Blogging from A to Z Challenge
Last month I participated in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge”
What was it?
I blogged everyday beginning on April first with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on and finished on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. The theme of the day was the letter scheduled for that day.
My theme was short fictional (well mostly fictional) stories about women. Each woman’s name began with the appropriate letter of the alphabet for that day.
Today’s post is a reflection of my experience with the A-Z challenge.
I have participated in this challenged since 2012. So this was my fourth time.
This year, as in years past, instead of having all 26 posts written ahead of time, I wrote my posts just one or two days before the specified letter day.
Doing it this way provided me with an encouraging nudge to get back into writing more regularly.
As some of you know, my son passed away in 2011, the same year I started my blog. Writing that year helped me sort out the most painful and emotional period of my life.
As time went on, I slowly began an awakening. By that I mean the ice cold shock started to thaw and the awareness of my loss heightened.
I became sad, lethargic and depressed. As you can see by my stats, it was obvious that my desire to write waned
I described it this way in my L post:
"Her stories became mournful.
They were filled with melancholy yesterdays.
Then one day, there were no more stories for she could no longer imagine.”
For me this year’s challenge was the most fulfilling and rewarding.
I attempted fiction for the first time. In doing so, I re-discovered my imagination and my love of story telling.
For a few hours a day I was able to escape away into the minds, hearts and souls of my own creations.
About half way through the challenge, I worried that I may have been a little too ambitious in my commitment to write these 26 pieces.
But in reality I found that I not only looked forward to the stories these women were determined to tell, I realized that they would absolutely not remain silent.
By the beginning of week 4, I started to think about how my blog might evolve. Perhaps I would include a fictional story one day a week. Perhaps I could try to make a commitment to keep my blog updated on a regular basis. Maybe, I could write on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays with themes for each day. I have to do more thinking about my plans.
This year’s challenge, in particular, has helped to lead me down that path.
The second part of the challenge is to visit other blogging participants. So far I have gone to 250 other blogs.
I have discovered several new blogs to follow.
There were many, but I’d like to specifically mention a few:
Tamara Nayaran, Author: I learned that math can be interesting and fun.
The Bird’s Nest: A fellow Jersey girl, reminded me how many interesting places there are to visit in our home state.
Doctor Faerie: A to Z video posts about the trials and tribulations of writing to publish. Although that is something I have never even thought about doing, I found her advice thoroughly interesting.
A Bench With A View: Betty’s blog is not new to me. She has visited my blog every day of the challenge and has left kind and encouraging comments.
Laws of Gravity Liz’s blog is not new to me. She also has visited my blog every day of the challenge. Having loyal readers like Liz encouraged me to keep writing.
I did find many blogs that did not keep up with the challenge.
This is the harder part for me. I try to keep an open mind when visiting other blogs. But just as I’m sure my blog is not going to appeal to everyone, there were blog topics which did not interest me.
Even though I might not re-visit those blogs, I appreciate their commitment to their passions.
I have to admit I am a little disappointed that I did not reach my goal of 100 followers. I did pick up 5 new ones but lost one along the way.
But I still have a lot of visiting to do.
I have to say, that I have no criticism, negative or constructive of how the challenge is organized.
For me it was a positive experience.
I would like to thank the leaders, organizers and helpers of the A to Z challenge.
Arlee Bird, thank you for originating this challenge.