I had missed last year’s #AtoZchallenge by a whisker, prompting me to make a strong mental note for 2017. When March rolled in, I posted my theme reveal post with loads of fanfare. But when the other bloggers started panicking over themes, how many post written, etc I started to re-think this challenge.
After all these were seasoned bloggers, many in their 3rd year of #AtoZchallenge and they were panicking! I was going away for a bday trip and then had a house move on the anvil in April. How will I pull it off – was the thought that started nagging me.
Then there was the constant talk of Alexa, ranking, numbers – all of it put me off further! Is this why we write?
If writing was going to become such a pain, why should I do this? I can’t have a passion which is stressful!
Despite all these misgivings, I forged ahead and am glad I did.
I only wrote 4 posts in advance, rest were written as the days went by and in no chronological order. There were days when I had no desktop or internet connection.
Through it all I realised that the best way to tackle a writing challenge, any and not just this, be very clear what you are going to write about and why.
My learnings through this challenge can be summed up as below!
- If you could, write 4-5 posts in advance. That ways you gain momentum and time for next posts.
- Choose a time to write daily and stick to it
- Don’t get affected by what others are doing or not doing; includes no wasting time on social media!
- Read comment and share others posts with meaningful words.
- Appreciate good writing and let them know too
- Don’t write long posts. 350-500 is good enough to tell your story. Beyond that gets too much to read. Shorter posts are most read and easy to write too.
- Don’t play the numbers game ; read for the love of reading and not for counter reads!
- Interact with your readers daily by replying to their comments.
- Write from your heart and not for the gallery or numbers or………
- Dont be the proverbial frog-in-the-well for there is a whole world of excellent writing and helpful bloggers out there.
I managed to read 50 blogs some days and only 10 on others. But my readership remained constant and I am so grateful to all my readers for their support and encouragement. They really made me glow with their comments.
I had chosen to write about the journeys within a travel, emphasising on the journey and not the destination. While composing each post, I relived each moment and was able to infuse my initial joys into all of them. The veracity of my posts is reflected in the excellent feedback on ALL the posts. Folks have commended my photography and wished to travel with me in future. Someone has wondered whats my travel plan for next years #atozchallenge! 😉
My theme reveal post had a 1500+ hits while [C] Chai Jai was the most popular, as per my blog stats! On an average I got a 100 views daily on my posts. Could have I asked for more? For someone who is barely 6 months into a self hosted blog – this is all huge!!!
Ofcourse I had some favourite reads and mentioning them here for their exceptional themes, writing styles and positive demeanour throughout the #AtoZchallenge – I learnt a lot from them all and couldn’t wait for their next post!!! (And no I didn’t miss out anyone – this is my exact list of impressive blogs)
Roshan dished out a daily dose of goodness via his tales of kindness and selflessness that left me in tears every morning; tears of joy at the thought that the milk of kindness is not soured and awe at how ordinary people have gotten up to do extraordinary things which have been life changing for others.
Simply Marquessa fictional journey of a woman dealing with the end of her life by living every moment left, is stunning in expressing emotions and made for a compelling read for me. (I hated the end though!!! 😉 )
Sanchie explored the myriad poetry forms by composing poetry pieces on each of them with such poetic licence that left me in awe of her mastery at this literature form.
Anmol Rawat and his spooky tales of dread, horror and always always unhappily ever after type of ending. But I had to just read them everyday! (Read at your peril!!)
Shailaja for her brilliantly chosen oxymoron and then a 100 word fictional tale spun around it – each and every tale did justice to her chosen O-moron!!!
Leanne’s midlife ramblings are so full of wise words and practical advice that its made me look forward to midlife now 😉
Kalpanaa ‘s blog on everything divorce was a catharsis for me to read and helped me offload some baggage.
Parul for her thoughtful posts on life as it goes by and things that pop up in the head to give us a reality check.
Nilanjana for the lovely peek into the Arab world via music, architecture, words and more.
There were some more that I was hooked to, but they ran out of steam in some of their later posts, or posted too late for me to read up and have missed being in my list!
Plans are now afoot for converting my posts into an E-book that I plan to send across to my non-blogging world of family and friends.
Next year – hmmmmmm!!!!!! lets wait and see 😉
” In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take”
Did you participate in this years #AtoZchallenge?
Have you written a reflections post?
Please do leave your link in my comment box, I would love to read it!
My journey so far in the #AtoZChallenge