With the end of April's A-to-Z Blogging Challenge a week behind us, today is the day for some final thoughts.
This was my first endurance blogathon, and there were many things I liked about it:
- I stayed committed and met the goal, finishing each post early so that all twenty-six letter posts could be scheduled for a consistent 5:00am post time. I am proud of the fact that in spite of several times of hectic scrambling, I proved that I could meet a consistent writing deadline.
- I met many other writers and bloggers who I would have otherwise never met. I became a follower of many other awesome blogs of creative, talented, and inspiring people. I've met fellow writers in all stages of their journey, from early-stage wannabes like me to authors who have been published many times over. Without a doubt, this was one of the best things about the challenge.
- My blog and my writing were given exposure to many new A-to-Z visitors, several of whom graciously became my followers. I am honored and pleased by this show of support, and I gladly welcome each and every one of my new followers.
- I learned about my writing. Choosing the topic I did, I had to come up with repeated posts about what was important in my writing, what I strove for, and what kind of writing I actually wanted to create. Being forced to do this definitely helped organize and prioritize my thoughts about the work I want to create, and really served to clarify many things for me in regards to my writing.
But while there were many positive things, there was also one big drawback, too:
- Being so focused on writing my daily blog posts and visiting and commenting on as many other A-to-Zer blogs as I could, I found essentially no time to actually write. I enjoy blogging, but this blog wasn't meant to be an end in itself – I created it to share my development as a writer and to highlight the stories I write. If I'm so busy blogging that I'm not actually doing any writing, then things have become skewed. What's the point of highlighting a writing blog of someone who isn't writing?
Overall, I enjoyed the A-to-Z Challenge, but I'm not sure I'll do it again next year. Or if I do, it will be in a much more streamlined manner. It took quite a bit of time to create each of the custom dictionary images for the posts, and the posts I wrote were maybe a little too long at times. I'm not sure I want every April to be a month of no writing output because I'm too busy blogging, so if I do it next year, there were certainly be a reduction in the amount of effort I put into the challenge. Either that or I will begin preparations much sooner...
But as a few final words: A deep “Thank you” to DL, Arlee, and all the other A-to-Z hosts who set the challenge up and oversaw it. There was a tremendous amount of work that went into this, and I appreciate all the effort you did. Also, and most importantly, I again want to offer a sincere and heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to every one who visited, commented, and became a follower of my blog during the A-to-Z. I greatly appreciate it!!!