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!”
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