Sunday, 6 May 2012

Blogging from A to Z challenge reflections

Phew, the challenge is over!
I'd been considering writing a final follow-up post and then discovered that the A to Z reflections postings will begin on Monday May 7th. You can add yourself to the linky list here. I think it'll be interesting to learn how other people found the challenge.

I think the biggest thing I learned is that, despite being a bit of a procrastinator, I managed to keep to the schedule of when posts were meant to be published. I've been working on changing and improving my habits, and consistently and successfully keeping to a deadline is something I used to struggle with, so it's been a great experience from that point of view.

I wrote many of my posts in advance and scheduled them in Blogger, which I've only recently found out about. Overall, it was harder than I expected, but I've never been the most prolific blogger and I adjusted the content if I was struggling with the letter, or couldn't think of anything interesting to write. It helped me realise that my posts don't need to be either particularly long or on a complex subject to be of interest. In the past, I've probably passed over many ideas as I didn't deem them worthy enough, which seems silly now.

One big change for me is that I realised I enjoy writing. In the past, I've gone through stages of finding blogging a chore or being unsure of my reasons for doing so. Before the challenge, I don't think I was quite convinced of my writing ability and posting more regularly has helped increase my confidence. As a result, I contacted Steve at Philofaxy and I'm delighted to announce that I will be a contributing author to the site! I doubt that I would have done this without the A-Z challenge, so a big thanks to Denise at Cupcakes and Cadenzas for introducing me to it :)

To be honest, it's a bit strange now that it's over and I'll be thinking about what subjects I'd like to cover here and how often I'd like to post. Thank you to those of you that visited for the challenge, and for your kind comments. Now that I have more time, I'll be going back through the sign up list to go and say 'hello' to more people. 

All my A-Z posts can be found here.

27 comments:

  1. You've hit upon the key factors of what one can achieve by doing the A to Z Challenge. I'm glad to hear that it was a positive experience for you and helped you in the ways that it did.
    Great post that serves as a good endorsement for the Challenge. Thank you for that.
    I've added myself as a follower to your blog.


    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thank you, Lee.
      I originally signed up just as a bit of fun, but it's been much more than that :)

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  2. We love that you liked the challenge and mean to do it again next year. If you'd prefer, you could help us make the next challenge better by raising awareness on ideas like pre-scheduling posts -- by guest blogging on www.a-to-zchallenge.com.

    Damyanti
    #atozchallenge co-host 2012

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment & I would love to guest blog!

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  3. Sounds like you had a great time, and it's really good it's lead to other things!

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  4. Writing for this challenge really is fun and eye opening experience wasn't it? I was a first timer and shared many of the same experiences and challenges as you did. Happy blogging Anita.

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  5. Great experience here.
    I too joined but alas
    half way dropped due
    to an unexpected tour
    to my native land.
    God's own country
    :-)
    Phil

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  6. Hi Anita! I agree, little things that help make the whole experience easier like scheduling are a boon. Sadly I know many people on Blogger for whom the scheduling did not work - their posts did not go up. I tried it on Wordpress and it only worked once. Wish I knew why that was!

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    Replies
    1. There was an issue with Blogger and schedule posts that took Google over 3 weeks to correct... it just happened to be right in the middle of your A-Z challenge unfortunately.

      It does now work, likewise on Wordpress it works too. Over at Philofaxy we use it all the time... normally have a week or so's worth of posts scheduled in advance.

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  7. i think working out a schedule right for you, and then using a bit of discipline to stick with it, is all part of the fun of blogging.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino

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  8. I think planning ahead is beneficial as it gives you more time to comment on others.
    I had mine done since end of Dec, last year.
    I am pleased you enjoyed the experience,this was my third and I hope there will be one next year.

    Yvonne.

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  9. So glad you enjoyed the challenge. This was my second year - it's always fun and like you said, a helpful experience when we are trying to change habits such as procrastination. Wish I would have found you during the challenge but following now :)

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  10. Anita - I'm so glad you have new outlets for your writing, a happy by-product of the challenge!

    Well done - and keep going! ;-)


    SueH I refuse to go quietly!
    Twitter - @Librarymaid

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  11. I didn't make it to all the blogs on the list, so I'm sad to say I'm just now finding yours. I'm going to go back through and read your posts. Just wanted to say Hi and I'm glad that you found a great positive from the challenge. See you soon :)

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  12. I don't think I visited you during the challenge, but I like meeting different people, so howdy. The challenge has also made me think about changing the direction of my blog, but we'll see.

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  13. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and sharing your reflections. I'm following you now and hopefully, next year, we will do it again!

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  14. Hey there -- it's so cool the challenge inspired you to become a contributing writer for Philofaxy! Very cool. Glad you found the challenge so rewarding.

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  15. I agree - it was great for me to have a discipline to blog every day (although don't think I will do that now!) and I learnt that I say waaaay too much! Nice to meet you on this challenge and congrats on your news.

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  16. If there is any activity that can help you get over procrastinating quickly, it is the A to Z Challenge. Blogging everyday in April is one of very few activities that actually get me motivated to meet deadlines and meet them well.

    Blogger's scheduling feature is a great tool to have.

    Congrats on finishing the challenge with not only a new outlook on writing but also a nice new gig to jump start... or maybe extend, your prolificness :)

    Cheers!

    ~Nicole
    My 2012 A to Z Reflections at The Madlab Post
    Also socializing @MadlabPost on Twitter

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  17. Reflection is a good thing, You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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  18. I'm so glad that the challenge was good for you and produced contacts that were helpful. that's what it's all about - stretching ourselves, and networking. thanks for taking the time to reflect. Hope we see you next year!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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  19. Congrats on completing the challenge!

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  20. it was a great challenge, congrats on finishing

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  21. I'm so glad it was a positive experience for you...the more we write, the more we enjoy it! Have a wonderful summer...
    http://4ambassadorsofchrist.blogspot.com

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  22. Happy that this worked out for you!

    If you'd like to guest post for us over at www.a-to-zchallenge.com to talk about your interests, or blogging in general, let AZ co-host Tina know at 2012AZinfo at gmail dot com.

    Damyanti
    #atozchallenge co-host 2012

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  23. Glad you are enjoying writing now and finding more places where you can write regularly!

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  24. Dear all,
    Thanks for visiting & for your kind comments! It really was a great experience & I'll definitely be joining next time. I must get round to visiting the blogs to catch up :)

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