This was the first time that I did the A to Z blogging challenge and I am tickled pink that I finished it! Here’s what I thought:
Accountability: I liked that this challenge forced me to make the commitment to write a post every day, and that if I didn’t finish it, y’all would know. (No, I am not a Southerner, but the term ‘y’all’ is highly useful and so I have adopted it. Yep, that’s how I roll).
Badges. A badge for each post helped me keep organized and let people know that it was part of the challenge. Brilliant.
Calendar. The quick reference calendar showing which letter corresponded to each day was convenient.
“Don’t flake out on me now!” This is what I said to myself around days 6, 13, 14, and 25.
Etc. I learned that I use etc. in a way that can only be called extravagant.
Flexibility. I liked that the challenge was only limited to the letters of the alphabet. This gave me a lot of freedom to write about a variety of places and experiences.
Gung ho. This is what I was at the beginning. I had originally planned to make my posts pretty short-just put up a photo and explain it a bit. As it turns out I wrote more than I planned because I really got into some of them. Towards the end I had to trim it down a bit because I started falling behind.
Humour. I am a pretty sarcastic person (some would say witty) but I realized that I often hold back on humour in my writing. I think that I worry that it might come across as offensive or that people won’t get my sense of haha so I tame it down a lot. I probably need to let the funny beast have a bit more free rein and see what happens.
Indie 30:Thirty Days of Indie Travel Art Project: This is the other blogging challenge that I was doing at the same time as the A to Z. To keep them separate I used my photography website to put up the Indie 30 posts. Run by BootsnAll, this was a creative project for all us folks who are travel crazy. This took me a bit longer to finish (just wrapped it up yesterday- have a look!). I liked doing both of the challenges at the same time. Often one inspired an idea for the other.
Just pick something! I have to admit that I lean on the indecisive side and at times it took longer to pick a post topic that to write it. In fact, I actually wrote full posts but then changed my mind and wrote a different one. So really, not only did I survive the A to Z challenge, I inefficiently did more that I had to! Yay!
Kudos to the organizers of A to Z! With over 2000 participants I’d say you did a darn good job! Thanks for bringing us all together. The A to Z Challenge 2014 team:
Lunch. OK, this has nothing to do with the challenge but I am hungry and this is how letter association works. L is for lunch: Lasagna, lemon meringue pie, lobster, lentils, etc.
More advertising beforehand? I found out about the challenge very shortly before it started. Perhaps increased coverage in February and March would allow more people to take part? (Or maybe I am the only one who got in the loop so last minute and need to sharpen my observation skills).
Not new to me blogs.These are the ones on the A-Z list that I already follow, love and recommend! (Travel blogs).
Organization. Must. Work. On. This.
“Quit. I quit”. This is what I said to myself on days 11, 17 and 21.
Random. I wanted my posts to be random enough to be diverse and similar enough to follow a theme (offbeat travel). I also tried to write a post for each country that I have been to. I didn’t get them all but I think I managed a fairly good sampling.
So many blogs, so little time! I tried to have a peek at several blogs while I was doing the challenge but couldn’t find the time to look at nearly as many as I wanted to. Now that the challenge is over I am able to take my time and peruse through the list. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Quiet Laughter. Musings and stories on blurred cultural boundaries.
Writing for Peanuts: Resources for Writers
Creative Therapy: Books, Writing and Art to Nourish the Mind and Sooth the Soul.
Big Girl Panties: I live in my own little world, but don’t worry they know me in here!
That Dizzy Chick: Musings of a Wordsmith
IMAGINE ME:I like this blog for the mere fact that the A-Z topics were random and interesting. It covered whimsical subjects like unicorns, dragons, tiddlywinks, and the importance of the colour yellow. It also introduced me to some animals that I had never heard of (Numbats and the quokka). It’s fun to read and you feel like you’ve learned something.
TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL: This is a gratitude writing challenge that I came across while doing the A to Z. I found the link through THE DANCING GYPSY who sent me over to CONSIDERINGS who runs it. Pick ten things you are grateful for, write about them, and link up! Takes place each and every week-end.
Untiring new follower. A big thanks to Tom at Tom Bensen Creative for checking out and commenting on my posts every day of the challenge. Lots of great writing tips and resources on his blog. His A to Z posts had some useful punctuation and grammar refreshers that I will be re-reading until they stick.
Victory! Finding time to post something every day is not always easy with everything else that we all have going on, so if you finished the challenge reward yourself with [insert treat/vice of choice here]. You are a victor! If your name happens to be Victor, then reward yourself twice for this happy coincidence.
Word association. I wanted to base the posts around the very first word that came to mind when I thought of the letter of the day. However, I discovered that not only does my mind go to ridiculous places, I change it a lot. I also had to factor in if I had photos and a story to go with the word. Monkeys in Montezuma for the letter M for example was a better choice than mustard even though it was not my first thought.
Xylophone. This is probably the first word that passed through everyone’s minds when they got to the letter ‘X’. Followed by X-ray.
Yes. I would do this challenge again.
ZZZZ’s: What I’ve been catching up on now that I don’t have to think of blog posts for the next day.