Another A-Z challenge is over and those of us who took part are left feeling a little exhausted but hopefully proud of our accomplishments. If you’ve just completed the challenge, give yourself a big pat on the back. Don’t forget to complete the after survey and add the upcoming dates to your calendar.
I really enjoyed the challenge this year and I do feel a big sense of achievement because I had such a lot going on in April, yet I committed and saw it through to the end. It’s now time to reflect on what went well, what I liked about the challenge and what could be improved for next time.
My Challenge Posts
This year my theme was an A-Z of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (follow the link to see all my posts). I mostly wrote about the themes, symbols and motifs in the books, with a few fun facts here and there.
What went well
- Despite April being a super busy month for me socially and being away from my laptop for a whole week, I still managed to write and publish all 26 posts on time.
- I replied to all the comments I received and visited everyone back (though I was bit late).
- I enjoyed doing the research for my theme and it was a broad enough theme that it wasn’t too difficult to pick topics for each letter.
- Readers seemed to like my theme too and I had over 100 lovely comments. I was really pleased that so many people engaged with my posts.
- I gained 7 new direct blog followers, and about 40 via Twitter and Facebook.
Things I’ll improve next year
- I’d like to schedule all of my posts in advance of April 1st next time so I’m not rushing to get them done last minute and feeling stressed.
- Doing the above will free me up to reply to comments and visit back quicker.
- I’d also like to visit more blogs from the master list.
- Some of my posts were a bit wordy, so next time I’ll keep them concise.
Discovering new blogs and making new online friends is what the A-Z challenge is all about for me. Although I didn’t visit as many blogs as I would have liked, I am planning to join in with the A-Z Road Trip (coming 23rd May) so that I can get round some more.
I found some amazing new blogs to follow during the challenge, some of which had themes that I wouldn’t normally seek out, but I found them to be really interesting. Here are some that I visited regularly (themes are in brackets):
- Cresting the Hill (The A to Zen of Life)
- Heather Erickson Author (Ways to Increase Creativity)
- Ronel the Mythmaker (Everything Writerly)
- Joy’s Book Blog (UK and Ireland)
- Shari Elder Author (The Mysteries of Memory)
- Rise and Soar (Improve your life, improve your mind)
- The Old Shelter (Weimar Germany)
- Tasha’s Thinkings (Movie Monsters)
- My Random Musings (Creative Writing Character Prompts)
Here are my thoughts about the organisation of the challenge this year.
What I liked about this year’s challenge:
- I liked that the master list of blogs was on a Google form. It was very easy to search and sort to find blogs in a particular category. I made a copy of it and then coloured the ones I had visited so I could keep track.
- The co-hosts are so helpful and friendly and it’s nice that they make an effort to visit all the blogs between them.
- As usual, I loved the community feel of the challenge and how supportive and uplifting everyone is with their comments.
What I didn’t like:
- I didn’t really use the daily lists. I didn’t see the point of them when the master list worked fine and I often didn’t have time to link up my own post.
- I had a few difficulties with visiting other blogs, such as broken links, difficulty finding where to comment and so on.
A massive thank-you to the A-Z challenge team: Arlee Bird, J Lenni Dorner, Zalka Csenge Virág, John Holton, Jayden R Vincente and Jeremy Hawkins. They put in loads of hard work to organise the challenge and keep everything running smoothly. I know it hasn’t been plain sailing with the technical side of things this year, but you guys do a great job and I really appreciate everything you do to keep this amazing blog hop alive.
I’m also really grateful to all those that engaged with my posts through liking, sharing and commenting. I received some really kind and thoughtful comments that made me smile and boosted my confidence. I’m so pleased that some of you decided to sign up to follow my posts. Thank you all so much!
I’m glad you enjoyed my A-Z posts 🙂 Though I didn’t use the daily lists during the challenge to find new blogs, I’m using it as a road trip for the rest of the year. (I think a lot of people are going to wonder why I think it’s still April.)
That’s a good idea. I think a lot of people will be joining in the road trip, myself included, as it’s just too difficult to get round loads of blogs during April when you’re posting daily as well.
Getting all of the posts done ahead of time is definitely a good plan. Makes it easier to hop around and visit other blogs if you don’t have to worry about posts going live 🙂
All the lists are time consuming. I wish you could add to the master though if you joined late. In the past you could add within a few days of start but this year you couldn’t so I wasn’t included on the master list :/
That was definitely my plan, but unfortunately, life happened and it didn’t work out that way. Oh well, I guess I will start planning even earlier next year. Yes, I think it would be good to let people join the master list late.
Congratulations on completing the A-Z, particularly if you did the posts in April itself! Always tough to post and read and keep up with comments. Kudos! I too didn’t get around as much as I would have liked. And am glad the road trip is coming back.
Me too, I’m looking forward to visiting a lot of the blogs I missed.
First of all, congratulations on completing the challange, especially with your RL busy month. It is always a great feeling. Yes, we come out of it exhausted, but happy. At least that’s my experience 😉
I loved your theme. Alice in Wonderland has alwasy been one of my favourite books, really since I was a little kid and I loved discovering all the ‘adult stuff’ about it.
As it happenes, I bought a lovely edition of the book at the end of last year and you inspired me to read it again. It’s been a very long time.
The challenge is over, but I’ll be back to your blog. I’m lovign it here 🙂
Glad you decided to reread Alice. I find I notice more things with every reading, there are so many layers of meaning. Thanks for your support throughout the challenge and for leaving so many insightful comments, I really appreciate it.
It was a really full on month wasn’t it, but fun too. I loved discovering you an Alice – and learning so much more about the deeper stuff going on behind the story. I think I got to most of your post, but my commenting went downhill a bit towards the end of the month as the pressure started to get to me – so many blog posts to read each day! I prepared mine during March and scheduled them, that freed me up a bit to get around but it’s still a big month! Thanks for the lovely shout out to my blog and I hope you’ll do the AtoZ next year – I’m already mulling over what I could do in 2019 – crazy!!
Yes, I definitely plan to take part again next year, I already have a few ideas for themes. Thank you for commenting on so many of your posts. I hope to visit more of yours over the next few weeks.