Monday, May 2, 2011

Reflections on A to Z and Spring Carnival!

Would you believe I almost titled this R is for Reflections??? lol I'm probably speaking in alphabet in my sleep. This post is a brief reflection on how I did the A to Z Challenge. There's a list of other bloggers who are participating in the A to Z Reflections, you can find on Arlee Bird's blog here.

If you're looking for my SPRING CARNIVAL giveaway, it's the post below this one, or simply click here.

First of all, I found it really enjoyable. There was never a day where the obligation felt tiresome or boring. It was much easier than I thought it would be. Plus, seeing other bloggers out there on the same letter was just a lot of fun. The navigation buttons were awesome and I kept mine for just random blog hopping. I didn't get to nearly as many blogs as I wanted, but with well over 1200 blogs, I don't think anyone did.

I loved how Alex J. Cavanaugh picked actual bloggers from A to Z and each day mentioned a blogger and linked to their site. I also loved Nicole Ducleroir's and Jessica Bell's idea of writing an emotion for each letter and having the readers guess by their writing skills. I came across another blogger who did films A to Z and thought that was pretty cool.

Mine were pretty random, but I tried to stay in the realm of blogging and/or writing. Here's what I did: Right before the month started, I made a list A through Z and jotted down some words for each. When that day came, I chose the word and just wrote. Sometimes I'd schedule the post from the night before, but mostly I wrote them bright and early. I focused on keeping them short, because with all those blogs to read, nobody had time for long ones. Sometimes words would change or I'd get a better idea for a future letter.

Almost every day, a new blogger popped by to say hello or start following, and I found some  started following without commenting. Both are cool for me, but I've found it makes it much easier for me to find and follow back when they left an actual comment. I don't always have time to go through Google Reader, so I usually scroll through my comments section to visit blogs. Anyone else do this? I find it the easiest way, and of course I want to return visits to my top commenters before anyone else.

I basically treated the A to Z thing like a job, just added it to my daily duties to make sure it got done. But it was a job I loved doing. It got my creative juices flowing and was just a ton of fun.

I really and truly thank each and everyone of you who stopped by and left comments and supported my endeavor. It made all the difference in the world! I read and savor each and every comment, so thank you so so much!

Now, I'm taking a few blogger days off to refuel and revise some stories. But I'll be making rounds visiting your blogs and catching up with those I've missed. The Spring Carnival giveaway lasts til May 8 so be sure to leave a comment on that post to be entered.

Do you have any comments regarding the challenge and how it worked for you? Even if you didn't participate, what did you think of the whole thing? I'd love to hear them....

75 comments:

AllMyPosts said...

Well, The contest was awesome.

Though I missed posting for few days!! I somehow loved posting about various books I read!!

with warm regards
CatchyTips for Writers

sue said...

I'm just trying to go through the latest linky list and visit people who have posted reflections. I'm interested in your blue balloon re stop bullying. I spent the month posting an A-Z on Workplace bullying, I'll have a look at the balloon in a moment. Congratulations on finishing, it's a great sense of achievement isn't it. Sue

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And you did an awesome job with the Challenge! Glad you had so much fun and hope you've made some really great new friends in the process.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Everyone did an amazing job, especially with those tough letters. And the theme thing some people had going was great. :D

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, it was bigger than last year, I still keep intouch with many from last year and hope to continue with new friends from this, I think it was good discipline to get to write every day and to read what other people wrote about,
Yvonne.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for facing the Challenge with such vim and vigour! Huge congratulations with finishing and gaining tons of fab followers!! Take care
x

Hannah Kincade said...

I had to bow out of the challenge early but I did love all the different takes on it. I was also really surprised at all the long posts after most of the participants begged for short posts. I'm grateful for the followers I gained because of the challenge though.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I did finish, but toward the end I have to admit I was burned out. Doing a quality piece of flash fiction each day took quite a bit of time.

I'm glad I was able to pop over hear and appreciated your visits, too.

Like you, I plan to do some catching up on my neglected work...

baygirl32 said...

It was great fun, congrats on making it through.

I'm now twit stalking you LOL

Ellie said...

I loved the challenge and met so many new friends. My only regret was not having the time to visit every blog.

Ellie Garratt

mooderino said...

i think next time I would do my posts in advance. Although that was my plan this year too. Didn't quite work out that way...
mood
Moody Writing

Kittie Howard said...

Enjoyed your reflections. I didn't participate but am thinking about doing so next year. I tried visiting blogs as often as possible but with so many entered I fell further and further behind. But it was a positive experience as I learned so much.

fOIS In The City said...

I didn't participate, so instead I read yours every day and enjoyed the unique ways you posted through the alphabet.

Good job on the A-Z Challenge :)

Jan Morrison said...

I had a great time - posted daily and got around to quite a few blogs - got picky at the end! I'd do it again and I just wish folks would turn off the word verification - then life would be SWELL!

kmckendry said...

I loved it...I'm almost sad it's over. It's been great fun to see what words everyone comes up with and how they tie it in to their blog. But I do agree I liked the shorter posts better. Just too hard to read the long ones quickly.

Grammy said...

Hi I enjoyed reading your evaluation of the experience and congrats on completing it. It can be difficult, but I like doing it. At my age (almost 78) it keeps the old brain cells active. I absolutely love to write, although the only thing I have ever had published is when the blog says, "published" ha.
I plan on coming back and reading again.
Ruby

Colene Murphy said...

Glad you survived! Hope you enjoy your short break!!

Jules said...

Before the challenge I tried to comment on most blogs I followed and was getting behind, then the challenge started. Blew me into a melt down. We survived though and now maybe normal will not seem so bad :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Brianna said...

The best part of the challenge was meeting new bloggers, discovering new blogs to add to an ever-growing list of blogs I want to read regularly and opening my email to find comments!

Since I didn't get a chance to visit all the blogs, I'm taking time now to do so -better late than never. Plus it keeps the fun of the challenge alive.

Enjoy your break! Look forward to reading more when you get back :)

Ella said...

It was fun wasn't it! I am glad I met you~
Congrats on crossing the finish line!

bfav said...

I only had to do 4 letters for A to Z and it was tough coming up with some of the random letters. Skills and points for doing all of them by yourself.

Catherine Denton said...

It was nice to have a letter to guide each post and challenging to use it creatively. I enjoyed being a part of something bigger in the blogworld.

Thanks for your comment on My Blog. Multiple sunburn? I'm a tiny bit jealous. ;)

Shari said...

Kudos to you for making it through the challenge. Enjoy your time off!

Jennifer Jackson said...

I really liked reading your posts through this challenge.

Sophia Richardson said...

Congrats on getting through the challenge! Enjoy your bloggy break, PK.
- Sophia.

LTM said...

I didn't do the challenge, but it was fun to read all your posts! And now you're off on the next adventure. You guys are unstoppable! :D <3

Holly Ruggiero said...

The hardest part of the challenge was visiting new blogs and keeping up with my old blogs. Several times I had to just return visits to people who commented too.

Tiger85 said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge. Have a great week. =)

Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

San said...

Congrats on completing the challenge and for having such a lovely blog :) I did not officially participate but I made it through too :) I loved your reflections and am glad you had such a good time with it :)

Cheers :)

Gregg said...

Glad to have come across your blog. I too like you respond to those who comment first. Good job!


Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

The Words Crafter said...

I loved meeting new people and reading all the various posts. I did feel overwhelmed with the sheer size of it at times, then I had to drop out....

But congrats on finishing, wow!

Carla White said...

I didn't participate so I didn't see anyone else's A to Z blogs. But I loved reading yours everyday and I hope to participate if it happens again in the future. Great job!

Josh Hoyt said...

It was so nice to meet you and to read your great entries.

Julie Musil said...

I was totally impressed with those of you who participated in the challenge. It was lots of fun to read everyone's spin on the letter of the day. You deserve some time off!

Trisha said...

R for Reflections! haha. It's a hard habit to break ;)

Good job on your A-Z!!

David L Macaulay said...

Hello Pk - thanks for the follow. The challenge got to me at times but perversely I miss it now. Congrats on getting through it.

David

T C Mckee said...

I finished but towards the end, I felt like I was forcing posts. Not good. Spring break was all of last week and we had construction workers here the 1st week of April putting in new windows, it was hectic for me. I didn't make it to half the blogs I wanted to make it to. Hope to visit them now to see what I missed.

Stephen Tremp said...

That's pretty darn funn that you almost gave this post the R for Reflections title. I'm glad I wrote most in advance. That really helped and gave me extra time to visit other peole, like yourself.

Catherine Stine said...

The A to Z thing is a great concept and though I did not participate in writing one, I enjoyed hopping around and commenting on other folks' blogs.
Maybe next year??
I just finished the draft of a long novel, so I'm out having fun for a bit. Just went to the auto show and posted on my fave new cars. Chevy Volt is pretty darn cool, for one.

Chris Phillips said...

I didn't do the challenge just because I like the feeling of freedom I have blogging about whatever, whenever. Also I probably read a bit less of the a-z posts than other posts for similar reasons. Loved Alex's take on it too and found some good blogs that way.

Karen Walker said...

I've posted my reflections on my blog, so I won't repeat that here. Just wanted to say yours is a blog I found early on but was unable to re-visit any blogs because I wanted to get to all the blogs. I think that was a mistake, which I am going to rectify by adding you to my blogroll and coming back often.
Karen

The Golden Eagle said...

I agree with your point about not having time to get to Google Reader--although I'm guilty of following without commenting. Some days I didn't have time to comment on the posts I read, and I wanted to visit as many blogs as possible on the list.

Great reflections post! And congratulations on making it to the end. :)

Susan Kane said...

Like you, I responded first to those who had commented on my posts, and then went to my dashboard to scroll down to people I am following. Then I did some hopping around.
Some days I was pretty faithful, and others (migraines) I just managed to email people I know consider as friends (like you:) See you soon.

Pam Asberry said...

Just found your blog; I feel like I am walking in at the end of a great party, and I MISSED IT. Anyway, I am now a follower; I look forward to catching up on some of your old posts and getting to know you better!

Robyn Campbell said...

Okay, I thought I had responded to this post. I bet someone in this house took the tab away and I thought I did it, because I had responded.

I also responded to those who had commented on my posts. I loved doing A to Z but I was TOTALLY bummed out by the end. I guess six posts a week, plus all that blog hopping was kinda making me a little jittery. But all in all, I loved it and would do it again.

And I had some follow who didn't have their avatar hooked to their blog. There was NO way I could follow them back, because they didn't comment.

Great post. :-)

Nel said...

Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Congrats on finishing the challenge. I wish you a wonderful evening. Warm regards from Brasil!
http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com

Arlee Bird said...

My brain must be getting addled--I could have sworn I commented on your wonderful reflections post. In any case, I'm so thrilled to hear your positive response to A to Z. Congratulations on reaching the end.

Lee
Tossing It Out

J.L. Campbell said...

Like you, I return visits from the comments. There's someone I met in the Crusade and up to now I haven't been able to visit his blog because there's nothing that connects him to his blog. The A-Z was a good experience. Not able to say right now whether I'd do it again. If I do, I have to be less wordy with my posts for sure.

Tina said...

It's nice to meet you! I agree that it's hard to track down new followers who don't comment. Of course I love that I have a new one, but like you, I want to return the favor. Thinking this might interest you: Shannon @ The Warrior Muse and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!
Tina @ Life is Good

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