I have completed my fifth A to Z Challenge!! WOOHOO!! I know in this reflection we are supposed to write about our favourite post we wrote or read, or which one of our posts had the most visits, or how our stats changed etc etc. But this isn’t that type of reflection.
This year I was excited. Last year when I stared my A to Z challenge, it was just as I was entering into this deep disinterest in my blog. I was healing over some things and having some major life changes and blogging wasn’t fun anymore. I thought that with being home and being able to focus on writing again, I’d enjoy the challenge this year.
I was wrong.
I had plans! I had my theme picked out, I had posts scheduled, I had a folder for sites that I had bookmarked from the reveal list. I was ready.
And then work happened. Over March Break I was able to get two weeks of lessons planned thinking that I’d then have a two week break. I was not prepared for the level of interaction I needed to have with the parents during those first two-three weeks. It was insane. So I lost my March Break to planning lessons, and I lost the next two weeks to technical problems and emails from parents from 8 am until 9 pm when I had to physically turn off my phone to get away. I worked through lunch, often not taking my eyes off my computer or phone for the entire day. I finally got into a better routine but it still took all my motivation for everything.
This boiled over into my A to Z challenge feelings. I had quite a few posts scheduled before April 1st, but then I had no time to visit other people. Honestly, if you weren’t on my email list of blogs I already follow and enjoy, I didn’t see your posts. I didn’t have the energy or mental motivation to go see other blogs at the end of the work day. I would turn my laptop completely off at 5pm and keep my distance from it until 9am the next morning.
I guess another thing that kind of got pulled to the forefront this year, was that the blogs I did manage to visit the first weekend of the challenge, almost all weren’t WordPress blogs. If I want to comment on them, I have to sign out of my gmail account and log in as my wordpress account on the site, sure that takes just a few extra seconds but I never know if anyone has commented back. As soon as I want to comment as a “url” instead of my private gmail account (which is what blogger sees me as) then I lose the option to click the box that allows me to get emails when someone has replied to my comment. So I just don’t comment. I don’t see the point if I can’t engage in a conversation with that blogger. When I comment it’s to share an opinion and every single time I hope that the blogger replies to have some sort of engagement.
So this year, A to Z wasn’t fun for me. It was a struggle to write my posts on the weekend. I was so happy when I finished the last one. I wanted to give up so many times. And I am so glad that it’s over and I don’t have to deal with the stress of it any more. For the first time in five years of doing this, I am glad to just walk away from it.
Although I didn’t enjoy a lot of the challenge this year, I do still think that I put out some interesting short stories. At least some of them. A lot of them are dark and not my usual writing style, but that’s what came out of my head this year. If you missed one and want to catch up, click the inspiration word below to find the story attached. Be warned, R has very slight BDSM undertones which might not be enjoyable or appropriate for all readers.