Tag Archives: A to Z Reflection post

A to Z Reflection Post

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

So, April is over. We’ve written, we’ve read, we’ve laughed (we’ve also cried while reading … no? okay just me then) and now it’s time to step back and reflect.

How are you feeling? Still recovering, perhaps. Still a little tired, or a lot. Let’s be honest, while fun, blogging daily can be exhausting. 

I wrote my posts in advance, and you’d think that’s good, right? But no, I changed my mind time and again. Added new photos only to take them down and do it again. Not the best way to plan ahead, but one never learns.

All right, that’s taking the whole thing too seriously. No harm was done — only far fewer hours of sleep and a lot of  hair pulling. 

So, while I arrived prepared for April, with a previous Survivor Badge proudly displayed on my blog, I am just as tired as last year, if not more so.

Next year, there will be NO touching the posts. There will be pre-scheduling then nothing but replying, commenting, and all-around love.

What else have I learned? That benefits are based on efforts. Big time. That blogging is about openness, or what the heck is the point. That there are many bloggers who serialize their novels.

On that last point — serializing may be great when a blogging relationship is in place, but as a new reader it’s hard for me to connect.

Excerpts sprinkled among posts, that’s different. That gives me a chance to get to know the blogger, to connect. Isn’t that what blogging is all about? It’s a conversation we’re having. That’s another reason I like seeing a picture of the blogger — nice to see who’s at the other end of the conversation.

I found A LOT of great blogs. I love blogs that share a story, a personal experience, a place. Posts that pull me close, because distant writing equals disengagement. That’s what news blogs are for.

Sure, there’s only so much personality and honesty one can put into post after post. A few years and a bazillion entries can make writing one more post feel like a job. I don’t know an easy fix for that, just that life offers new stories, new ideas, new vacations, enough new experiences to FIND THE JUICE. I hope.

I’m proud of my friend, Debi O’Neille for having completed the challenge brilliantly. Also, my friends Linda Covella and M. Denise C, who tell me I’ve inspired them to enter.

While traveling the blogosphere, many sites (in addition to those I knew from last year) made me a fan and follower. Here are a few: Eva Marasca, Elizabeth, Martha Reynolds, fellow Romanian Veronica Sicoe, Crystal Collier, Gwynn Rogers, Anabel Marsh, Susan Koenig, Carrie-Anne Brownian … and many more.

To the wonderful co-hosts, I offer A BIG thank you. I don’t know how you do it — blog, comment, reply, motivate, address questions. Do you ever sleep? :)

I know you’re looking for suggestions on improvements, but I don’t have any — okay, maybe one, and it’s more of an observation: too many inactive blogs on the list. One particular day I found too many had either given up or never started. Someone had asked to report them, but I would’ve had to go back, see where the first inactive blog was, make a list, and so on.

That’s why I’m saying: I don’t know how you (co-hosts) do it, how you make time for everything. I couldn’t find the time or strength to go back and start a list. Sorry.   

Overall, April Blogging was a successful party. One I’m still recovering from. The Challenge offered an opportunity to connect with bloggers worldwide; it offered structure and within the structure the ability to roam around, be creative, and find new friends. 

As I sit back and look at the new followers (haven’t counted yet, but I’m sure the number exceeds my expectations), I appreciate just how much I did take away from the Challenge.  It was rewarding, even educational (how awesome is that?), and, most importantly, it was fun. 

Thank you, dear blogging friends!

 

A to Z Reflection post

It’s hard to believe April is over, and my first A to Z Blogging Challenge has come to an end. Twenty-six days of blogging. Wow. Those days were incredible, at times tiring, at times chaotic, but they were always fun.  

As a first time participant (and someone new to blogging), I didn’t know what to expect. But after reading the first emails — from Tina, Shannon, and many more — it became clear the Challenge was going to provide exactly the gentle kick I needed as a new blogger. Write, edit, then write some more.

Although I drafted my posts in advance, I edited before scheduling every article. So, first lesson learned: it’s possible to write/blog every day when surrounded by like-minded folks. Now can we extend the Challenge through May, please? … Ha ha.

Here are a few likes and an observation:

1.   I met interesting people from all over the world (think I communicated with bloggers from 10-15 countries — how cool is that!);

2.   I connected with writing friends  — nicely added element of familiarity.

3. I discovered some amazing blogs. There are too many to name here, but you’re in my Reader and/or Subscription list.

I have to say, though, that I learned so much about Iraq from Ghadeer at Spill beans, about Brazil from Maggie at Expatbrazil, and about India from Phil at Philips com.  

These are just from a quick recollection, but I came across many more wonderful blogs.

4.   I gained followers (not sure as to the exact number, but more than I expected.) If I haven’t followed you back yet, it is my mission to go through my Followed and Subscribed list over the next few days and do just that.

5   I forgot all about W, but writing a post in a short amount of time was surprisingly easy at that point.

6.   The only observation or dislike (for lack of a better word) was in the difficulty to comment on certain blogs. Finding the A to Z entries proved time-consuming (posts were not immediately visible, sometimes buried deep someplace). Searching cut into my time, and you know the saying: time is golden.

But all in all, the Challenge was a blast. I am happy I signed up for it and plan to return in 2014.

A great, big thanks to the A-Z team. You’ve done a SUPERB job organizing, hosting, and keeping us motivated. You made it look easy, but that’s probably far from the truth. Thank you to an amazing group of people.

I hope to see you all around post Challenge. And … we did it!!!