Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blogging A to Z Reflection

Is there a format that I need to follow? If so, well…oh well.

This was my first year participating in the Blogging A to Z challenge and although there were a few days I struggled with my posts, overall I enjoyed the challenge.

When I learned about it way back in February, I was convinced that I would be able to prewrite all my posts and have them scheduled to go so that I could concentrate on reading other blogs and commenting.

Oh that younger idealistic me! So adorable!

While I was able, for the most part, to prewrite my posts, it was typically only by a day…maybe two…before the scheduled letter. My theme lent itself to easy writing – My Favorite Memories. How easy can that be? No research involved. Just me and my memory. Yup. The problems happened on cool letter days like B and…umm…C? I had a lot of ideas and it was hard to narrow the choices down.

Early on I developed a system to look at the other challenge participants: numerically. I started with one and ended around 1200 and something (I’m not working right now, so yeah, I had time to spend looking at all these blogs). So while I didn’t look at all the blogs I looked at most. But despite looking at all the blogs I did look at, I was really picky about them and often after just a quick glance, I clicked to the next.

If a blog had me “click here” to read more, unless I loved the first paragraph or so, I didn’t continue. If the blog was crowded with lots of ads, buttons or doo-dads, I tended to move on quickly. I like plain, clean layouts, anything else bugs my eyes right out of my head. If there was an overwhelmingly religious tone to the blog, I didn’t stick around. Now before people wig out on me here, there are a number of blogs I follow that the writers are clearly religious and post about their beliefs but for the most part, for my own personal reasons, the blogs where the theme was specifically religion, I didn’t linger.

About the commenting…The thing is and I feel sort of bad saying this but I didn’t comment all that much. Here’s the thing and I know a lot of people do this: if I don’t have anything good to say, I’m not going to comment just for the sake of commenting. There were a few where I put a simple, “Awesome” or “great post,” but unless I had something to say, I kept my fingers shut.  And, if the blog had captcha turned on, while it didn’t prevent me from posting my comment, I was less likely to return to the blog. Also, I don’t understand what disqus is but I hate it! Almost as much as I hate commenting on wordpress blogs.

Man this reflection makes me sound completely stuck up and a blog-snob. I’m not. Really! I’m just…picky…fussy…controlling…sigh.

I did end up following a lot of blogs…almost a crazy amount that makes it nearly impossible to read everything. Just looking at my daily reading pane makes me break out in a sweat and I get heart palpitations. But as a major side benefit I gained a bunch of new followers (hi guys! Thanks for following!!).

So it all comes down to this…would I recommend Blogging A to Z to friends next year? Yes! Just like I’d recommend NaNoWriMo. It is a fun challenge that introduces you to new people, new ideas, new everything! It forces you to make a commitment to your blog. And quite honestly, it helped me get back into writing everyday mode…which I had been sorely lacking since January.

Would I do this again next year? At first, when the challenge had just ended, my original thought was “No Way!! This is way to freaking stressful! How am I supposed to come up with another theme? More ideas? Argh! I can’t do it!”

Don’t judge.

But, now that I have my rosy glasses and a week between me and the challenge, I’m thinking, “Yeah…What can I say? I’m a sucker for stress!”

Next up? Try to cover a few more blogs on the A to Z list that I didn’t get to and see if I can gather more minions followers.


  1. I loved your A to Z posts. I didn't read any other blog that was doing it.

    I totally understand the not commenting just to comment. I try and do that too. But I'm a blabbermouth, so it carries over to my typing. Typewriter diarrhea?

    1. Thanks. My non-commenting ways are why I didn't have any followers until this past January. Then BAM! I started commenting and people came...just like the movie!

  2. I'm a minion now? Are there perks, benefits of minioning? Will there be murder involved?
    My favorite line in this was "keep my fingers shut". It took me a minute to process that (because minions aren't generally quick on the uptake, like the Wicked Witch's flying monkey brigade) but once I caught on, great turn of the phrase.
    You did great with the challenge. And congrats on finishing.

    1. You aren't just any old minion, you are my Prime Minion!! You get a snazzy uniform and everything. I decided, just for you I'll wave the regulation headgear and allow you to continue wearing your fez.

  3. Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections. I like your thoughts about the challenge, blogs, etc. I have to agree with you about commenting; I often wonder sometimes if people say something like "awesome post" or "great job" did they actually read what I wrote or did they just "fly by" to the next blog? If I'm going to leave a comment, I want it to be relevant to what was written so that the author knew I actually read it and formed some thoughts about their thoughts to write something somewhat intelligible about it. I'm with you too about not liking to comment through disqus. what a disaster in my opinion.

    I tried to write ahead my posts and to get them to post at a scheduled time but that didn't work. For some reason my scheduled time for it would not "take" and I'd have to post it manually so to speak when I was next on blogger.

    But all in all, it was a great challenge. My jury is still out if I'm going to participate next year.


    1. Thanks for stopping by. I haven't even begun to look at reflection posts yet. I have been (oddly) busy this week. But you are right about the commenting. Like I said I don't just want to leave a blah comment. I want to say something with purpose.

  4. 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! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

    1. Thanks! I got through a lot of blogs but I didn't comment on nearly enough of them. I started working my way through the reflections but got sidetracked. I'm glad you stopped by and liked what you saw enough to follow!