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This is my 100th blog!  My journey started 18 months ago when I set up my website.  I searched for a website where I could record my journey as a writer.  WordPress.com was the perfect site for it.  I could create a page for my biography and a page for my books and also write weekly blogs.  With my blogs, I wanted to share my thoughts on reading and writing, encourage other writers, explain my philosophy and offer any news I had on my books and short story competitions.

I think, I succeeded with my blogs.  I have over a hundred new visitors and over two hundred views a week.  People checked out my blogs from as far as Chile and Belarus.  My website is linked to my Linkedin, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter accounts where I receive even more views and comments on my articles.  My popular articles are usually about book writing, publishing and education.  However, I have received great attention for the self-help techniques I encourage authors to use to stay focused and keep going.  All in all, my website has been a great success.  Not bad for a person who, until two years ago, did not have any social media accounts, at all!

Mostly, blog writing ended up helping me.  I find it wonderful that, not only can I help other people, but I also have a chance to rethink my ideas and reflect on my efforts.  It is incredibly helpful and it gives me great pleasure to do it!

It also gives me the chance to see my accomplishments and the energy I put into my work.  In summary, in the past eighteen months, I did the following.  I set up the social media accounts, I mentioned above.  Of course, I wrote 100 blogs.  I also wrote and published my two books, The Curse (2014) and Real Life Choices (2015).  I am halfway through my third book, a novel called The Art of Revenge (anticipated finishing date September 2016).  I have participated in eight short story competitions.  One of my stories,” Just Business”, made it into a collection of short stories, entitled Wherever We Roam (2015).  I have read over a dozen books and, at least, another hundred articles on a variety of topics.  I applied to Western University to finish my unfinished PhD and got accepted.  I am about to start school in September.  I am also a married adult with financial and social responsibilities.  This means that I did all of this while working a full time job and helping my husband recover from an illness and my mother with language translation of her legal paper works, due to my mother’s limited understanding of English.  In addition, I am a huge believer in setting time aside to do spiritual practices every day.  I think, I can say with certainty that I can consider the past eighteen months of my life very successful.

Finished 1, rayWherever We Roam

I would like to sincerely thank all people who regularly follow me and also all those who have ever visited my site to read an article and to inquire about me and my books.  Thank you so much!  You are wonderful!  I appreciate every click, every like and certainly every comment!  Please, continue with them!

I would also like to encourage every one of you to keep writing your blogs, articles and books.  We, writers, have to save the next generation from the destructive forces of cheap realities shows, text message style abbreviations and meaningless media usage.  We need to encourage engagement with powerful stories in books and on television, healthy and respectful political debates and meaningful discussions.  We can make it happen!

Thank you for your continuous support.

M. J. Mandoki

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