A REASON TO CELEBRATE reflects on the A to Z blogging challenge
APPREHENSION: Apprehension describes my initial thoughts about the challenge. I was excited about the challenge and anticipated April’s arrival, to participate in the challenge. Yet, I was apprehensive about whether or not I’d complete the full challenge.
BENEFICIAL: This blogging challenge was beneficial to me in several ways. It prompted me to write and post a blog daily. It stretched the mind, trying to fit my blog theme into the A to Z format. I discovered blogs I was unaware of. I’d certainly recommend any blogger or writer to participate in this challenge.
Cooperative: The blogging community participating in this challenge was a cooperative group, encouraging and supporting each other.
DETERMINATION: Determination; a necessary ingredient to make it through the end of the month successfully posting a blog for each of the 26 alphabet letters.
Every DAY: Well, maybe not every day, but most days. The challenge incorporated four Sundays “off”, to allow for fitting 26 letters into a 30-day month. However, since I post a daily ‘Reason to Celebrate’ on my Facebook page and was incorporating this theme to the A-Z, I continued with a blog on the four Sundays also. It didn’t incorporate a chosen letter. But I figured that since I had the Facebook post written and a photograph chosen, I’d go ahead and post the blog also, making a solid one-post-a-day month for me. (A first for me!)
FRIENDS: Friends, new friends discovered through this challenge. Even though they’re virtual friends, new friends are always welcome. A writer’s life can be much too solitary as we sit behind our computer screens, writing and surfing the internet, surrounded by stacks of research books. Establishing connections with other writers is always a benefit.
GOALS: The goal on the challenge was pre-determined and easy to follow. All we had to do was write a blog for that day’s letter. Check. Post to the A to Z site. Check. Visit a few other blogs. Check. The way these small 26 goals fit into the larger goals we have as writers; priceless.
HURRIED: Hurried describes a few of my blogs, as I was racing the clock to get my blog posted by midnight. And a few nights I made it by only a minute or two. A few of my blogs ended up posting to the next days date, because whatever computer connection was hosting my blog was obviously ahead of myTexas clock. But according to my time, I knew I had it completed before the end of the day. Barely!
IDEAS: Ideas are what you need here; lots and lots of ideas. Some of your ideas will work and some won’t. There were a few days where the idea I had to fit the letter of the day didn’t work out and I had search through other avenues to come up with another idea that would work.
JUGGLE: Juggle, what you might have to do on some days to get your blog written. Work, family needing attention, errands that won’t wait, shopping, cooking, phone calls interrupting, emails, yard work beckoning … the list goes on. Where do you find time to sit down and write? But, isn’t that something we fight with every day as writers anyway? Some days we need to look at what we are juggling and see if there’s anything that can wait, be delegated, or scratched off our “to-do” list for good. Juggling our daily life with the blog challenge takes some effort. It’s an effort that we need to make with our writing if we are going to accomplish anything productive. The novel, book, story or poem that lives in your head won’t get anywhere until we sit down with a pen or a keyboard.
KICK-IN-THE-PANTS: What this challenge was for me; a kick-in-the-pants. It was the motivation I needed to add to my blog on a more regular basis than I had been. Yet, the time frame was short enough that it was a do-able project.
LEARN: As writers, we learn. We learn from our environment, from our life, we learn from new technology (like computers and blogging) and we improve our craft. Anyone who participated in this challenge has learned something in the process.
MOTIvATED: To finish the challenge through the entire month, we needed to stay motivated. Some days it was easier than others to get a post written and published. Knowing that the next day another letter was coming our way helped keep me motivated to get that days post completed.
NO! SAY ‘NO’: Accomplishing any writing goals we have, such as this monthly challenge, may require prioritization. Some tasks and needless time-fillers may need to go. ‘Just say no’, the phrase can be applied to our adult lives also.
OvERWHELMED: Overwhelmed; what I felt like a few times during the past month.
PREPARED: A to Z had a tip about preparing for the challenge by making a list of potential blogs ahead of time. I did as they suggested and am so glad. Each day, at least I knew what my subject was and could get right to the researching and writing. It helped having a road plan for the month.
QUANDRY: I had a quandary on a few posts; most specifically the Q, X, Y and Z days. It required a bit of creative maneuvering coming up with a title matching the letter that also matched a holiday for that day.
REGRETS: I have two regrets. First, although I had my holidays pre-picked to match the letter of the day (see Prepared above), I wish I would have done more preliminary research and maybe written a few drafts ahead of time. It would have saved time during the April crunch, especially on Mondays, which are my longest work day. My second regret is that I did not visit as many fellow bloggers as I would have liked to. I’m glad the linky list is still up and over the next week I can do a little catch up and go ‘visiting’.
SATISFYING: the feeling of satisfaction at the end of the challenge was worth the time spent writing, posting and commenting during the month.
THANKFUL: I am thankful to the hosts of the A to Z blogging challenge. I think I was busy trying to do one little, itty-bitty blog. I know it was nothing compared to the work the hosts encountered as they maintained and monitored the site, visited blogs, commented, and kept up with their own blogs and work. Thank you all!
UNIQUE: The whole A to Z format was unique and fun. It’s added a dimension to my thought process and I’m incorporating this in other aspects of my life and writing.
vALUABLE: The entire process of completing this challenge was valuable; to my writing and to my personal growth.
WEARY: Weary; what it felt like towards the end of the month!
XPERIENCE: A worthwhile experience; all twenty six days. And yes, for a few of the difficult letters, I had to get a little creative, like the day for ‘X’.
YAWN: Yawn, or more correctly, yawns; what I experienced many of during this challenge. (Especially on those few nights where I was publishing the post in those last few minutes of the technical ‘day’.)
ZIKES! WE’RE DONE!: Another use of ‘creative license’ for ‘Z’. But yes, we’re done and heaving a sigh of relief. We finished the challenge and can pat ourselves on the back. We now return you to your ‘regular’ life, a life richer and with more growth than it had a month ago.