Some how, some way, I survived 2012′s April A-Z Challenge. Even in the middle of a rewrite of my contemporary YA manuscript and a family upheaval (also known as an out-of-state move) and all kinds of other craziness, I blogged every day last month. Honestly, typing that now kind of boggles my mind.
So, today I’d love to share a bit about my A-Z Challenge experience using the reflection question so thoughtfully supplied by the A-Z C-hosts and organizers (who rock, by the way… I cannot even fathom the time and energy and effort they dedicated to putting together the blogfest!):
How did your journey through the alphabet go? Did you meet new bloggers with similar interests? I did meet some awesome new bloggers, and I learned tons about bloggers (who participated in A-Z) that I’ve been following for months. I loved getting comments from new readers, and I loved discovering blogs that I probably wouldn’t have happened across without the challenge.
What were the highlights for you? I had a lot of fun planning and writing my posts, then seeing how readers reacted to them. I also enjoyed meeting new bloggers. There are so many smart and creative people out there!
Did you enjoy posting daily? What was your biggest hurdle? What was your easiest task? I did enjoy posting daily, but I’m not gonna lie: It was time-consuming and, at times, a little stressful. I did NOT want to fail the challenge, and getting my posts written (well) and up on on-time made me anxious some days.
Was time management an issue? Surprisingly, the commenting is what gave me the most time-management issues. When I signed up, commenting on five new blogs daily didn’t seem all that daunting. But I didn’t really consider the regular blogs I comment on daily, as well as the new bloggers who visited my blog. I wanted to return the commenting love to everyone, and sometimes that took far longer than I’d anticipated.
And what about your content – did you have a theme or did you wing it? Was it easy to come up with ideas for each letter, or were some harder? No theme. I tried to mix my posts up and give them lots of variety. Sometimes they related to writing craft or reading YA, sometimes to my family, sometimes to current events within the YA community. Sometimes they were completely random, which is always fun.
How about commenting – did you stumble upon lots of sites still using word verification? Did this prevent you from leaving a comment? Yes, I did stumble on a lot of blogs with word verification, and I found it quite annoying, honestly. I still commented, but I rarely revisited those blogs. I just didn’t have enough time to devote to Captcha.
What will you do different next year? Hmm… Not 100% sure I’ll participate again next year. While I loved the challenge and had a blast creating my posts and meeting new bloggers, the time commitment was a bit much. Depending on what’s going on in my life next April, the A-Z Challenge might be one of those “Bucket List” things that I’ll check off now and reminisce about later.
What pearls of wisdom do you want to share with the Co-Hosts of this event? From my perspective, A-Z ran smoothly. I thought the Co-Hosts did fabulously, and again, I’m so grateful to them for all their hard work!