Friday, May 6, 2016

A-Z Challenge: Reflection Post

The 2016 A-Z Blogging challenge ended nearly a week ago, and we have had time to relax, regroup, and now reflect on a month of blogging.

This was my first such challenge, but it will definitely not be my last. In fact, I may challenge myself to do a similar blogging spurt during the holidays (we shall see...)

What did I love about this challenge? Let me count the ways:

1.  I LOVE the A-Z format. It gives structure to writing while at the same time forcing creativity. Some letters spawned several different choices, while others barely sparked one. But necessity is the mother of invention and thinking outside the box gets the job done. (for example: houseboats became Y for Yacht).

2.  I participated in my first Twitter chat and thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship! It took awhile to learn Tweetdeck, and I would often forget the hashtag #azchat, but the moderators were patient and welcoming. I looked forward to our Thursday night get-togethers and that is probably the one thing I will miss most.

3.  I met some new online friends, either from the chat sessions or from blog visits, whom I hope to remain in contact in the months to come. People such as:

  • Sarah who is a fellow writer and shared great writing tips
  • Sarah (from Italy) who is incredibly knowledgeable about the Jazz era and taught me something new each time I visited her site
  • Ellen who wrote her own Nancy Drew mystery (my favorite childhood series) while teaching me about boating terms
  • Clao who lives in Germany but took me on a voyage around the world. I added several bucket list places by reading his blog
4.  Having said that, I would say the one regret I have is the lack of time to visit other participating blogs during the challenge month. At the beginning of the month, there were nearly 2,000 blogs registered, with over 1,300 blogs finishing the challenge. That is a LOT of great content that I wanted to read but simply ran out of time. I hope to use the summer months to make the rounds and perhaps make a few more online friends.

5.  I think the greatest benefit of completing this challenge, however, is ... I felt like a serious writer for the first time in my life. Perhaps it was the focused writing every day - or the online accountability (if I missed a day, others would know) - or the fact I was working on blog posts in advance rather than waiting until the last minute - or maybe it was delving into a topic and viewing it from several different perspectives - or how I persevered and refused to give up on the tough letters. I'm not sure the reason(s), but I want to continue to write and be serious about it. 

All in all... this was a fantastic experience and I can hardly wait for the A-Z Blogging Challenge in April, 2017.


  1. About halfway thru the month I decided that trying to keep up with the blogs I follow all the time and trying to visit new ones wasn't going to work. I will work on visiting everyone on the list in the coming months. I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge!

  2. Aww...thanks so much for the mention!

    One of the downsides for me was not being able to visit more blogs. I can't believe how many people participated and I only got to sample a fraction of them

    Cheers - Ellen

  3. WOW! You've already written the Reflection post! I'm still behind... but I will soon.

    I have to agree with you that the chats were such good events. Thsi was my second challenge, but last time I didn't partecipate in the chats. In fact, whit challenge was a lot more social for me.

    Well, on my part, I intend to keep following you! ;-)

  4. This sounds like a very interesting challenge - and fun, too. From this blogpost I'm not quite sure how it worked, but to write about something along the letters of the alphabet seems to be a tempting idea.

  5. Glad you enjoyed your first challenge (and thanks for the shout out)! I always find one of my biggest regrets is not visiting as many blogs as I'd like. There are just so many of them and never enough time!

  6. #1 - following the alphabets for topic was kind of good and bad, like you say, some letters you are bound to not think of anything but still, it was a little easier than having no rules.

    #4 - there were just too many blogs but I did found a few that I added to my reading list.

    have a lovely day.

  7. Congrats on finishing the challenge. I've seen a lot of blogs since April 1, but I remembered yours immediately because I love the template :)

  8. You make some interesting observations about your first experience with the AtoZChallenge, Molly. I like your comment: delving into a topic and viewing it from several different perspectives. Some of my topic choices have given me ideas for more in depth research that I can use for future blog posts. Congratulations on completing the Challenge. As your figures illustrate, about 700 bloggers chose not to cross the finish line for various reasons. Everyone is a winner, though.

  9. Agreed, so many sites... so little time and some stuck in the middle. We made it...Hope you had a great time, thank you for your Reflection!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]


    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  10. Great post. I am going to check out your blog and the ones you listed and enjoy now. Thank you.

    @liannekruger from Computare Citus

  11. Yay glad you had such a fab first time, excellent! I know the others do an offical Road Trip for the rest of the year that you can sign up to where you work your way around the list for the rest of the year with fellow bloggers. I've never participated but it sounds like that might be right up your street.

    Congratulations on completing your first challenge!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  12. Congratulations on completing your first challenge :) I couldn't make any of the chats (I work Thursday nights) and I was upset about that as I really wanted to take part in them. Other than that, this year was brilliant!


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