Sunday, 1 May 2011

X Y Z and Reflections

Today is the first of May and a post of reflection on the April A to Z blog challenge hosted by Arlee at Tossing it Out. You can find the blog award over at Elizabeth Muellers blog, so go get yourself one!

The challenge was supposed to be a post for every letter of the alphabet during the month of April. As you can see, I very very nearly completed it, posting right up to the end of the month in an effort to complete the challenge, but failing by just three letters X,Y and Z.

The reason for the failure was life. It comes at the most inopportune moments. Family members hospitalised and my own general feelings of ill health on some of the days. Taking these things into consideration I don't think I did badly.

I usually post about 14 posts a month  which equates to approximately 3 and a bit a week. I found the challenge...challenging. Surprisingly. Advice given prior to the start was to make some posts in advance and while I did this, I still didn't have the time to participate daily. The challenge isn't just about making posts. I mean, why write them if no-one is going to read them? To get the most out of the challenge you needed to visit fellow A to Z-ers and comment on blogs, find new blogs that interest you and interact with them. This in itself was time consuming. So, even if you managed to write up some posts in advance, it's not the end of the story.

Did I enjoy the challenge? Absolutely yes. I found some great new blogs to follow. I raised my own follower count and I found that I do have a blogging voice within me. I have something to say and people are actually interested in that. I may not have visited all 1200 blogs listed as participating but I did visit and follow new blogs. I may not have made all 26 posts, but I made 23. I am happy with that.

Will I do it again? Absolutely yes. I loved it. I have found a new passion for blogging and fully intend to continue following old and new blogs. It's given me a new feel for blogging and I now have to assess my blog and look at what I need to be doing to keep it active. Blogging is all about the interaction, not just about getting your own thoughts out and what better way than to interact than with a whole group of people who want exactly the same thing. To communicate with fellow bloggers.

What were your thoughts on the challenge, either as a participant or a reader?

To add your A-Z reflection post, please visit Arlee's blog where you will find the linky.


  1. Congrats on coming so closes to finishing! It was a great month of blogging, and while I didn't get a chance to visit as many blogs as I'd have liked to, I did get to meet a lot of new people. Yay!

  2. Well hello! I never expected or thought about fallout. Ahh stupid me, I should have known that I would meet the cream at the top of the cake :) Off to explore.

  3. Congratulations! It's like climbing Everest - just seeing the peak in sight is a reward in itself:-)

  4. I failed the A to Z too because of life's challenges. But I loved what I did manage to do with it. Met some new people. And got the bug for writing an occasional post based on an alphabet letter.

    You did so much better than I. All but three letters. I'd call that a great success.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  5. Like you, life got in the way. The good news is I did write most of the posts ahead of time. But as for daily participation..whoa, not nearly enough hours in the day.

    Take care of your family, and yourself. :)

  6. You still made it to the end and didn't give up so congrats for that.

  7. As a participant I found it challenging to post 6 days a week going through the alphabet, but it sure feels great to have completed it!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  8. I didn't manage to visit all 1000+ either, but I did meet a bunch of great people this past month, and today as well. :-)

    23 posts is so close to completion I'd call it a win. ;-)

  9. I enjoyed the A to Z challenge and would like to do it again.

    You've made it near the end at least, so that is some progress.

    I hope that your ill health improves and that your hospitalized family members get well.

    The Madlab Post

  10. You did your best and came very close, so well done!! Thanks for stopping by Mercy's World. Its great to still be discovering new "faces".

  11. You're right, the challenge is in reading other blogs and interacting. So time-consuming! Ah, well. I did what I could and made some great friends. Here's to next year's challenge!

  12. Yes, sometimes life does get in the way, but be proud. You came so close. That's an accomplishment in itself. The best part of this challenge, in my opinion, is finding so many great blogs and blogging friends!

  13. I managed to complete the A-Z, but didn't get around to visiting as many blogs as I intended, so I'm catching up now!

  14. I hate when life gets in the way, but it happens. Congrats on what you have achieved

  15. Sorry to hear that you've had a difficult month too but congratulations on completing the challenge. I agree that one of the most enjoyable things about the A to Z was making so many new blogger friends. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

  16. I hope everyone is better in your family now.

    Only three short... You did great. Believe me, I met all of us at one time or another were to stressed over life to finish.

    I'm glad I got to stop by and say Hi to you today since I didn't have the time during the challenge.

  17. Like you said in your comment on my current post, you tinker with you blog trying to get it the way you really want it. And then--time to get on with writing! I've got to discipline myself to do this every day--and stay off the Internet until I do get something written!!

    Thanks for wishing me luck on my memoir, and I wish you luck with YOUR writing.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  18. Hi, thanks for dropping by my blog and doing me the honour of follwing!
    I really enjoyed the challenge - it's a great way to meet other bloggers!
    Hope you're feeling better soon - I'll be checking in here again!

  19. Well said. I didn't get to all 1200 either. I found that more challenging than writing my posts. Glad to have met you now.

  20. Hi Rebecca .. it seems you did a wonderful job considering the holidays, Easter, kids and then diagnosis demands .. EDS doesn't sound easy to cope with - & I wish you and the family well.

    The main thing is you enjoyed the experience .. and we'll be around for a while (years) ahead .. !!

    Thinking of you .. Hilary

  21. Rebecca,

    I hope you're feeling better now. The challenge took a bit of effort to keep up with, but as you said life happens. I managed to finish, but some days took more out of me than others. One thing is sure, I can do what I put my mind to doing. I should apply this to my writing. :)

  22. Yo! 23 is a good number!! It's been a busy old month and I'm glad to have met so many lovely people via the challenge.

    Also, I have an award for you at my blog, do pop over when you can! ;-)

  23. Congrats on giving it your all :) Your reflections post is lovely and I must agree with several points:

    Posting just to post = not worth it, for you and your followers

    Being actively involved in the blogging community. It's not just about posting.

    AND it's time consuming. But if you're dedicated to living in the Blogosphere, it is SOOO worth it...the bloggers I've "met" have all been just so lovely!

    So very nice to meet you as I travel thru the Reflections posts.

    Cheers :)

  24. 23 is a great number! You made it through so much of the month--that's awesome!

  25. I've also found I have a voice (or two in my case) which was great to acknowledge. I'm still overwhelmed with the number of Reflections posts to visit, but am finding them extremely interesting. I'm adding a couple of extras to my blog roll with the certainty that I'll have to cull it eventually. Sue

  26. +1 follower from blog hop, cool blog

  27. Kristine - Thanks. I loved the challenge and now have lots of great blogs to follow.

    Siv - Hi! There are some great blogs out there aren't there :)

    Jabblog - It really was quite a feat, but one I am glad I participated in.

    Ann - As they say, it's the taking part that is important and to take part in something so huge has been great.

    Anne - There definitely were not enough hours in the day. I would start visiting blogs, look up and see I'd lost a couple of hours time!

    Thanks Patricia - It was a great challenge that I enjoyed very much.

    Duncan - Now actually having completed it, it has a great feeling doesn't it. Now for a more relaxed schedule :)

    K.c - I don't think many people visited all the blogs, but participating and finding fellow bloggers who were enthusiastic and had some great blogs, made the experience for me.

    Nicole - Thank you for your comment. My mum is now out of hospital and things are more "normal" now. Thank you.

    Mercy - We all did great didn't we :) I loved visiting your blog and it's now on my following list

    Laura - For me, that's what it was about in the end, just interacting with new bloggers. Expanding my blogging world and experience. See you at next years!

    Laura - I loved meeting new people!

    Paula - I've found the reflections post is a great time to catch up with more participants. The list isn't half as long!

    Baygirl - Thank you. Life's a pain sometimes ;)

    Rosalind - It really was a great chance to find and meet new blogs and bloggers wasn't it. A great challenge. I now intend to catch up with everyone now I don't have a post a day to write :)

    Michael - Thanks for stopping by. Everyone is doing ok thank you.

    Ann - I think there's a fine line to walk between finding time to blog and time to write, though the blogging is supposed to compliment the writing :)

    Sue- Thanks for stopping by. We are doing ok here. Looking forward to keeping up with your blog.

    Better - It was a huge challenge. Thank you for stopping by :)

    Hilary - in the main I really did enjoy the challenge. My family are doing ok thank you. The diagnosis is a slow process but we will get there. Thank you for stopping by.

    J.L - It was pretty time consuming wasn't it! Good luck getting back on track with your writing now. It's what I'm attempting to do.

    Talei - Thank you. I will pop over!

    San - thank you for your comment. I've also found the reflections posts are great and meeting new bloggers and new blogs has been one of the best things this month.

    Eagle - It does feel like an achievement, even with only 23 :)

    Sue - It was an interesting exercise wasn't it. One that will now help me hone and tighten my blogging.

    N4M3L3SS - Thanks for stopping by and following :)

  28. Life does have a niggling way of intruding on our plans, doesn't it. Hope your family member's and your health are better now. And I think it's wonderful that you took care of yourself by letting go of expectations.

  29. Glad you enjoyed it and, what else can you say, life happens. X,Y, and Z aren't all that big of a deal so you're still a winner. Thanks for being a part of the A to Z Challenge.

    Don't forget to pick up your Winner's Badge at my site.
    Tossing It Out

  30. Karen - There always seems to be something doesn't there? Thank you for the kind comments.

    Arlee - I will drop by and pick up the award, thank you :)

  31. Are there other similar blog challenges going on at other times? How do you get to hear about them? I guess just by going round the writer blogosphere.

    I'm very impressed you managed to keep it up to do as many as you did. Well done :)

  32. Congrats on making it so far. It has been great meeting new people through the challenge.

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  34. Oops, something wrong with the link. I've retested it and it should work now. I erased my other attempt. Nice to meet you! I too enjoyed the challenge.
    Shannon @ The Warrior Muse and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!
    Tina @ Life is Good