasn’t for the encouragement of all the TCKs who have helped by reading excerpts and contributing their ideas. I have heard the same thing, more or less, from quite a number of college students who read through some excerpts – that reading it almost brought them to tears, to see something they can’t quite articulate or explain to others there in black and white – the excitement of knowing that someone understands how they have felt. This sort of feedback is especially touching because it is precisely what I’m trying to do – to explain what they so often can’t, to put into words what can be hard to articulate when you don’t know any other life.

Anyway, while the book will still take quite some time to finish and get published, my blog is more active than ever before! I’ve started writing about things that interest me, particular relating to Chinese language and culture and have been delighted to discover that other people find this interesting as well! More people are finding and interacting with my blog, and the number of people receiving posts by email has increased as well.

WordPress creates annual summary reports for blogs – including mine – with some interesting stats and stuff. If you’re interested in looking at the “report” for my blog you can click here to see the complete report.. But here are a few highlights:

  • I wrote 59 new posts in 2013; there are now 174 posts in total. This “2013 in review” post brings the totals up to a nice, round 60/175. How nice :)
  •  There were hits from 87 different countries, but given that most of the time a vpn is required to see this from within China, who knows if that is acutally accurate…
  • The most views on a single day happened back in October, when I announced that I will be leaving China in 2014, after 10 years in China. I believe this was actually the most traffic to my blog on a single day EVER.
  • Three posts about China life were the standout favourites:

1) The Yin and Yang of the Chinese Calendar (February)
2) Seatbelts in China (April)
3) Saying “no” in Chinese (September)




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