Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'm a Survivor

Reflections on Completing the A to Z Challenge, April 2013

This was the first year that I participated in the A to Z Challenge and like most things in life, it involved both pleasure and a little pain.  As a retired person I thought I had left stress behind me, but the Challenge changed that.   As a follower  of rules,  I felt pressure to write something for each of the assigned letters.   I am pleased with myself for following through and with one exception, getting all the posts done.  (I still haven't written anything for K...WTF?  Nothing interesting starts with K.)

I'm already thinking about what I will do differently for next year.  I will probably start a little earlier and pre-write some posts instead of dredging up drivel at the last possible moment.  I will try and write a little less about my adorable granddaughters.    I will try to remember that not everyone is enchanted by children...even when they are as cute as my granddaughters!  At this point I fully intend to write down good alphabet ideas as I think of them throughout the year.  We'll see how long that lasts.

The Challenge forced me out of my usual blog zone.  I ventured into neighborhoods that I hadn't previously visited.  I even signed up to follow a few of those blogs in foreign territory.  My usual blogging buddies are a pretty tight group.  We seem to follow a lot of the same blogs and have a lot in common.  Out in the other neighborhoods, that isn't so true.  I have to admit that I was surprised at some of the blogs.  There are a lot of talented, creative writers, but there is also a lot of crap.  I think I waded through a lot of drivel before finding a few gems.  Not long ago I was looking at a book about blogging and one of the pieces of advice was "Nobody cares what you had for lunch."  After reading a few less than notable posts I would add, nor do we care about your gerbils, your shopping with coupons, or the dream you had last night.  And, I say this as a blogger who writes way too much about her grandchildren.

I picked up a few followers and actually broke into triple digits, but I notice that on the blogs that I visited there were very few comments.  Was all the activity on the better known blogs? 

I'll do it again and I hope that the new cyber relationships I've found will continue to grow.

Many thanks to the organizers of this activity for all their work in keeping us going.  You are appreciated! 


  1. Congratulations. I, for one, will not be doing it. The thought of posting something every day for 26 days, is more than I can handle.

  2. Congratulations for this accomplishment. Do you think you will enjoy it as much if you do too much planning?

  3. Congratulations on this! great job

  4. I enjoyed every little mention of those grandchildren, Nana. Some of us only get to have grands secondhand, so I actually enjoy getting a hit of these VERY adorable people. Oh, and I had kale and hemp hearts for lunch. :-)

  5. I'm with Ms.A. I blog because I enjoy it. Good job; I could not have managed it.

  6. I'll think about it for myself next year. I liked seeing you more often than usual!

  7. Congratulations on accomplishing a difficult task. I don't know if I have the discipline to write 26 posts, one a day. But I may think about doing it next year - it is challenging.
    And write about whatever you like - there are always critics lurking in the corners. This is your blog so enjoy!

  8. Congrats for finishing!
    I think about it every year, but I spend too much time in places with no internet and/or cell phone signal.

  9. congrats on completing the challenge. I love that you wrote 'too much about your granddaughters'. I'm just finding this blog but I'll have to take a look through to read your posts. :)

  10. Congrats on the completion of the challenge and pleased you are thinking about next year.
    I enjoyed your reflection post, most detailed.


  11. What a refreshingly honest reflection on the A to Z. Congrats on reaching the finish line even if you had to leap frog K. Not too about kicking, kitsch or kids.

  12. I personally feel the challenge with blogging is to find the way to write about your lunch, grandaughters, coupons, dreams but make it about yourself in the end and on a level readers can connect to in their own experiences. To me blogging is about the person who I get to glimpse in on but I am definitely drawn more to the writers than any other type of blogger (shocker I know).

    I never got the amazing survivor badge sent to me. Oh well, I know I survived! It was fun reading along with your posts this month! Hope you keep up writing frequently!

  13. I consider getting involved each year; then, I back out, and like you, I no longer cherish deadlines.
    I write what and when I want to.
    Following somebody else's prompt feels like school assignments; I left those behind.

  14. Congratulation to you. Every time I saw you had posted a new blog, I would say to myself, "I can't even read my blogs everyday, there she is writing one everyday!" I am impressed and in awe. I must admit I did not read every A-Z you posted. There have been days I have not even turned on my computer. I loved the ones I read. You don't write too much about your darling granddaughters. Keep up your writing.

  15. I wanted to stop by to say “good job!”. It’s good to wander outside of the old neighborhood every once in a while. I am glad that you did!

  16. Congratulations on finishing the challenge, and for finding some new gems that you hadn't known about before. Sounds like a success.
    p.s. I am passing along the Liebster Award to you on my blog today.

  17. Dear Jann, like you, I've visited many blogs and discovered that some speak to me and some don't. I am amazed at the writing in some--so creative and imaginative and sometimes lyrical. Other bloggers write about things that interest me: parks, gardens, trips, quilts, skydiving, vacations. Others are philosophical and write about ideas. There's such a array of possibilities. And part of the reason I hone down to only the ones that I like the best is that I have only so much time to visit blogs and I don't want to overextend.

    About this A-Z Challenge. I got the feeling in reading a few that many of those who accept the challenge have a theme for the month; Manzanita did dancing; Inger did her first years here in the United States; Karen did recipes. Perhaps an idea for a theme will come to you--but maybe your theme this year was the delight you take in your grandchildren. And that, to me, seems to be a fine theme that would appeal to many. Peace.

  18. I had mixed feelings about the challenge too, mostly my irritations were at the people who signed up for links, wanting blog traffic with no intentions to return those favors. They didn't visit, they didn't comment, in fact some had comments closed, or you had to join 12 things or sign in through facebook and then those awful captchas. Sadly, I've noticed many have turned them back on now. Wish there were a way to see that before taking time to read a post and trying to type a response. I didn't hit many that posted about their kids or grandchildren or what they had for lunch; but far too many who posted about their pets and the writers seem to out number all all categories. Making my way through the road trip now, hitting some I didn't find during the challenge...far fewer on the roadtrip linky, so nice to meet you.

  19. I'm glad you got some positives out of the Challenge. Yes, I share your frustrations as you described them. Commenting was way down this year...which I wrote about recently called "A Little Blogiquette." It's a give and take community.
    Yes, the drivel. Sigh. What can you do...there are no auditions. What bothers me even more than bad writing or boring writing is writing that is not only both of those but grammatically incorrect. This former English teacher just can't stand that.
    Glad you'll be back though! K is for Ketchup, by the way. Just thought I'd help out ;-)
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  20. I dunno.... if I had to give up writing about my grandkids I would so sad!! LOL
    Congratulations on finishing!
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  21. Congrats on getting through the A to Z!

    I wanted to stop by and thank you for dropping by my blog during last Monday's Blitz. I'm glad the animated poetry will be useful to you. :)

    Have a wonderful day.

  22. The thing I liked best about your participation in the challenge is that I got to read more of your writing than when you weren't feeling compelled to follow some arbitrary rules. If I haven't figured out a better path to writing regularly again, I might join you next year. Hope you're having a happy spring.


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