The A-Z Challenge – What Did I Learn?


Challenge ReflectionsI’ve had a little time to think about what I got out of completing the A-Z Challenge so it seems like a reasonable time to evaluate the experience and decide whether I plan to take part again next year.

First of all – I did it! And on time too, so that feels like a big achievement. I was already posting every day, so that in itself wasn’t the challenge for me. I found the challenge to be finding something interesting and relevant to write about for each letter, whilst making sure that the link to the letter wasn’t too tenuous. I’m not sure I always succeeded in that, but I think I did for the most part.

One of the things I found most challenging was the fact that I was already posting every day for 100 Happy Days, so taking on the A-Z Challenge committed me to posting twice a day. With the topics of those posts largely determined by the challenges, it meant there was little room for the posts that I tend to write in my head as I get through my day and need to post to make space – those generally went unwritten and I didn’t like that aspect of it. Of course, now I’ve got to the end of it, I can’t remember what any of those posts would have been!

Challenge SurvivorI made a point of visiting several other participants each day, at least five but often more and left comments on most of those. Amongst them I found quite a few that I really liked and have added to my follow lists. I always find it amazing that just by clicking random links from a Facebook post, it is possible to find people with whom you have a lot in common. I love that aspect of blogging, and it’s through doing this that we found Geocaching, having read about it on one of my random visits!

One thing I was particularly impressed by were those participants who gave themselves a theme beyond the alphabet for this challenge – children’s books from A-Z, countries from A-Z, crafts from A-Z and all kinds of other things.  I think that might have finished me off this year, but I am aware that there was a real sense of the incoherent about my challenge posts if you take them all together. Next time (did you see what I did there? I think I just committed to taking part next time), I would like there to be more holding the posts together, but I’m not sure what that would be yet.  I have a feeling that if I do that, I would need to decide a theme fairly soon and spend the next 10 months writing and scheduling posts!

So to sum up

  • Am I pleased I took part?  Yes
  • Would I take part again? Yes
  • Did I gain new followers and regular visitors? Yes
  • Did I find new blogs to follow? Yes 
  • Was the challenge an overall success?  Yes!

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17 comments on “The A-Z Challenge – What Did I Learn?

  1. Wow-you like a challenge! Really interesting read and I look forward to reading more. 🙂

  2. Sounds like an interesting project – I am a newbie blogger so have never heard of it. Might keep an eye out next time around 🙂
    Sue Robinson recently posted..Seeing the diet Industry in a new lightMy Profile

  3. Well done for completing it 🙂
    Rachel Simons recently posted..My 5 Favourite Posts from my blog #BEDMMy Profile

  4. same I thought when I was done with challenge. I am so relieved !
    This time it was more challenging for me than last year
    I can’t stick to a theme but I appreciate those who went with a theme. I met many similar ppl just like u met and loved it :)that is the best part of A to Z .
    Thanks for being on my blog. Will catch up with other posts soon!

  5. Wow, you’ve made yourself quite a challenge to be posting TWICE a day! In fairness having the theme helped me loads, it has given me a sense of direction when I was completely at a loss as to what to write about. I hope you’ll give it a try next year 🙂
    Miss Andi recently posted..A to Z Reflection PostMy Profile

  6. Looking forward to NEXT YEAR! It’ll be AWESOME.

    Looks like you fully enjoyed this year. 🙂

    Stopping by after the #atozchallenge to check out your reflection post!
    @JLenniDorner
    J Lenni Dorner recently posted..#AtoZchallenge Reflections Post 2014My Profile

  7. Silvia Villalobos on said:

    Congrats, and good to see the answer is yes down the line. 🙂
    It was a fun albeit tiring month, which makes arriving to the finish line extremely rewarding, doesn’t it? Good luck with the May blogging. Sounds like the fun continues.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

  8. You did awesome! Just one post a day was a serious challenge for me. I’m totally impressed at how well you did. And I really enjoyed your posts. Congratulations on a job well done!! I’ve had a great time getting to know you and your blog. Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie
    Elle recently posted..A to Z Challenge ReflectionsMy Profile

  9. I don’t think I’d have the courage to post twice daily, so hats off to you. Congrats too for completing the challenge. Michelle @ http;//www.writer-way.blogspot.com

  10. 100 Happy Days. I’m not sure what that is, but I like the sound of it! Congrats on making it through the challenge.

    Stephanie
    http://stephie5741.blogspot.com
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Cover Reveal: 25 RosesMy Profile

  11. Hi Mahala .. congratulations on finishing and it sounds like you’ve got the ideal niche .. kids and kids books … and now happy blogging .. cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Reflections for the A- Z Challenge 2014 …My Profile

  12. Well done on finishing the challenge (and for doing it at the same time as another challenge).

    Like you I already blog daily, so this meant that I was doing double posts throughout April. I already have a bit of a schedule so I didn’t worry about missing out on things I would’ve liked to have posted.

    What I do have, for those moments when blogging inspiration hits, is a little file on my phone called ‘Blog Posts’ (I’m so imaginative) and I just jot them down in there. Then when I’m planning what I’m going to post I can check that out, and hopefully remember what I was thinking when I made the note of them. 😉
    Cait recently posted..Book 63 of 2013: A Christmas Posy by Mrs MolesworthMy Profile

    • great idea. I have a note in Evernote where I make notes of post ideas. Unfortunately I don’t put much detail, so when I checked it recently and saw a prompt I’d written called “The Secret”, I had no idea what I had intended it to be about lol

  13. TWO challenges at the same time?? You must be a glutton for punishment! I am impressed that you were able to do both. I’m glad you’ve committed to participating in the challenge next year. Any thoughts on a theme?
    TaMara recently posted..Our 2014 Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

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