Thursday, May 7, 2015

I survived the A to Z challenge- My reflections

So last week, a week from today ( Thursday, April 30) was the last day of the blogging challenge and you could almost hear the large sigh from hundreds and hundreds of bloggers all around the world .
I was reading a blog back in late February ( I don't remember which one) and they had mentioned gearing up for the A to Z blogging challenge. That was the first I had heard or more likely paid attention about the challenge. I was having a very positive can conquer the world kind of day or something because I thought to myself- " I can do this" and I signed up.  I seriously had no idea the enormity of it all.
It seemed simple enough, you blog everyday but Sunday's and the posts had to have something to do with the letter of alphabet for the day.  I've never once used the Blogger scheduling thingamajig which apparently you can write post and it automagically posts for you on the day you schedule it. Who and where is this magical wand you yield?  I wrote most posts by the seat of my pants meaning during breakfast from my iphone.  The posts that had videos had to be written by my home laptop because my work laptop blocks me from blogger (rude - lol).  I wrote a few posts the night before . I had no rhyme or reason and was not the most prepared. I work better that way sometimes. Feet to the fire syndrome.
 It is also encouraged to have a theme for your challenge. I can see the benefits of a theme NOW that I've seen dozens but I had no idea what that meant either. So I didn't have a theme.  I am glad I didn't have one for my first time for this because I enjoyed my freedom of posting any random thing that came to mind for that letter.  Now these themes I mentioned, there were some awesome ideas out there and the creativity of these bloggers was like no other.  I saw themes about movies, movie stars, the movie Its a Wonderful Life, Dr Seuss, life lessons, Harry Potter, Horses, States, Countries, SCi-FI, music, you name it someone wrote a whole challenge on it. 
Here were a few of my favorite themes:
Dr. Seuss- Writing in Wonderland
Good Character Qualities- I Made it through the day
Life Lessons- Smidgens, Snippets and Bits
Musicians- Cherdo on the Flipside
Elements of Dreams - A Faraway View

So so many!!  There were "rules" in that you were asked to visit at least 5 blogs off the list a day.  I did that and sometimes many more than that. I don't know if everyone truly did that. The amount of attendees was daunting but I just grabbed from whichever title spoke to me.  I know I did my share and didn't feel bad that I didn't see everyone. I also had to keep up with my comments and also reading the new blogs I found that I chose to follow. 
It was also encouraged to keep the posts short. I obviously missed that memo on most of my posts. In fact, my letter T on transplant was my longest post ever in my history.  It felt good to write it out though. I make no apologies for that.
The Saturdays were the toughest. I usually got up early and knocked it out to get it over with.

Honestly, I am so glad I did this. I like surprising myself and pushing myself to do things that I can be lazy on. I even had to travel out of town on business and totally could have NOT posted but I did.
I made new followers and found dozens of blogs that I'm now following. I feel like I also made a few new blogging "friends".  There was a wonderful sense of community with this challenge and it was nice to have a comment just to say "stopping by".  Most everyone was so friendly and encouraging and it just motivate me even more.. 
Would I do this again? Um HECK yea!! Just not until next year.  Maybe I will have a theme and will write smaller posts.  Maybe. 


  1. Hi, Holli! Congratulations on the completion of the grueling A to Z. The bi-monthly BOTB that I'm involved with is tough enough and I take my hat off to you and the hundreds of other bloggers who met the A to Z Challenge head-on and saw it though all the way to the end. Most people don't like working against a deadline,but it's good for you to test yourself and stretch out of the comfort zone. It keeps the mind sharp and that's the name of the game as we grow older.

    After crossing the finish line with the A to Z finally behind you, you would have had every reason to kick back and take a well deserved break from blogging. Yet, you were nice enough to make time for me and my blog today and I deeply appreciate your kindness. It's a pleasure to know you, Holli!

    1. Likewise dear Shady! It's my pleasure to have found your blog and met you in process.

  2. You never do a post in advance. That's how I do all my posts. Way to go on completing your A-Z!
    I just don't think I could do it. Trying to post a few days a week is hard for me. I visit so many people now each day that it would be hard to visit more people daily.

  3. Thanks for the plug. I really enjoyed all of your posts. I also loved that Dr. Seuss one. I thought that was clever.

  4. Holli, I am so thrilled you enjoyed your first Challenge! So glad you found so many positives in it! I appreciate so much you participation in my Musical Memories! I didn't stop by much during the Challenge, but am now following you and will be dropping in frequently from now on. Us Texas gals have to stick together!
    ~ We made it!!! ~
    Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

    1. Heck yea Texas gals!! I enjoyed your musical memories and the songs that went with it. Not often you found a post on Gary Stewart! Thanks so much for your support and encouragement.

  5. You did a great job, Holli! I love your "refections" post and comments on the Flipside. Why didn't we get together sooner? I'm slow, but faithful. Thanks!

  6. You totally rocked this challenge! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  7. Well done on completing the challenge :D

    1. thanks Katherine! it was fun.

  8. I loved getting your little challenge post in my email every day! so much I wanna do one!

  9. You did it! Congrats! As for that Blogger schedule thingy…I still can't figure it out or it has it in for me because it doesn't post my stuff ever! So like you, I posted manually, daily! I think it is more personal that way, the time you took to do it. Enjoyed your posts!

  10. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I surely enjoyed yours! I don't think I'll ever do it myself, but I do enjoy doing the mash up thing. Hopefully I'll come up with a theme next time that won't teach me more than I want to know about scrapbooking, pokemon, and Lil' Scrappy!

  11. Congrats on completing the A-Z challenge. You did quite well and deserve a blogging break now. That would have been way too much writing for me. I'll live it through all of you!

  12. Congrats on completing your first Challenge! This was my second year, and it did seem to be a bit easier, if more labour-intensive due to my theme.

    I definitely couldn't always do the short post thing, either, so no worries. Your people will find you, and the ones who are frustrated by your longer posts? Not your people.

  13. Hi Holli - congratulations on completing the A-Z - especially just sort of realising and getting on with the posting et al ... and am glad to see you're doing it next year ...

    Thanks you visited me on B day .. and really I just struggled keeping up with my general day to day 'old' blogging friends and didn't reply across to you ... so 6 weeks later here I am ... and it's your B for Birthday I believe - hope you're having a fabulous weekend ... meeting friends and family and then enjoying the band playing ...

    Apologies - I had another huge project on - and need to get to that ... such is life ... and my posts are long - usually are! But usually only once a week or when I get round to putting one up ... cheers and see you soon - Hilary

  14. Well off the bat thank you for mentioning my dream blog A Faraway View. Glad you enjoyed it.

    The seat-of-your-pants approach is not a bad way to do your first Challenge. It kind of puts blogging into perspective. I think you did well for your first shot at it and hope you will be back with us in 2016.

    Thanks for being a part of another great Challenge and for this Reflections post!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out

  15. Just now getting around to visiting the blogs in the challenge. April was a busy month for me. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!


  16. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing your first challenge! I'm glad that I used Blogger's pre-scheduler since I was not online everyday of the challenge and Blogger just posted my posts on the day I scheduled them. I even got to visit your blog during the crazy month of April. I'm popping over again today from the Road Trip.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess


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