AtoZ, Blog Challenge

Reflections for #AtoZchallenge 2018

I can’t believe April is finally over and so is the #AtoZchallenge; in fact its time to pen down the reflections post. Time sure did fly by even as I was dreading how I will complete the challenge as personal issues started monopolizing my time more than I had imagined.

This is my second outing with AtoZ; have to admit the first one was far more fun and thrilling. Well maybe that was my maiden adventure and so the excitement was more or maybe I was more committed to the chosen theme. Whatever the case, this year’s challenge filled me with dread once it started. For you see I was most unsure of my writing skills as a book reviewer!!! I had chosen to write about my all time favourite books as declared in the theme reveal.


I needn’t have worried! My super-duper readers/blogging friends not only read my posts but raved over them too. From my selections to my reviews – all of it was loved a lot and many remarked that they will miss my reviews once the challenge is over. Hot damn! here I was such a worry wart and there my readers simply loved their way through my posts.

I gained momentum and confidence with every post; I had written about 12 in advance and then a few at a time during April to complete it all well. Guess what I still have a few more books to write about but ran out of the alphabet πŸ˜‰ Looks like I will be posting about them in these subsequent months.

My reflections this year are pretty similar to what I made last year and you could read that post here. Not wanting to sound repetitive, yet my reflections are very much the same:

  • Choose a theme to write 26 posts in continuation; but choose one you are comfortable writing on.
  • Advance planning is a must!!! Even if you don’t write all the posts, make sure you have downloaded all the badges, selected the graphics and photographs for each posts and also make drafts of each post with the relevant links, badges inserted in them.
  • Schedule the drafts with the right date and be consistent with your posting time. Once you get in the challenge, you tend to read other blogs at a certain time and that becomes the routine for most. So if you are consistent with your post timings, your reader list will remain consistent too.
  • Do take out the time to sign up on the master list of AtoZ blog and make note of other blogs, genres and what you would like to read from there. Then make an excel sheet of the blogs you intend to read through out the challenge.
  • Make an e-signature of your posts to be left on the comment section of each blog. This makes it easy for them to locate your post and reciprocate if they so wish to. Oh and enable the linking of this signature onto your blog in the settings.
  • Check and position your Shareholics to integrate with your social media handles; this way when someone shares your post, you are immediately notified and keep track of it. I found some very interesting blogs to read this way as shared by others.
  • Everyday add your post of the day to the relevant blog lists. I had joined WriteTribe and BAR – blogging groups that I am a member of and they both had a separate post each day for linkingΒ  up. This was a great way to read others and ensure good traffic on my blog too.
  • Keep your posts short to day about 500-800 words as too long posts don’t generate much interest.
  • Reciprocate reading/commenting/sharing on the blogs of those who visit you in addition to your reading list
  • Reply to comments as soon as possible to encourage your readers to keep coming back.

Some of my favourites and must reads this season have been:

Simply Marquessa – fiction story telling

MammaSpeaks – fiction story telling

Ramya Abhinand – Book reviews/ strong woman character from stories

Pythoroshan – Stories of kindness from around the world

Soumya Prasad – favourite movies

Balaka Basu – caricatures of people from her life

Shilpa Gupte – zentangled alphabets and blogging tips

Seema Mishra – Travel with gorgeous art illustrations

Kalpanaa Mishra – Traveling through Delhi

Yamini Maclean – Vedanta

Shilpa Garg – Travel lessons from the road

You could catch all of my posts from this season here


Theme Reveal

[A] Alchemist

[B] Bell Jar

[C] Color Master

[D] Dalai Lama’s Cat

[E] Elif Shafak

[F] Fantastic world of Harry Potter

[G] Guernsey Literary and potato peel society

[H] Heidi

[I] Ismat Chughtai

[J] Djinni and the Golem

[K] Kinetic mind of Artemis Fowl

[L] Lips touch thrice

[M] Many Lives, Many Masters

[N] Night Circus

[O] Opus saga of the Wheel of Time

[P] Princess Diary series

[Q] Quirky Roald Dahl

[R] Russian Literature

[S] Satyajit Ray

[T] Time Traveler’s wife

[U] Unorthodox lovestory

[V] Vinyl Cafe

[W] Wildings

[X] Memoirs of a Geisha

[Y] My family and other animals

[Z] The Book Thief

Well that’s it from me on my reflections for the 2018 #Atoz challenge; do share yours too please.

Facebook Comments

52 thoughts on “Reflections for #AtoZchallenge 2018

    1. Thanks so much Jacqui; yeah that one helps a lot in people being able to go to your blog – next time πŸ™‚

  1. Loved reading this reflection and enjoyed reading some of your posts for this challenge. One year, I know I’ll do it. I just need to figure out a theme of some sort and plan accordingly.

  2. Thanks Raney and I look forward to seeing your posts in the next AtoZ – you write such good posts. You must definitely plan for the next one. We can brainstorm together if you life πŸ™‚

  3. I have really enjoyed reading your book reviews and it was wonderful to follow you in the A through Z challenge. You inspired me to read more books. In the past two weeks, I’ve read “The Last Tudor,” by Philippa Gregory (published in 2017), and “In the Midst of Winter,” by Isabel Allende (published in 2017). Both great novels, and I think that you also would enjoy them.

    1. Thanks Alice- thats so wonderufl to hear. I will check out these books; I am familair with Isabel Allende’s writings πŸ™‚

  4. I will try to catch up with your posts as I found your book reviews brilliant. I don’t know how you managed to write such detailed posts for the whole month. Excellent tips… Planning and scheduling is so important for a stress free a to z challenge.

    1. Oh wow- thanks for saying so Raj. Feels good to hear such praise. Even I have no clue how I winged it this season but am glad its over and done with now πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Keith; even I am not sure how I managed to do so many. Infact there are still some left which I am wondering to do now after this is over – what say?

  5. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I’ve read some of the books in your list. I’ve bookmarked this page so I can go through your posts.

  6. We did it, sistah! High five!

    I have loved each and every one of your posts, Shalini. Your taste is classy, elegant and exquisite and the books you have mentioned sit firmly on my TBR if I haven’t read them yet. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your space one fine day and trust me I’m here to stay πŸ™‚

    Thank you for all your support and love on my space too. And for the shout-out here. Reciprocation is the key when it comes to challenges like these and you have been extremely kind πŸ™‚

    1. Love love love Soumya for this generous shower of words and praises πŸ™‚ How I am basking in them – if only you could see me now. I would put a proverbial Cheshire cat to shame πŸ˜‰
      I am looking forward to staying connected and visiting your blog to read your book choices too! Cheers Gurl!

  7. Congratulation on completing the challenge, especially considering your RL issues.
    I was grinning reading about you worring about your posts and your readers loving them. That happened ot me the first time I took part in the challenge. I decided to write about my passion, the 1920s, even if I had previously decided never to never write abtou it because I am no espert. I thought I woulnd’t do a good job… but my readers loved the series, which led me to reconsider my entire blogging plan.
    So I’d say, we should always try. We may be very surprised of the results πŸ˜‰

    1. Thats the best part about blog hops – you never know how your writings are taken in; generally they are liked πŸ˜‰ Yes this has been my learning too that we should definitely explore all that we want in our writing- after all we are primarily writing for ourself first! Cheers

  8. How fun to go from being unsure about your posts, to knowing they were well-received and enjoyed! And you offer very helpful tips with this reflection post. Congratulations on a challenge well done.

    1. Thanks Deborah – yes thats what is has been like and I loved every minute of it once I gained some momentum! Cheers

  9. I enjoyed reading this reflections post. Your style of book reviewing has become one of my favorites, especially , the lasting impression part. A reader would want to know that.

    1. Thanks so much for such lovely praise Pratikshya – that felt good to know. I was trying to tell why a book connected with me so much that it became one of my all time favourites. I am so glad this was liked so much πŸ™‚

  10. Those are some fantastic tips, Shalz. April was so hectic for me that I could not catch up with daily reading. But super impressed that you did it with flying colours. So wonderful that you discovered so many good blogs to read. Well done!

    1. Thanks so much Rachna – yeah life getts very hectic with all the other things in it yaar! I am still wondering how I managed to finish this πŸ˜‰

  11. Congratulations on completing the AtoZ! I think book reviewing is a difficult task… any writer knows the effort that goes into creating even a short article. You did a great job. All the best in your future ventures!!

    1. Thanks so much Archana- that was such hearty praise and made me grin from ear to ear πŸ˜‰

  12. First of all, Congratulations on finishing the challenge successfully, Shalini! It’s a shame that I missed out on reading your AtoZ posts. I would love to read at least some of them if not for all. Your reflections post is so well done.Those tips are useful. I will come back to this post to pick my future book reads. πŸ™‚ Proud of you, dear!

    1. Thanks a tonne Vini for such sweet words. I am constantly reminded of my blessings of blogger friends who encourage and support so much! Thank you love πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much Arti – I have enjoyed visiting your blog too and yes we shall definitely keep in touch!:-)

  13. you are my inspiration when talking about blog writes. I read each post of your blog, wonderfully described little things. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog too..

  14. Congrats on completing the challenge. This one is like the big daddy of all challenges πŸ™‚ I couldn’t read your posts but this one is a great summary to come back to πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

  15. YOur reviews came out well Shalz…. Infact now you must consider doing it more regularly. Your tips are perfect for all those seeking to be a part of this challenge next year. And thank you so much for the mention Shalini :))

    1. Aww Ramya thank you so much for that praise – I am writing up a few more to add to my portfolio here. Feels good to know there will be peeps reading them πŸ˜‰

  16. Your book choice for the AtoZ was great, Shalini. I can imagine the love and labor that must have gone into crafting the reviews! The tips you’ve mentioned are useful! Now, to systematically read all the books I’ve made a note of! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Anshu – next time more planning and there are still some tricks even I missed πŸ˜‰
      I will check out this award that you have posted here- thank you for the same!!!!!

        1. Wah wah!! Kadardaan ho toh aisey πŸ˜‰

          Anytime Anshu – ping me up for anything you need help with; am happy to share!!!

    1. Hey thanks so much Shirley and dont worry about the commenting bit! I am happy to see people reading me! πŸ™‚

  17. Hey Shalzzz good to see you enjoyed the reviews and selected a few to read too; I wonder if our choices will match? Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.