The A-Z Challenge – What Did I Learn?
I’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!
I 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!