Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reflections on A to Z 2012

During April, I had Puppy help me navigate the alphabet, from A all the way to Z. She quickly tired of me and my camera.
But we made it through the month. And through the alphabet. This week, many of the A to Z bloggers are taking time to look back over the month and reflect on what they learned (or didn't learn), what the enjoyed (or didn't enjoy) and what it all meant to them.

1. First and foremost, I learned that scheduling blog posts is the bestest and easiest way to be an efficient blogger. In the past, I've kinda thought of it as "cheating" somehow. I felt that blogging should be an immediate, visceral thing. And it is when you are reading it. But just as magazine articles can be written way in advance of an issue going live and still hold relevance, so can a blog post. The scheduling tool is my new best friend when it comes to keeping up online.

2. Second, I guess I learned people only comment when you ask them a question. Well, maybe not only. But they feel more compelled to write something if you ask them. And I knew this before. But it hit home. An addendum to this is that people will tend to comment if you take time to visit them and leave comments. I had an awful month of busy-busy-busy, and didn't leave as many comments around the blogosphere as I wanted to - or as I did last year during the A to Z challenge. But most of the people I did visit this year came to visit me back. Unfortunately, sometimes I lurk more than I should, or get interrupted before I can finish my comment... or the blogger still has verification turned on and it takes forever and I get frustrated....

3. Third, when someone hits "Follow" and adds to your count, it's polite to go follow them back. I do try to always do this, but in reading the Reflection post of others, I guess not everyone does that. Or agrees with that philosophy? I thought part of the point of A to Z was to drive traffic and expose potential new followers to new blogs. I have made an effort to follow everyone back - if I missed you I didn't mean to! Let me know and I'll be right over to click the button on your page, too!

What did it all mean to me? I was in a blogging slump for sure going into the month, and was completely panicked about making it all the way to Z. Panic kicked into high gear when I realized I would be out of state from O through U and either needed to write those in advance or play catch-up when I returned. The challenge helped me out of the slump and over the hump of "I can't do all this..." , all this having more to do with my loaded plate of everyday life than writing simple blog posts.

We all have too much to do. (And if you don't, go volunteer for something cuz you're lazy.) Writing and blogging has taken the back burner in my world since December, and I realize it can't stay back there forever. We all need to do some things that feed our creative souls, and writing feeds mine a lot more than vacuuming does.

Will I do this again next April? I'm not sure. Maybe? Next April is so far off my radar at the moment I can't even contemplate it in any meaningful way. Besides, didn't the Mayans say the world is ending in December...?

Will Puppy let me take more pictures of her with the alphabet? Probably not. But there are other ways to work with letters, and I'm already thinking about it... so maybe Puppy and I will try again next year. Or maybe we'll have to make friends with a whole new alphabet worth of dogs. We'll have to wait and see.

What did you think of A to Z 2012? Was it what you expected? What did you learn?

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you ;-)
      And I loved all the places you found for each letter - what a great theme!

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  2. I learned that I can push myself a little more, and it made me eager to get back to the prepping of a finished MS and working on a new novel. (Even though I scheduled the posts, I still obsessed over them the night before.)

    I will do the challenge again,if I come up with a suitable theme. I'm a planner, not a pantser, so I need lots of time to think about it. Hope you'll drop by now and again over at my blog.

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    Replies
    1. I'm usually a pantser with my writing (not so much in real life) but scheduling ahead was the key to keeping my sanity last month. Think I'm going to do more of that!

      And yes, I'll definitely drop by ;-)

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  3. Everyone has different thoughts on the whole follow thing. Mine change over time. I remember when I first started blogging I would follow anyone. I'm definitely more selective now.

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    Replies
    1. I guess I agree with that - there are definitely some blogs I've visited and decided, umm, I don't belong here. Or I'm not interested in the subject matter (video games? crochet patterns? not my cuppa...)

      But other writers? Yeah, I'll almost always follow them, especially if they follow me first ;-)

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  4. Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections. Congrats on finishing! How cute that you had Pup to help you with the letters! I also commend you that you were able to do the challenge with being on vacation during a part of it! I don't necessarily follow someone back just because they follow me. I try to follow only those blogs I will read and comment on in a regular manner, but I think everyone has their own ideas of what to do about following or not :)

    good luck with your decision for next year; I'm still trying to decide about participating or not

    betty

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    Replies
    1. Participating is definitely a "challenge" in so many ways. But worth it in so many ways, too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Love the pics of your pooch with the letters. She looks about as thrilled as my kids would have been if I asked the same of them!

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  6. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. During the challenge I didn't visit as many blogs as I would like to but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with the reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

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