Friday, May 3, 2013

A to Z Challenge is...OVER!!!

For all of April, I was participating in the A to Z Challenge, which involves posting every day of the month (except Sundays) with a letter of the alphabet as the theme for each day. (May 1=A, May 2=B, May 3=C, …) That was a total of 26 posts for the month.

Here is a link to every post. Click the letter to get the post for that day.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

I have been a part of month-long daily writing challenges before, but this one was more difficult to finish. The addition of a theme added to the challenge. The morning I woke up and realized it was May 1 and I would not have to be posting for the challenge again was a very happy day. I was so happy to have this behind me. I am done with the A to Z Challenge. It was a good feeling.

I rushed right over to the site to get my well deserved badge of honor to display on my page.

Isn't it beautiful?

Just when you thought
he was dead.
Upon grabbing my award to proudly display on my site to show what a writing stud I am, I noticed that the minions at A to Z want a little bit more. Just when I thought I had this behind me, now they want a reflection post. I may never get away.

I enjoyed the challenge. It was challenging.  There were many days that I did not feel like writing. Luckily, I already had the topics planned out and a few of them written before the challenge started. In the midst of the challenge, I changed jobs (including a week when I was working at both of them). One of my graduate courses wrapped up last week, so there was all the final papers and testing to finish. It was a busy month even without the challenge.

Despite the hectic schedule, I will definitely be participating again next year. I picked up a little over 50 new followers and discovers a few dozens new blogs that I will be following now. Of the close to 2,000 participants, I personally visited the blogs of over 700 and left comments. This was the most difficult part of the challenge.

All my personal craziness started halfway through the month. At that point my visiting of other blogs came to a screeching halt. Trying to read other bloggers became too much. I even got over a week behind on replying to the comments being left on my blog. I do not blame the challenge for this. My life just got really busy. I should be able to do better next year.

Tips for future A to Z participants:
  • Pre-write as many posts as you can. Since one of the big perks to the challenge is exposure, you want to have the time to visit as many other blogs as possible.
  • Visit as many other blogs as possible (see above point) and always leave a meaningful comment. By 'meaningful comment', I mean a comment that shows you actually read the content and did not just jump down to leave a link to your blog. Be sure to include a link back to your blog in the comment. I received several comments from people that I had a difficult time tracking down. Especially if they have several blogs.
  • Be sure to visit the blogs of everyone who left a comment on your blog. Do this in addition to making your way down the huge list yourself.
  • Have fun.

28 comments:

  1. Congrats on making it to the bitter end. Now WHAT are we going to do with all this free time?

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    1. i will enjoy a week or two without worrying about it.

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  2. Those are good tips. I will try to follow them next year!

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  3. I agree with your tips, especially posting in advance.

    Meaningful comments are certainly better than just, "Dropping in from A to Z" or something, but honestly, there were several blogs I went to that posted about something I have absolutely NO interest in, so how could I comment meaningfully when I didn't even understand the topic? Sometimes I just read and left, rather than leave a comment that said, "I don't get it..." or something of that nature. :)

    I felt good that I made it to the end and acquired new followers and blogs to read. It was a crazy month for me, too, and I felt like I should have read more. Making up for it a bit now by going through the reflections list! :)
    tm

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    1. After two weeks my reading just stopped. I hope to improve that next year.

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  4. You really have a hand on this challenge. Good luck next year.

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  5. Yep! I had a good time, and will see you next year!!

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  6. I was glad I pre-scheduled all my posts but it was still hard to get around to as many people as I wanted to.

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    1. I started out visiting over 50 a day. That didn't last long.

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  7. All good tips - esp. re prescheduled posts.

    Cheers from an AtoZ cohort ~

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  8. Next April, I will be walled up within the confines of a nunnery, so that I am not tempted to do the challenge again.

    You display your badge proudly Brett, you deserve to. :)

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  9. Next year, I think I will put much more thought into the challenge before hand. For most of my posts, I had no idea what I was going to write about until I was ready to sit down and start writing. When I was vising my boyfriend, the time change messed me up so much that he usually had to wake me up and hand me his laptop so that I could complete the challenge. I will not be underestimating it again, nor will I overestimate myself.

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    Replies
    1. Picking my topics ahead of time made a lot of difference.

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  10. I think I'll do it again next year, too. I really enjoyed writing my posts for this one, much more so than NaBloPoMo, I think because of having a theme, even though the theme got a little old as time went on. I will definitely write most or hopefully all of my posts ahead of time, though, and only tweak them just before posting. I felt so overwhelmed with all the reading and commenting, and that would have gone much better if I was not also writing my posts.

    Good job making through when you had all that craziness going on!

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    1. Thank you. I will try to keep my life in check next year.

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  11. With us getting ready to film a movie, we just didn't have the time to take part in this. We've barely been able to keep up with posting twice a week and blog reading as it is. Congrats to those who took part in this, yourself included. I don't even know if we could do this if we HAD the time.

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    1. Due to the challenge, I got behind on my readings. A MOVIE???

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  12. When they say Challenge, they really mean challenge!! What an exhausting month. It really was a great experience tho!!

    Congrats on finishing!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  13. Finally made it to my computer to comment (i've been reading on my phone and for some reason I can't comment on blogspot blogs!).
    I've really enjoyed every single one of your A-Z posts. Especially the one about your community of family friends while in college. Great writing!

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    1. Thank you. That was a wonderful time.

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  14. I'm stopping by for the Post A-Z Challenge Road Trip. Pre-writing posts is a great idea,and I tried to do that, but I failed to do as many ahead of time as I intended to. Still, in the end I made it through!

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    1. This one got by me. Thank you for stopping in after the challenge. I loved it.

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