The year of the tiger has proved to be full of changes. When I think back to one year ago when I first decided to brave this wild, wild online world, I can't believe how much has happened, how much I have lived and grown. When I look ahead at the possibilities of the coming year, and how absolutely positive everything feels, it makes sense that this is my year: I was born on the Year of the Tiger.
Last March, I decided to come out as a writer, hold myself responsible for actually writing material, setting goals, connecting with other writers and possibly even getting some support from readers of my blog, all towards my goal of publication. This was the closest thing to a "plan" I had.
One year later, looking back over my Musings, and a year full of new experiences, I'm blown away by the immensity of it all. This isn't about "followers", or "friends", or "fans" or "platform". It's about having unknowingly embarked on a major new Life Journey. Something else entirely that had not been planned.
This past year I started sharing my Musings on this blog with the vision that I could help others at the same beginning stages of a writing career, and through this blog, I did make many wonderful friends and the support I have received from my readers has been overwhelming. I also learned an incredible amount about publishing, the life of a writer, and the mysterious and magical universe of Literature. Most importantly of all, I learned how little I actually know.
This past year I also started connecting with people on social networking sites, and I followed some conversations which changed my outlook of the world, and many more which supported and justified my own views-it turns out I am not alone in caring about social justice, environmental responsibility and the love for Literature. One amazing thing that has happened through social media for me is that it has connected me with a wonderfully vibrant and enormous Latino community. This very real yet virtual community is larger than any physical community I've ever been a part of. Through sites like twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I have, in fact, re-connected with my roots.
Throughout all of this, over the past year, I developed a new and crystal clear passion:
To support, devour, encourage and tirelessly promote literature by Latinos and about the Latino experience.
Of course I have not stopped loving books for the works themselves-I do not judge a book by it's author, regardless of the color of their skin nor their cultural experiences. Yet, I find literature is much like a body of water-just because you have swam in a lake your whole life, does not mean you know what the sea is like. I have gone from enjoying and reveling in a lake for all of my life, and have just now discovered the vast and wonderful world of the sea: Latino literature. And right now I am enthralled; each book is a new discovery for me-there is so much uncharted, undiscovered literature in this body and it's so exciting and empowering! This is a whole new realm and one that speaks to me deeply.
Throughout this year I also realized that my personality, a fusion of love for connecting with people, with "hermit" or "home-girl" tendencies is a perfect match with social networking. And my love of helping people succeed and connecting people together has taken a life of it's own in a business model that I never saw coming and I am still thrilled and awed by (take a sneak peak here: http://nilkibenitez.com).
Believe it or not, I also found that all of these wonderful things that were happening, were not necessarily a positive thing for my blog. This blog that I started in order to share my lessons as I learned them, on the way to publication. There was just too much going on in my life, and Musings lost it's focus.
So here's where the changes come in: I've decided to revert Musings to it's original mission of sharing insights into entering and beginning the road to publication. Everything else that I have fallen in love with as well I have found a new home for.
I have started a blog strictly for book reviews at Libros to Read http://libros2read.blogspot.com/
For random insights into my own personal experience of what it means for me to be a Latina, in which I vow to never take myself too seriously, I started the blog Gringa from Colombia http://gringafromcolombia.blogspot.com/
To have a single place where to share my interviews with Latinos in the Entertainment Industry, I have started a blog by the same name at http://superstarlatinos.blogspot.com/
And there are more in the works-but I will share those in time.
So please come by and visit the other blogs, or just stay here and join me on the way to publication.
Thank you for all your support throughout this last year. Before I started this journey I thought it would be a scary and lonely experience. You, my readers have shown me otherwise, and I thank you and also wish you the best throughout your journey-and if I can be of any help to you personally on your journey, just let me know-I love to help others!