MAY I tell you something about The A-Z Challenge?

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!

Tell me: Did you participate in the A-Z Challenge? Will you next year? 
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26 responses to “MAY I tell you something about The A-Z Challenge?

  1. I am really impressed by all of you who did the A to Z challenge and you had a lot on your plate too during that month! 😀 While I didn´t participate this year, maybe I´ll do it next year 😀

  2. Kudos to you for completing the challenge! It was fun to read all of your posts.
    And I hate captcha, too–because it’s time-consuming, but also because sometimes I honestly can’t read the words!

    • I often can’t read the words either, Rebecca! That’s partly why it takes me so long — I spend forever squinting at my computer screen trying to decipher the letters!

  3. I don’t know how you were able to blog every single day, especially with everything else you had going on. It was fun to read all the posts, though!

  4. elschneider

    I’m in complete agreement with your above, Katy! While the A to Z challenge was fun – and I’m so glad I not only did it this year, but I successfully managed to post everyday – I’m not sure how I feel about doing it again next year! Maybe I’ll see where the year takes me and go from there? 🙂
    I would say that commenting on other blogs, responding to those who commented on mine, and keeping up with blogs I follow regularly, was the most difficult challenge over the month – but it was so great to meet all the new bloggers and see how everyone tackled blogging every day.
    Thanks so much for suggesting this challenge, to begin with!

    • Yep, the commenting was most definitely what sucked the life out of me, so to speak. The drafting and posting was lots of fun though!

  5. I participated! *waves in your direction* and this is how I got to follow/get to know YOU 😀

    I agree though that it was very time consuming and to be honest there were days that I didn’t want to do it, but forced myself to. As a busy college student it was insane. lol. I’m not sure that I would do it again either, but we’ll see where next year takes us… (I also agree with the word verfication…ugh.)

  6. I agree that keeping up with the reading was the hardest part of the challenge. I stayed up late many nights–and I’m still recovering!

    • Yeah… All that commenting was STRESSFUL! I’m kind of loving that Blog Me MAYbe is so low pressure. It’s a nice little break, but I’m still meeting new bloggers and learning lots!

  7. That’s the reason I couldn’t do the A-Z blogfest. The commenting sounds SO time consuming! (Well, also I didn’t really think about doing it until it was too late anyway.)

    But I loved reading your posts from it!

    • Yeah… The commenting is why I probably won’t do it again. It’s just too much of a time-suck. I loved reading all of the posts, though!

  8. I’m the same with the time commitment for commenting. It’s not that you don’t want to, but with so many blogs, you could spend hours reading and commenting. I think it’s pretty cool you finished the challenge though.

    • Thanks, Carol. I’m pretty proud to have finished, but yeah… I agree with you about the commenting situation. It’s fun and I love making connections, but it definitely takes A LOT of time!

  9. YAY! Finishing the challenge IS a huge feat! Especially with your revisions and moves and…how did you do all that again?! 😉

    I will probably participate again next year. I never have a theme and I was very inspired by some of the themes this year to do a theme A-Z next year. I’m excited!

    • I loved reading your posts, Alison, and now I’m looking forward to see how you outdo yourself next year… Theme, huh? I bet you’ll rock it!

  10. Congrats on completing the challenge Katy, especially with everything else you had going on! It does take a lot of time not only to write the articles, but to visit others, comment, respond to comments, etc. But I thought it a worthwhile experience. Again next year? I’m with Erin–let’s see what the year brings… 🙂

    • Definitely a worthwhile experience, but yeah… Probably one I’ll chock up as a ONE time experience. I really enjoyed your posts throughout the month, Colin!

  11. Feels good that we made it through to the end, doesn’t it? I wrote many of my posts ahead of time, otherwise I never would have survived.

  12. I’m sure I’ll participate next year. A to Z turned me into an almost daily blogger, and my blog has benefited greatly because of it! Congrats on completing A to Z!

    Jolie du Pre
    Precious Monsters

    • A-Z turned me into an almost daily blogger too! Now I feel sort of guilty if I miss a daily post… And I thought I’d want to take a super long break from blogging after April! 🙂

  13. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. During the challenge I didn’t visit as many blogs as I would like to but, cross my heart, I’m visiting every single one with the reflection post (and I’m almost done)! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that…

    • I admire your resolve! The visiting of other blogs was definitely the biggest time commitment for me. It was fun meeting so many new bloggers through the challenge, though. And thanks for stopping by. 🙂