The A - Z April Challenge is over, all my assignments were handed in on time and over the past few days I’ve had a little think about what I actually agreed to do – maybe you’d like to read my thoughts and reflections on the task we’ve just finished
All those weeks ago when I noticed this challenge being mentioned I was taken with the idea of using the letters of the alphabet as a cue for each post - posting daily hadn't entered my mind (until I read the small print) lol Using the letters would give far more scope for content than a theme and initially this challenge seemed like a fun idea - reality set in when I realised these posts were to flow on day by day - one after another - not missing a day 'cept for Sunday.
Reading other blogs during the month made me realise that people blog for all sorts of reasons - I was quite at home with some and couldn't wait for their next letter - others didn't hold my interest at all - we don't all have the same views and attitudes do we - that's what its all about isn't it?
It wasn't until we were well into the first week I realised there was a suggested word count so I'm sure some of the challengers would have thought my entries were quite frivolous. Hopefully they were enjoyed for what they were - combining photos along with my thoughts and reminiscences giving an insight into my life and family plus a lot of fun as well, completely different to the many wordy blogs I see in my rambles through the blogosphere
I have to say I didn't feel intimidated by the range of styles and attitudes I found in all those other blogs but there was one aspect I couldn't come to grips with. Totally unrelated to the actual challenge there was an emphasis on 'followers and following' that didn't sit right with me. 'Follow me and I'll follow you' - giving up isn't something I do lightly but it was that aspect that nearly made me give up; continuously reading remarks about the number of new followers people had gained began to get on my nerves.
I realise I'm different to majority of the bloggers in this challenge - I blog for fun - not to gain followers - yes, I found that statement debated on several of the challenge blogs - and am realistic enough to accept that once this is all over my 'number' will drop substantially - I wasn't blogging so my name would be remembered or my 'book' promoted or my writing acknowledged - there seemed to be an awful lot of writers and published authors out there and religion to me is something I avoid writing about so was surprised to discover there were a lot of blogs devoted to it in the challenge.
Baring in mind that I often think of my post topics on the spur of the moment and normally don't publish on regular days and that I'm a terrible procrastinator putting things off to the last minute, I did learn that if I finally put my mind to it I could come up with something on a regular basis, it did mean I had to print off a calendar page to record what I had chosen for each letter (had to write that in pencil 'cose I would often change in midstream) and also to keep a check on which days I actually had a composed post and which days/letters had big question marks against them.
Do you know what I did find disturbing tho'? It was waking during the night with an idea going round and round in my head - I also found it disturbing to find myself composing sentences in my head as I fell asleep and hoping I could remember it in the morning - I found it annoying finding scraps of paper all round the house with thoughts written down and what was more annoying was not being able to find a pen or pencil when I wanted one. Try running in from the garden trying to keep a thought in your mind - All very new to me lol
There was just one big hiccup in all this - well more than one. Not long into the challenge I began to rethink things - this had nothing to do with the 'following' issue, I wondered if I'd bitten off more than I could chew (I know some of the bloggers did opt out) - being retired doesn't mean that my days are filled with nothing to do and all day to do it in:)
I could see there were the usual weekly commitments, school holidays coming along with grandparent duties, Easter not far away with family responsibilities, as well as other social events. I knew we were to be away on a 'long 6 day weekend' later in the month but hadn't planned for the fact that my aged aunt would take sick meaning I would be at the nursing home far more than usual, a friend in her early 50's would pass away suddenly, very unexpectedly, early in the month AND that this blasted machine would play up. I'd have to compose in Word, then copy and paste as quickly as I could before I lost the connection; loading photos was a chore 'cose most of my posts involved at least one photo.
I tried to get as many of the posts done and pre - dated to avoid a rush at the end (note to oneself, make sure you have the scheduled date arranged before clicking publish) which meant spending what seemed an eternity in this seat, it was like being back at school and having homework to do, there was this daily deadline to keep to lol
Because of the Internet problem I do feel I didn't keep up with one aspect of the challenge - I wasn't able to personally get to many of the blogs and reply to comments or comment in my own right. I was able to read blogs in my reader but found if I went to the actual blog I was continuously losing our connection especially when I moved from blog to blog. I missed that contact of commenting on both my regular reads and also the challenge reads and felt a bit guilty about this - for some reason the fault seems to have righted itself since we came back so I'll be calling in when I get time.
Will I blog more now than before - hard to answer that one. Knowing me and how I like to talk, probably about the same as before - when there's something I want to say I say it lol
Would I do it again - right now the answer is No.
But then on reflection, as I really enjoyed every minute of the month, problems and all - I think the answer could be 'Maybe'.
I suppose its a bit like childbirth or running a marathon - a bit overwhelming at the time and not something you rush back into but the thought of another go gets appealing as time goes by lol
Thanks to arlee bird over at Tossing it out for introducing this idea and giving us this past month of fun
Click Here - If you would like to see other Reflections on the challenge