Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z Reflections

A-Z Challenge - Reflections


Initially, when I heard about the A-Z Challenge, I thought "No way, that sounds like so much hard work". I really should have left it at that. But no, not me. I kept seeing the badge everywhere and after a while it felt like I was the only one not invited to the party. Also, my new job was going through a very quiet period and I was able to spend all day blogging, so I thought: "Why not? How hard can it be?" Ha! Famous last bloody words!

Because I literally only signed up less than week before the start, I only had time to write about 5 posts ahead of time, but I was thrilled. FIVE posts ahead of time. How cool and organised is that? Little did I know how completely inept and unprepared I was for the challenge. I soon learnt the error of my ways. The whole point of the A-Z is to meet other bloggers and build your platform.

So, the goal: short, easy to read posts, pre-scheduled, and then off to visit as many other blogs as possible each day.

What actually happened: long, convoluted and VERBOSE posts, written the day (or night) before, whilst desperately trying to read as many blogs as I could fit in around that. Most nights, instead of rampant sex, I would be panicking and saying to the Bug: "Quick, what words begin with --?" and then somehow come up with a post for the next day when something he said sparked an idea. Most of it was utter nonsense.

Before the A-Z, I only blogged sporadically. Sometimes once a week, sometimes twice. But blogging every day meant I got to really make friends with other bloggers. The same people would stop by nearly every day and it was great returning the favour. I would look forward to reading their posts every day. Somehow that didn't happen when I only blogged when I felt like it, so I can really see the benefit of having a regular schedule of blogging (as I was told by the very astute Laura B Writer a while ago when she critiqued my blog), if not every day. I increased my followers by about 35 or 36 so that was really great too.

However, the best, best, best thing about the A-Z was all the wonderful, fabby new blogs and bloggers I got to meet. I would never have found half of them without that excellent linky list (what a great invention). I thought I would list the stand-outs for me:

Fart-makingly funny:
Lily from The Incoherent Ramblings of a Moose! Questions and Rabbits
The whole A-Z Challenge would have been worthwhile just to find Lily's blog. She is utterly hilarious. Her posts have me literally laughing uncontrollably. The conversations she has with her son are just too funny, in a warped way. If you don't follow Lily yet, you really ought to - you're missing a gem.



Chiz Chat - P is for Professor
He had so many excellent and hilarious posts, including kidnapping himself, his alter ego holding himself for ransom, freeing himself and continuing with challenge. So clever, original and yet so funny. This particular post is his critique of a Shakespeare sonnet.


Interesting:
Miranda Hardy
Miranda did her entire A-Z Challenge on dreams. Interpretations on dreaming about a subject with a different letter of the alphabet every day. A was for Alligator. It was so interesting, especially the Naked one.






Clever:
Sue had an amazing idea for the A-Z. She wrote a single story, Approaching Zero, in 26 parts, each 100 words long, and each day starting with that day's letter and ending with the next day's letter. Very imaginative and clever, and obviously she was also one of the organised ones that had hers written and scheduled before it even started.


Poetry:

Sally's Scribbles
Sally from
I am not really one for poetry (unless it's silly and funny and a bit Monty Python'ish) but I was hooked by Sally's lovely poems every day. I may even be a poetry convert now. They were so easy to read, even when she tackled some really difficult subjects. I'm amazed she doesn't have more followers. Go give her some support please.

Ok - so that is my summary of the A-Z Challenge. In the end, I really enjoyed it and learnt tons. I will definitely do it again next year, but this time I shall be better prepared. And not quite so random. And maybe not post such utter nonsense. What do you think? Did you enjoy reading mine and others?What was your favourite post/blog?

48 comments:

  1. I love the fact you preferred A-Z to Sex :-) you made me smile. I'm just sorry that I did have time to read all your posting.

    Good Luck with the rest of your writing

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    1. Hmmm not sure I said "prefer"! What do you mean? "Sorry you DID have time...?" ha ha

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  2. Being consistent makes a big difference. Mind you, discipline can be exhausting.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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    1. Yeah, um, consistency is not my forte. Thanks for commenting :)

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  3. HA HA! Love it! You were definitely more organized than me. I decided to join the challenge ON the very day it started!!

    The highlights? Most definitely coming across new blogs and meeting new people, the interaction has been wonderful. Some have felt like old friends who have been around from the beginning and that is especially true of you Claire.

    I absolutely enjoyed every one of your posts, especially the one about teens. They never seemed floundering or random. But never again will you hear me say the words, "how hard can that be?"

    And thank you so much for the mention, you are a true diamond. :)

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    1. You are most welcome, Lily. I am so thrilled to have 'met' you - wouldn't it great to meet up next time I'm in the UK? Bet we have such a laugh :)

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  4. Bah nonsense is fun, as it is done all the time under my rhyming sun..haha..was a fun time though with the a to z show

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    1. I know, thank God for you Pat, makes me feel I am not alone in my madness. In fact, you normally make me feel quite sane :)

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  5. Hahaha, my experience with the challenge was very similar to yours. I would ask my girlfriend at the last minute to spout out words that began with such and such a letter. She actually came up with really good words oddly enough.

    Anyway, I'm glad that I happened upon your blog as your posts were all awesome and hilarious. Thanks for the the shout out, and I look forward to reading your blog from here on out.

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    1. Yeah, the Bug was really good at that too. Thanks and I am still reeling from the fact you called my blog "Epic"!

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  6. It really was harder than expected, wasn't it? I got so burned out by blogging that I neither wrote nor read a blog for a week after it finished. I didn't have any posts written in advance, but yeah...that WOULD be a good strategy, wouldn't it? Ha! Thanks for the "instead of sex" line...made me literally laugh out loud.

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    1. Ha ha glad I made you laugh. I felt like no blogging too, but ended up joining another challenge immediately. Duh. You'd think I'd learn.

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  7. I enjoyed your nonsense :)

    I really like the idea behind the challenge but I just don't have that kind of time. Sadly, I think the challenge has gotten too big. Kudos for finishing. Glad you had fun.

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    1. Thanks Raeyln and I enjoy your blog. I felt very proud of myself that I finished. Yay!

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  8. I'm sure some people in your family are glad it's over. I checked Lily's site sometime last week and laughed through several posts, most especially The Talk. I'll have to checkout some others as well.

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    1. The Bug heaved a big sigh of relief ... until I immediately signed up for the Meditation challenge LOL

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  9. Thanks for choosing my blog to feature in your 'Reflections' post! :-) (squeeeee!)

    Last year I flew by the seat of my pants - blogging about a mixed bag of things.

    This year, I had to be more organised - after all, imagine getting half-way through the story and running out of steam!

    Glad you liked it enough to come back time and again to keep up with the story!

    You, my lady, are going on my blog-roll when I get back toy lap-top! (just posting here via phone)

    So, are you lpoking forward to next year's A-Z?
    ;-p

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    1. Thanks Sue, I'm honoured :) God, not even thinking about next year yet, but did enjoy this year's. Will HAVE to be more organised though.

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  10. Great posting. I enjoyed reading your daily postings. I agree. I found so many great bloggers on the linky list. :)

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  11. Thanks Claire for mentioning my blog, I really appreciate it. The challenge was such a great thing to do and there are so many clever, creative and artistic people all hiding somewhere out there.....

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  12. I'd say A to Z is kind of like the blogging equivalent of going to the gym to workout. I'll take A to Z thank you. So many great blogs to discover and never enough time. I highly recommend blogging on a schedule. Two or three days per week is good.


    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Yes I think that is good advice. Will try and implement that very soon. Thanks.

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  13. Claire, I loved your posts and you are absolutely delightful and hilarious! And now I have more blogs to visit. Thanks for the tips:)

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  14. I totally agree. Meeting new bloggee pals is THE BEST! I'm so happy that we met and I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lily!!! She's just so awesomely wonderful and really has made so many of my days brighter just by reading her posts.. Great choice in featuring her. :)

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    1. Yeah she is hilarious. I loved meeting you as well :)

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  15. Like you, I signed up at the end and had only one post ready before April 1. It was a crazy month. I spend some quality time with my dictionary for Q, X and Z. I found some really unique blogs I might never have found, including yours.

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    1. Crazy is definitely one word for it! Glad I wasn't the only one.

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  16. Yeah, I learned my lesson last year to not fly by the seat of my pants. I posted all of mine ahead of time, so I could just click around and visit.
    I enjoyed your blog posts. You work well doing writing at the last minute :-)

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    1. I am one of those people who always leave things til the last moment anyway, but it was a bit scary at times! Well done you for being organised.

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  17. Yeah, I suppose my sex life suffered some during the month of April too! I will agree with you there. But what a month it was! I will certainly do it again next year, even if I end up a washed out wreck once again!

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    1. Ha ha ... yeah more punishment please :)

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  18. Oh my word. It's having to do without the rampant sex that made me decide to forego the A-Z Challenge. What can I say? I'm lusty. Priorities.

    Also, ridiculous amounts of work! They need to break it up somehow, like maybe you only read 5 different blogs every day or something. But honestly, I post like twice every three months, so...who am I kidding. I'll just have rampant sex.

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    1. I think they only say read 5-10 blogs daily and not the full 1700 LOL But it is nice to be doing something other than talk about the alphabet while in bed now!

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  19. I can reason being excited over having five posts done ahead of time. Many bloggers I know have never been that front-loaded.

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    1. For some reason this seems like a double entrendre ... or is my mind still on rampant sex??

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  20. I read hundreds upon hundreds of blogs, new and old, so it would difficult to remember any one let alone pick my favorites. I did enjoy meeting new people. I only wish there was some organization to that list. If there is next year, I'll definitely do it again.

    (I see you live in Novato. I'm a Bay Area transplant living in Seattle right now, but I so want to get back to San Francisco!)

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    1. I agree, categorizing would help. I love this area and can see why you would want to rush back.

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  21. Hello, Claire. I wasn't as organized as you -- but I did find inspiration for digging deeper into the research behind by current book by consulting the index for Robert Hughes THE FATAL SHORE, a most worthy read. Yes, the month was overwhelming a bit, but fun all the way, partly because of your humor and consistency. Thank YOU for making writing online fun again!

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    1. Ah thanks Beth, what a lovely comment. Glad you found some benefits from the A-Z as well.

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  22. I scheduled most of my posts in March, but I was still caught out by the number of blogs to visit and comments to make! Next year... at least I know what I'm letting myself in for :-)

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    1. Yes a lot to do, even if all the posts are scheduled! But fun :)

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  23. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

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    1. Thanks for all your comments, Evalina :)

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  24. So glad that you did this challenge as well! I totally enjoyed your posts :)

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    1. Thanks Jax, I've enjoyed your comments :)

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