Sunday, May 7, 2017

A to Z Challenge Reflections

Another April gone. 

Another A to Z Challenge completed, and it is time to reflect on this challenge.   If you survived it too, congratulations!  If you didn't - well, you tried!

 It was my third, and it was organized just a little differently than previous challenges.  I want to thank everyone who read my blog during the month of April, both long time readers, and new.  I hope you will stick with me.

It's been an exhausting month. 

My theme was Traveling Through Time and Space.

Like reflections on the still water of a stream, my thoughts have completed their journey, and are back home.

Here are some of the new blogs I encountered during the month long journey:

Write to Inspire - Shirley Corder blogged an entire month on How To Build a Better Blog.  It was an excellent series.

Hilary Melton-Butcher at Positive Letters - Inspirational Stories.  Rare breeds of animals are of great interest to me, as a former "homesteader".

Nilanjana Bose at Madly-In-Verse with a beautiful series on the Arab culture.

And there were the old favorites.  I don't feel I want to name any of them, because that means I have left some out.  And, I didn't get to everyone I wanted to.  I ignored some of my old favorites, because life intruded, as it has a habit of doing.

Now, briefly, responding to some concerns of the organizers:

We went "list-free" this year.  I do think that was, to use a cliche, a double-edged sword.  I didn't have to click on links where people had given up, or had them there just to have people click on them.  But, on the other hand, it was hard to keep track of blogs and if I had visited them.  Also, because of the time-zone difference, living on the side of the world that reaches a day later than others, it seemed I was always late to the party by the time I dropped off my link.

I also felt there was too much emphasis on social media.  Not all bloggers are comfortable on Facebook or Twitter.  And, as for Instagram, I just joined it last night (more out of curiosity than anything else).  I always liked A to Z because it was not social media dependent - you had a list of participants and you clicked on their link to get to their blog.  Now, it seems like a lot of the action has moved to social media, and it saddens me.

I do understand, though, why the moderators (there are several, they all work hard and they all deserve our thanks) had to do this.

So.  Will I do A to Z again next year?   Maybe. There is something addictive about blogging about a topic that starts with A, then running through the entire alphabet. I admire those who pick a hard theme.

And now, back to my normal daily blogging schedule, with a new "Music Monday" tomorrow.


  1. Well said. I am not even sure if I will write a reflection and not sure if I will be back next year either.

  2. Congrats on completing the challenge and all the best for the next year. I don't think i can do it so I really admire those who can :)

  3. What's your name on Instagram? I'm @ZiziRho. I'd love to follow you.

    1. @alana_mautone. I tried naming myself RamblinGarden (my Twitter handle) but it wouldn't take it.

  4. I hear you on life intruding as I skipped a few of my regular reads too as there was simply not enough time to read all!
    This was my first time, so cant comment on the linky thingy but I oved the verve and buzz of the challenge. Met some really lovely writing!
    BTW Nilanjana is one of my fav too!! Shirley's blog sounds interesting - will check it out pronto!
    Thanks for sharing Alana!!!

  5. This year I didn't get to read as many new blogs as I did last time. It's always a hectic time and somewhat I am glad that I am back to my normal blogging 😀

  6. I do agree that the emphasis on social media was bigger, but I did like the comment system (Even though I forgot it a lot of the time :D )

    I do remember visiting you and commenting on your theme, because it is wonderful.

    And thanks for the blog tips! I love all of them :)

  7. You're right there is something addictive about the A to Z Challenge. It doesn't matter to me what they do or do not do in the way of keeping a sign up list. I'm just in it for the thrill. I think if we all find a little niche in doing the A2Z thingy either with a list or the comments then I say whatever works for ya - GREAT! You mentioned in my A2Z Reflections comments that you didn't visit me enough. I say, "That's ok!" I understand, it's crazy hard sometimes especially when we're all not in the same time zone. Again, I say "Go with the flow, relax, enjoy, yourself" If you're not having fun then you shouldn't do it, you know? Anywho, so glad you crossed the A to Z finish line and let's keep doing this little thing called blogging fresh and lively one entry at a time. Thanks for visiting me whenever you have the time, dearie!

    ~Curious as a Cathy

  8. I participated in AtoZ only once, in 2015, but I remember it was a crazy, fun experience. The past two years, I had big life events around April, which is why I missed out, but I am planning to join in next year.

    I wasn't aware that they did away with the list. I wished they hadn't, because even though I am an avid user of social media, I kind of preferred the old fashioned way of tracking.

  9. I think life intrudes for most of us at one time another during the A to Z Challenge. Congratulations on completing it and with TWO blogs, no less! That's an amazing feat. Since I'm a social media junkie, that part of it was fine with me. ☺ I haven't decided about next year either. Internet fatigue set in early this time. Thanks for your visits to The Den!

  10. I'm not on any social media so I didn't use that to promote my blog. I think I might have missed out but probably not.

    time zone did make a lot of people post at different times but it couldn't be helped and even if there is a linky list, it would still be the same.

    congrats on finishing. & have a lovely day.

  11. Well done for completing the challenge. My blog posts automatically post to Twitter but I didn't bother promoting it on Social Media any further than that either.

    Cait @ Click's Clan


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