A to Z challenge badgeIt’s been a week since the Blogging from A to Z Challenge ended. Today participants were asked to write a post reflecting on the challenge, what we discovered, what we liked and what we didn’t like.

Before I list my own reflections, I’d like to invite you to add any comments sharing your own experience of reading my takes on the letters. One thing I so liked about this challenge is how it got me writing more frequently. It makes me wonder if readers thought that was a good thing, or a not-so-good thing.

But, enough procrastinating!

What I discovered

  • I found myself fascinated by the letters and words themselves so the challenge became almost a celebration of language.
  • My tendency to be interested in many different things and to be indecisive carried over into this challenge.
  • I discovered some new words I either had not heard of or that I had never learned the meaning of.
  • I can, if need be, pull together posts more often than I usually do.
  • I have improv on the brain.

What I liked

  • Taking on a challenge to post most days of the month gave me a structure that got me writing much more frequently than usual.
  • The game of going through the alphabet is a simple and fun idea.
  • I actually learned things in the process of writing some of the posts, whether it was learning a new word or discovering something about myself.
  • I like when things go to unexpected places and that happened a number of times.
  • It was cool to know a lot of other people were in the same boat.
  • I really liked the random blog (“Surprise Me!”) button that some people added to their page so I could visit a random sampling of other blogs.
  • The challenge was well-organized with great support.
  • I was impressed with how many people took on (and completed) this challenge. (Good job, everyone!)

What I liked not so much

  • I quickly noticed that many of the participating blogs were oriented around certain topics (like Young Adult fiction) that I did not necessarily relate to.
  • There were so many participant blogs to visit that I found it overwhelming. I think it would have been nice to have them listed by blog theme or emphasis.
  • I didn’t feel I received many visitors or comments.
  • The random blog (“Surprise Me!”) button was not set up for a self-hosted WordPress blog. I know I could have done more research into what it would take to adapt it, but I chose not to.
  • Since many of the participant blogs were hosted on Blogger, I ran into quite a few cases where leaving comments was a pain. When I have to comment as either a WordPress.com or Blogger user, or use some other system I’m not hooked into, I hesitated (or outright refused) to leave a comment. While I have blogs set up on both WordPress.com and Blogger, they are inactive and I didn’t want my comments pointing back to them.

Overall I was very glad I participated in this challenge. It was actually fun to play the game. It was also more time-consuming than I expected. Between coming up with a take on each letter, writing the post, finding graphics and maintaining the discipline to post nearly every day, I found myself putting more energy into this blog than ever before.

Then there was the time it took to visit other participants and add comments. That was a great way to discover and explore other blogs, and it was fun to see the variety of takes on the challenge. Many people had chosen a theme they followed for the whole challenge. I could see how that would be a good way to make the collection of posts more coherent, but I was glad I had no theme because it meant each day was an adventure in seeing where I would go with the letter of the day.

A to Z reflections

2 thoughts on “A to Z reflections

  • 05-08-2012 at 6:39 am

    Good job! That sort of challenge is harder to accomplish than it looks. And I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the experience. I did one myself once and mostly enjoyed it.

    You are right to mention time. I always plan to do more but end up doing less because of time. It can’t keep up with my intentions.

    • 05-08-2012 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks! Did you do this same A to Z challenge before? Or was it a different but similar one? It really helped with my lack of post-writing discipline, but you don’t seem to need help on that front.

      Yeah, I never can seem to keep up with my intentions. You’d almost think I’d learn to rein those pesky intention in. Or something.


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