#AtoZchallenge Reflection

Just a quick little recap to how I was feeling over this challenge.

This challenge was an actual challenge for me. But I did it on purpose. Last year I had all my posts scheduled before the challenge even started, and while some people said that was cheating, I didn’t think so and I still don’t. I was struggling with my desire to blog last April so that’s how I decided to do it.

But this year, I wanted to be more engaged in the challenge. Take a more active roll. There are a few ways people can do that, and I decided to write my posts the day I would be posting them. And since I was writing little stories each day, that was a lot of work for me. I tried to keep each story to under 500 words, but sometimes I just couldn’t. I think the longest was just over 600.

This challenge allowed me to really exercise my creative writing skills. I have wanted to publish a book for so long now but I never really thought that I could write fiction in the same way and with the same enjoyment that I write my blog. But this challenge showed me that I could! Aside from a few days (F comes to mind immediately) I really did enjoy writing my little stories.

This year I also wanted to engage with other blogs as well. I made a promise to myself that I would read at least 10 new blogs every day. And I did!!! At first I started off wanting to comment on at least 3 of those 10 but that slowly disappeared as the challenge came to a close. Each day I would go to the master list and pick the next ten on the list (I started at the top) and if there was a blog I was already following I wouldn’t count it towards my daily 10. I made it to number 275 on the list! YAY!!!! I bookmarked a small handful and followed them religiously throughout the challenge. Next year I might start at the bottom.

As the challenge progressed, I got less and less interested in other’s blogs though. There were so many similar ones (music for example) or some that some people just can’t relate to (the names of people within your family tree). I just can’t drop in the middle of the challenge and pick up with those ones. Or stories that all inter-connect. I had one that I did this year that but that’s because my first stop to the blog was on day 1 and I didn’t have to backtrack at all. Here is the small list of blogs that I made sure to check every day after I found them:

Uniquely Maladjusted but Fun – connected story

Janet’s Smiles – hand made cards

The Dreamgirl Writes – things that make her happy

Keith’s Ramblings – stories for children

Dena’s Ramblings – a game for readers to guess what an image/word is and the answers were given the day after

Katy Trail Creations – quilt squares

The Articulate Image – photos and poems

Curious as a Cathy – sketches from The Little Mermaid

Patricia Lynn – learn a word in 100 words

Anne M Bray – signs on the back of trucks while in traffic

One thing that I came across this year that I hadn’t really in other years was that a lot of people were making huge declarations of quitting the challenge. Like sure if you are sick or didn’t anticipate how much work the challenge would be, write a little post and say that. Maybe not on day 2 though. But quite a few of the blogs I visited had these long posts about dropping out and never doing the challenge again because of the other bloggers in the challenge. In the four years I’ve done this challenge, not once have I come across someone who would have caused me to pull out of the challenge. It was strange.

As always, I hate how other platforms don’t really support comments as well as WordPress. If I comment on a Blogger blog, I never know if they have responded unless I go back and search it out. I’m not doing that haha

Overall, I had a great time doing this challenge! Although, I am glad it’s over. I did miss being able to just write for the sake of writing and not having such restrictions set on me. I can’t imagine being a blogger who has a super specific topic for their blog lol that must get so boring and frustrating.

I can’t wait for next year to roll around! And, as always, I am open to suggestions for themes! I have a running note on my phone where I keep them all.

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17 thoughts on “#AtoZchallenge Reflection

  1. This is a wonderful reflection! I am still trying to arrange that hodge-podge quilt top. I’ll have a reflection with it to display before the 17th, just not today.lol Thanks so much for stopping by my blog during the challenge. Much appreciated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I haven’t said it before, your invitation to “Throw Some Glitter” on you speaks to me on a personal level! Thanks for mentioning me in your recap. It amazes me sometimes that anyone would be interested in my drivel. I don’t think it is cheating that you have posts written in advance. I at least have drafts with the letters and some, photos and links ready to go before April, even if the main part isn’t written until the day of. I mean, life does get in the way sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t remember, it’s all in the past now lol I can understand how it can be seen as an easy way out. Some will write them all in advance and just copy/paste/post on the proper days, there’s lots of ways to do the challenge! I’ve done it differently every year I’ve participated lol

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  3. Next year, I think I’ll try a little harder to get ahead of things, maybe even have the entire month scheduled out like you said you did last year. And maybe that could be considered cheating a little… but who cares? My thing is, I really wanted to check out more of the participating blogs, but I really only kept up with blogs I was already following. I think I was too busy writing my daily posts to explore more people’s challenges. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a better job of that next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah the first year is hard to check out new blogs! The first year I did it, they had a different system set up which I kind of liked a lot more but I’m ok now that they’ve gotten back to a master list type deal. Now that you know how it works it’s easier to fit it to your style. And I don’t think it’s cheating at all to write in advance and schedule the posts. As they like to say, “you do you, boo”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlin,

    First let me say thanks for the shoutout! That’s a nice surprise. I’m impressed that you composed your posts each day. That’s hard work. I used to do that, not that I wanted but because I wasn’t either organized or disciplined enough to schedule my posts. Three years ago determination kicked in allowing me to overcome that obstacle and if anyone says I’m cheating then I’m liable to retort Nanna-nanna noo-noo and give ‘em a raspberry because who cares. Keeping up with everything else is big enough of a challenge, so please don’t let negative people bring you down ever again. I don’t recall anyone complaining about wanting to quit or never to do the a2zing again but kay-sa-dah-sa-dah! People have lost sight of the fun and are too tightly wound ready to snap lke a rubberband. Another thing that you did tbst awes me is not only using the Master List but making an effort to find new bloggers to connect with. Bravo 👏!! Trudy from Reel Focus devised a system using the ML that worked for her, too. I’m gonna be honest with ya but I didn’t make it to your place every day but i am going to catch up. I’m making a point to save bookmark sites like yours. This summer I’m gonna have to burn it on my a2z road trip to hit everyone. Lol
    I loved reading your afterthoughts and am glad we met. It’s time for bed do I’ll say, Goodnight 😴!

    April 2019 Reflections – a look at the #atozchallenge and what I learned

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thanks!! You’re too sweet!

      I think we all should just do the challenge however it fits our lives. This year I made sure to make time in my life to do it every day. I just wanted to see if I could, and I did!!! Sometimes I didn’t think I would make it but I totally did.

      Your themes are always a little more involved so I’m not surprised you do them in advance. I can’t imagine you doing your little mermaid drawings the day of! Omg that would be so difficult!

      Don’t feel the pressure to catch up on mine haha it’s all good! I know lives are busy and we can’t always read everything we want to. I know I definitely didn’t! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Reflection post, I enjoyed reading your theme, and your thought about the Challenge. It’s a crazy part of the year, and I think scheduling posts is a great way to keep the rythme! And I agree with the fact that the Challenge is a time for visiting new blogs, no time to post daily ;))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the shout-out and glad you enjoyed my letter-of-the-day quiz. And congrats for finishing the challenge! AND posting your reflections post on the first day! I just posted mine today =)
    https://denapawling.blogspot.com/2019/05/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-reflections.html

    As you noted, quite a few folks are unable to finish. I start composing my posts in January to give me time to finish. You’re crazy for doing them the day before LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started in January two years ago when I was doing a really involved theme, and in March last year. I am a little crazy for doing them the day of, but that’s just me! HAHA!! I’d think you’d need time to organize and research for yours. It was so much fun to play along! I’ll jump over and read your reflection too! 😊

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