Goodbye 2009

It’s that time of year again. Time to look back and see if we learned anything.

Here is a summary of what I have been up to during the past year.

2008 Was a Hard Year

In 2008 my business failed, my dad had a heart attack, my grandfather died and Grace and I called off our courtship. I began 2009 with an expectation that things would start looking up.

Spring 2009 – New Beginnings

In January we got a new president. I got a new job. And in February I went to Russia for a month and Scotland for a week. I learned a lot in Russia including the love of tea.

In April I started AuthorTechTips.com to help authors with technology and to help promote my new business Umstattd Media.

Summer 2009- From Belton to Austin

I moved to Austin in May. I love this town. At first I didn’t know many people and I lived and worked alone.  I would spend days without interacting with anyone aside from emails and phone calls from clients.  God found me in that solitude and began a work on my heart.

God brought healing and freedom and knit me into one of the most amazing communities I have ever been apart of. He has surrounded me with prayer ninjas and I am very thankful.

Fall 2009- New Roommates & New Projects

In August I moved in some guys from our prayer group. Namely  E.J. Rathburn, Caleb Ingles and Caleb Hobart. These guys have been such an encouragement to me.  They have also taught me everything I know about how to be a good wingman.

Our house is on Harmon Ave and we decided in a 3 to 1 vote to name our house eHarmony. The looks on people’s faces when I invite them to eHarmony always gives me a good chuckle and sometimes even a belly laugh.

In September I started PracticalCourtship.com which has been a fun project. I really enjoy reading all the comments of which there are many.

Winter 2009 – Fighting For Life

A few months Jana Robertson encouraged me to get involved in the pro-life movement. Or at up my involvement from talk to actions too. We started holding Insight Meetings at my house which are prayer gatherings where we learn about what is going on in the political arena so we can pray with insight.

We also did a big push to fight tax funded abortions in Austin. We failed to gain ground this time around but we will be back next year and the year after that and every year until life is protected and destroying life is not subsidized.

Right before the hearing my mom got sick. Very sick. She was in the hospital for  a time and incapacitated. She is still unable stand for any period of time but she is doing better.

10 Most Popular Articles of 2009

Here is a list of my most popular articles of 2009. I have included articles I wrote for Author Tech Tips and Practical Courtship since that is where most of my writing has gone.

  1. 7 People Every Author Must Follow on Twitter – The popularity of this post was a fluke. The list was the left over scraps of a different post about how to get started on Twitter. Everyone wanted the list. No one wanted the guide. Go figure.
  2. How to Get Twitter on Your Phone – The reason this is number one is because of google. Lots of views.
  3. 7 Differences Between Published and Unpublished Authors – This is one of my most controversial posts of 2009. No one read the part at the beginning where I say that the rules are not universal.
  4. 6 Things Readers Want Fro Your Author Website – This is one of the oldest articles on Author Tech Tips.
  5. 7 Reasons Men Wait to Get Married – This was one of the first posts on Practical Courtship to get attention outside my circle of friends.
  6. Courtship & Predestination – This is one of the most discussed posts I have ever written.
  7. How to get Twitter to Update Your Facebook Status – Great time saving tips.
  8. Where to Find Free and Legal Photos Online – I’m surprised this was not more popular since it is one of the most frequent questions we get.
  9. 5 Things Readers Don’t Want from Your Author Blog – Every blogger needs to read this article. Not just authors.
  10. The Thin Line Between Creepy and Charming – This was a fun post to write. The comments are fun to read too.
  11. How to Sync Your Address Book With Facebook – Newer post but one that has helped a lot of people.

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

One thought on “Goodbye 2009

  1. Thomas, I am so impressed with your work! You are creative, entrepreneurial and thorough! Phenomenal! Welcome to 2010. Even greater things are yet to come!

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