Monday, May 2, 2011

Now I Know My ABC's

For the second year, I've just completed the A to Z Challenge- the brainchild of Arlee BirdTossing It Out. I don't think he even realized how popular and widespread this blog challenge would be. Congratulations, Arlee- to you and your associates for a successful job. It's been a fun learning experience.

First off, I want to offer my sincere thanks for all of you who visited, left comments, or simply lurked in the blogasphere checking things out. I was a lurker, too- trying my best to fit in blog visits to new people- between dusting, laundry, weekend trips, and day to day obligations. I apologize if I never got to your blog or failed to comment very often. Because I know there are some talented and creative folks out there who deserve to be heard. 
Keep writing- all of you. Your voice is important.

I didn't have a problem posting every day. (I usually do that anyway.) The real challenge was forcing myself to find a subject that matched the specific letter, and trying to write about it in a fresh and entertaining way. And even if I failed on that note- at least I got through the alphabet with more followers than I ever imagined!

However, from last year's experience, I realize that those followers die off slowly- and I understand completely. There are only so many blogs you can visit and comment on in a typical day. Plus the fact that over time, a reader may realize that certain blogs just aren't "for them". If  that's how you feel about my blog- then you're excused. Go dust that bookshelf or fold those towels- it's okay- really.

It amazes me how many great unknown bloggers that are out there! How can one voice be heard among so many? There really is no way to research this. It's all trial and error. I've found some of my favorite blogs on the sidebars of other bloggers. And I try to visit most on a weekly basis, if not more often.

From last year's challenge, I've kept sweet friends whose writing inspires and amazes me. And luckily, this year has been no exception. I'm following people who will now be part of my morning routine for as long as they keep sharing their written thoughts.

I loved the way that some challengers developed a theme (and I may try that next year). I'm constantly in awe of photos, drawings, quotes and personal experiences. And I always love to learn new things, discover writing tips, shed a few tears, and laugh out loud. Thank you to all of you talented writers who gave me the gift of all those wonderful things.

There are days when I was tired. Lazy, too. Days when I did not want to hear another letter of the alphabet ! ...or go to bed dreaming about what to write the next day. But the A to Z Challenge was a necessary push to help me grow. Not only as a writer, but as a person. One who isn't afraid to open their heart and let out both good and bad stuff.

I found that some of my more serious and intimate writes got the most comments, but one particular post  that I held dear to my heart had only four comments. It just goes to show how varied reader's interest can be.

I was also sorta hoping that writing religiously every single day and stressing myself out over subject matter would keep my hands busy so that I would lose weight. But, that backfired big time! There was nothing more comforting than a big bowl of cheesy chili and a Mounds bar to help the words flow more smoothly... Rats! 

So, now that A to Z is over, it's back to the Wii and Weight Watchers! Arghhh!

Some suggestions would be to list the blog challengers by genre. For example: I wouldn't be interested in a blog about recycling or biology, but I adore decorating blogs and down to earth experiences. This might help to alleviate some of the time involved in visiting other bloggers.

Also,I like the idea that this is done in April. It helps rid the cobwebs of winter- and is still early enough that it doesn't interfere with yard work and gardening.

I do want to say that I would keep blogging even if no one followed, although it is an extra bonus to be heard and enjoyed. I am hoping my writing will be cherished and loved by my children and my family- that my words will live on someday, even after I am gone. Hopefully they will be able to laugh and cry and see a part of me that only writing could express. I can't stop writing, though I have tried. 

It's like breathing. 
And what a breath of fresh air this A to Z Challenge has been! 

Thank you all for joining me.


Jan Morrison said...

Yay! You did good, kid! It was fun wasn't it? And I liked meeting new folks for sure.
See you around the water cooler.

GAIL said...

You always post such interesting stuff. Please keep us laughing!
Hugs, Gail

mybabyjohn said...

It was fun. Now, on to the next thing.

sisterlinda said...

I was always amazed, when I would log in, at what the alphabet letter held for the day.You sure came up with some unusual ones! I have yet to figure out just how that mind of yours works!

I will always be a follower and reader and stupid commenter of your blog....nothing can keep me away from reading your amazing thoughts and stories. Thanks for sharing that small piece of who you are.

Pk Hrezo said...

Congrats on finishing! I really had a good time with it. I didn't find it hard to post everyday, but it wasn't always easy to be clever. lol sometimes I was too burnt.
I like your idea about categorizing the bloggers. Makes perfect sense to me.

Pk Hrezo said...

Oh and I did read the social anxiety post. SO very sad.

Karen Walker said...

Wonderful summary of your experience. I wish there had been fewer participants so we could get to know each other better, but I guess now we can do that.
Take care.

lvroftiques said...

Well girlfriend, blond that I am I didn't even realize that you were doing an A to Z challenge, so I went back and started with A. You are a truly wonderful writer! Your stories about you and your sister Linda made me feel painfully nostalgic. I'm thrilled to the tips of my toes that you managed to purchase your cabin back! Meant to be for sure *winks*
And your post about living for today really made me WANT to get off my bum and DO SOMETHING!.....Alas I opted for a small (As opposed to large *winks*) helping of cherry garcia frozen yogurt and some bloog hopping....Rome wasn't built in a day lol!
As a completely different aside, I'm digging the Peter Max-ian vibe you have going on here.....Good times.... Vanna

Joanne said...

Well put. I found so many cool blogs that otherwise I would not have found. A to Z was a great experience! Blessings, Joanne

Joyce Lansky said...

I know what you mean about having a personal favorite post that gets few comments or visitors. I'm currently going for an extension with Z-A in May. My "U" will be links to under-visited posts. Maybe folks will notice these favorites the second time around.


Stephen Tremp said...

Congrats! on finishing the A to Z Event. 'm already looking forward to next year. Have a great week.

Arlee Bird said...

What a wonderful Reflections post! Thanks for your second successful year at this and I'm so glad that A to Z has been such a rewarding event for so many. It's left me very behind in blogging and other activities. Of course, my May adventures had something to do with that as well.

In any case, I'm here and just wanted to say congratulations for making it through the alphabet with us and have plenty of happy blogging times over the summer. See you!

Tossing It Out