Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Reflections on A to Z 2012
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?