Hola there. It is A to Z Challenge reflection time…
First up, let me begin by thanking all of you who read, commented and shared the posts. Even though I have not replied to each comment individually, I have read them all and it is heartening. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I had no plans to do the A to Z Challenge this year. In the middle of March, I stumbled across some blog posts on facebook talking about the challenge. I read through and a lady had commented that she had been preparing for the challenge since Jan. She said she was done upto P and was hoping to finish all posts by the time Arpril rolled in. That statement stuck with me. I have attempted the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014 where I wrote about A to Z of Professional Life. Daily blogging was achallenge and I had missed many days. That is why the lady’s statement about writing her posts well in advance made sense to me. If I had the posts ready before hand, I could schedule them in advance! But… could I do it? What should the theme be? I thought for a while and the choice was between Quotes and Bollywood songs! Don’t judge… I love bollywood. Ultimately, the universal appeal of quotes won and I set about finding quotes from A to Z.
A to Z Challenge Reflection: How I Did It
That weekend, like a true professional, I made an excel sheet and was filling it up with my favourite quotes from the alphabet. However, it became increasingly tough to find quotes that followed A to Z. So, I changed my idea and went alphabetically for the person who quoted rather than the quote itself. Within three hours, I had my list of quotes ready and knew I could do it. At this time, I could have backed out but I was too heavily invested in the idea to quit. To make sure I went through with it, on March 20th, I did my A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Post. Now all I had to do was write posts for those 26 beautiful quotes I had already found… but, just the quotes did not seem appealing enough. So I set about to create graphics and share those with each quote. To break monotony, I decided to use a different image for each quote… one that went with it. Fun Fun Fun! I spent a whole day searching up the images on the internet. I used Pixabay, Unsplash and Canva mostly and then created all the images on canva. As a result of that, my lovely image gallery was born! I loved them so much that they are wall papers 🙂
I was able to close these and schedule posts upto V by end of Sunday. The posts were simple. All they had was the name of the author, a tweetable link of the posts and the image. Easy Peasy! All I was going to do on the challenge days was read and comment. I was set to conquer the challenge… but, life had other plans!
On 29th March, I realised the posts were very bland, they lacked substance. I am a writer and my blog posts need to be written. No matter how beautiful, the accompanied imagery, the posts need to be written. So I set about binge blogging again ad wrote my interpretations of all the quotes. I was much happier on Sunday night when posts for the next to weeks were scheduled. I had plenty of time for the others and there would be no last minute scramble… or so thought the naive naive me!
April 1st dawned bright and beautiful, my blogpost was published and I went on a sharing and reading spree…. I loved the posts and the themes that were coming up and was amazed at the effort some other bloggers were putting in. My plan ahead and keep it simple strategy paled in comparison. Sometime while all this was going on, I signed up for A to Z Challenge with Blogchatter and got exposed to still more wonderful blogs.
Each weekend, I woke early to write, tweak my posts and catch up on reading that was left out. Inspite of all this, the last few alphabets had me scrambling for the deadline. I wrote those posts on my cell phone and thankfully, did not miss a single post this year… and am darn proud of myself for having done that!
A to Z Challenge Reflection: What I Learnt
Every experience teaches us something, every challenge shows us a part of ourselves that we were not familiar with and this challenge was no different. This is what I learnt:
- I am a can of soda – But then, I already knew this about myself. I get very excited at the thought of new things, I start them with gusto but lose energy before it ends. It takes real motivation for me to end something and this time it was the comments and blogchatter.
- A bit of planning goes a long way – I have never entered a blogging challenge with this level of preparedness. This year, I had all the posts ready and scheduled ahead of time. They were not only ready in my head, they were actually written. I did the categorising, tagging, uploading images all ahead of time. That helped me loads because on a busy day, I could just modify the post on my cell phone and add the text needed.
- Community counts, BIG time – I can not stress that enough!! It is only because of the fantastic people who were doing the challenge, who agreed to read, comment and share every day that this challenge became so much fun for me.
A to Z Challenge Reflection: Thank Yous!
It would not be fair to end this post without all the thank you’s.
- Roshan for being so supportive and so enthusiastic about my ideas
- Suman for being such a loyal reader and watching out for me
- Ravish for binge reading and commenting on every post
- Sreesha for adding her own two bits to all the quotes
- Ishieta and Tina for visiting regularly from the start of the challenge
- Dr Anita, Dr Bushra and Dr Amrita for their comments and social shares
- Vaishali, Archana and Perzen for joining along my sharing idea
- Shailaja for her early morning comments and social shares
And everyone else who read and visited. Thank you!
Have you written your A to Z Challenge Reflection post? Please drop the link in the comment below and I promise to read, share and comment!