02 May, 2011

Reflections On The A-Z April Blogging Challenge

Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out (one of the co-hosts of the Challenge) has organized a "Mega Post" for people to link up and share their thoughts on the A-Z Challenge. And since I was going to post about what I thought of the challenge anyway, I signed up for it!

Overall, I have only one negative point to make about the Challenge.

It took up a lot of time.

Of course, a time could have been saved if I'd pre-written more of my posts before April began, stuck to a better schedule, and had a better method of getting around to new blogs and commenting on them. For most of the month I just tried to get around to the people who commented on my blog and keep up with a few blogs I already followed, although I did manage to get to around 1000 participants. (I'm still going through the rest of the list.)

Now for the positives:

I met a lot of new people. Not only did I have fun reading and commenting on A-Z Challenge posts, I got a lot of comments myself and gained around 80 followers. That's one of the highest number of followers because of participating in a challenge/blogfest, which is awesome.

The posts were great--there were topics from dreams to hope to writing to songs to animals to science to you-name-it, and even when there were duplicate subjects, it was interesting to see how people approached it with their own ideas/thoughts/opinions.

I also learned a lot. About effective (and, ah, ineffective) ways of blogging, and I learned more about the things I posted about. I hadn't heard of Ziziphus zizyphus until I posted about the plant (it's jujube, by the way), or thought so much about Schroedinger's Cat (there really should be a better analogy), or known about Montreal's RESO (man, I want to go there now), or known that the acronym for laser should really be loser (for Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), before I did the challenge.

So, in short:


Took up time.


Met new people, found great blogs, learned about blogging, and learned from (and had fun!) writing my posts.


I will definitely be doing this Challenge again next year.

(Presuming I'm around, of course.)


What about you? Did you participate this year? If so, do you think this challenge was worth participating in? If not, would you consider doing it the next time around?

-----The Golden Eagle


Charles Gramlich said...

I imagine the positives were great. For me, really, it was just that I couldn't afford the time for the challenge.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for taking up and finishing the challenge with such aplomb!!!! Good for you!!!!

Take care

Rogue Mutt said...

I'm glad it's over. Maybe now people can start thinking for themselves again. Wait, probably not.

David Powers King said...

If this happens again next year, I might just take up on it. Great job in finishing such a taxing challenge.

Emily Rose said...

Great reflections. I am so happy I did it!

L. said...

(huge round of applause for A-Z bloggers)

I didn't feel up to it when I heard about this blogfest - I'm still a newbie blogger! - but come next year? Maybe!

Scott Niven said...

I think I'm going to have to jump in and give this a try next August during the next one. It seems like everyone had a lot of fun, and if I do some of them beforehand, maybe I can eliminate time from being a negative.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Golden, you did awesome with your posts! You obviously put a lot of effort into each one. It does help to preschedule though.
Ready for next year?

N. R. Williams said...

I'm looking forward to having a little more time to visit all my regulars and keep in touch with those I meet during the challenge.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Michael Di Gesu said...


You made me have a new respect for science with your very interesting posts.

You are right about the TIME... It took me an average of four hours to do each of my flash fiction posts, what with research and writing. The of course the right pic to go with the scene.

Would I do it again. I don't think so. I really drained my limited time. I did enjoy it and I wrote some good works so for that I am happy.

I just wish I had more time to visit the other bloggers. I managed to get to about 500 then burnt out. I am very impressed that you visited so many....

Holly Ruggiero said...

I had fun though keeping up with everything proved to be difficult. I missed out on commenting on several of my regular blogs.

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree with your list of positive aspects. I also agree that it took up a lot of time. I didn't get to all 1200 blogs but I did hit quite a few. Still, I would probably do it again next year.

The Golden Eagle said...

Charles: It did take a lot of time. I spent hours writing posts, not to mention commenting on blogs . . .

Old Kitty: Thank you! :)

Rogue Mutt: I think people did a pretty well at thinking for themselves throughout the challenge.

David: You should, since it's a lot of fun--as long as you have time to blog. Otherwise it gets stressful. :P

Thank you!

Emily: Thank you!

Me, too. :)

L.: Thanks!

I hope you do participate next year! It's worth the time--IMHO.

Scott: I agree. Visiting participants, writing posts, and generally being prepared before them month of April helps! (I'll be doing that next year, for sure.)

Alex: Aw, thank you! :)

LOL. Yeah, it does.


Nancy: Me, too. During the month I had trouble keeping up with everyone, since there were posts to write, blogs to follow, new blogs to find . . .

Michael: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed my posts.

Four hours?! Wow. At most, it took me around 2 or 3 to write mine. You must have put so much work into them! I loved reading your writing, though--the description, and the characters you wrote about were wonderful. :)

Holly: I did, too. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing this week, or next!

The Golden Eagle said...

M.J.: I plan on doing it again next year as well. :)

Randi said...

I really enjoyed doing it because it forced me to post every day (or nearly every day!) It was fun to meet so many new people and I think I will definitely do it again. I wish I would have known about it before April started though, because I too would have prepared some posts ahead of time. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Abby Minard said...

Glad you had fun doing the challenge!

Simon Kewin said...

I didn't take part - and I felt a mixture of jealousy and relief when I saw all those blog posts from everyone!

I'd definitely consider doing it next year, but I'm wary of the time it must all have taken. Speaking as an outsider, it meant I couldn't keep up properly with all the blogs I normally read - such as yours! For which apologies. But many congratulations for so many fascinating posts.

Mercy a.k.a Rogue said...

Well done and congratz on finishing the challenge!

Tiger85 said...

I was not in the Challenge but I think I'll so it next year. I read wonderful posts through the challenge and found new blogs to follow even though I was not in the Challenge. I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting new bloggers. =)

Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

Colene Murphy said...

Glad you had fun, even though it was strenuous on your time!! Sounds like an overall success!

Jules said...

I'm glad things will be going back to normal. You did a fabulous job Golden but then I've been here for awhile and have always enjoyed it. As to next year... that's next year :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Oh, definitely worth it, but you are so right. It took so much time and I am very grateful to be back to normal. So nice "meeting" you.

The Words Crafter said...

I totally loved the posts you did! Congrats for finishing the Challenge :)

Jai Joshi said...

I had fun reading people's a-z posts but I'm glad I didn't sign up to take part myself. There's no way I would have been able to keep up with the post schedule and my own personal priorities at the same time.

Congratulations on completing it and on gaining 80 followers!


Alleged Author said...

Thanks for the positives and negatives. I didn't partake of the challenge because of time. Next year, I will join up and write the posts ahead of time.

Alleged Author said...

Thanks for the positives and negatives. I didn't partake of the challenge because of time. Next year, I will join up and write the posts ahead of time.

Liz P said...

I'm with ya! Good to be getting back to normal.

You did a great job with your posts! I really enjoyed reading them. Learning new things is always a plus! :)

David L Macaulay said...

it was well worth doing but I confess there were days when I really didn't have time or inclination and the entries were rather slapdash, but a great idea overall.

Arlee Bird said...

I agree that time was definitely an issue, but I knew that beforehand. I also learned to manage my time better than last year and I feel like I did better commenting and created some better posts. Next year with more advance work and better time management I think I will do even better.

You did very well with excellent posts and making the rounds with visits and comments. I think now that you know what to expect you will do even better next year. Congratulations on making it to the last letter of the alphabet.

Don't forget to pick up your Winner's Badge at my site.
Tossing It Out

Ann said...

Congratulations on taking up the challenge and seeing it through to the end.

Rachel Morgan said...

You did a great job with this challenge because you actually researched and learned (and told us) about new things. I just.... did random stuff!

Laura said...

I love the posts that you did for the challenge. You must have put a ton of time into them!
Still making my way around, visiting. Glad you found me so that I could find you! :-)

laughingwolf said...

way to go, ge!

enjoyed your posts, immensely :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Randi: It was sometimes hard for me to write a post so often, but fun.

NaBloWriMo (National Blogging Month) requires you to post every day for the entire month of October--think you'd ever try that? I'm planning to do it again this year. :P

I enjoyed the visit!

Abby: Thank you!

Simon: I often envied those who could just continue on with their usual posting.

No need to apologize. I know I didn't keep up with the blogs I follow, either--and I'll have to try to fix that this month!


Mercy: Thank you! :)

Tiger85: I hope you do participate next year--I thought it was a lot of fun!

Colene: Thanks!

I think it was an overall success; there were hiccups here and there, but I got through. And learned a lot.

Jules: Me, too. Although I now feel like I should be writing a post every morning!

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy my blog. :)

Right. Just under 11 months away, and even I don't believe in prewriting posts that early . . . LOL.

Karen: I'm glad to be back to a more relaxed schedule, that's for sure!

It's nice to "meet" you, too!

The Words Crafter: I'm glad you enjoyed my posts! :)

Thank you!

Jai: I didn't do some other things I could (or, er, should) have done during April; writing would be one example. But now I can look at my WIP with a fresh eye, at least!

Thank you!

The Golden Eagle said...

Alleged: You're welcome!

I will, too. :P

Liz: Indeed!

Thank you! :)

David: I sometimes put together a post that wasn't the best, too. Slapdash is the word for it!

Arlee: You really had a great idea starting this Challenge. :)

I'll try to do better next year; now I know more what it's like during the month. Experience hurts, but you do learn from it, after all.

Thank you!

Ann: Thanks! :)

Rachel: Thank you!

Random stuff is cool. :D

Laura: I wanted to make sure what I said was verifiable; and not just by Wikipedia. :P

I'm still visiting people, too. I expect it'll take me a while to do it, and this time there's a deadline!

Laughingwolf: Thank you! :)

I'm glad you enjoyed them!

jabblog said...

It was time-consuming (but I have plenty of time, compared to some . . . ) but it was fun, disciplined and led to some interesting reading on other blogs. Still making my way through - every day the list seems to grow ;-)

alberta ross said...

well done for finishing in such style - i agree the only negative for me was the time it took esp. to work ones way around the 1000+ blogs - still wandering!

next year I will prewrite most of them I think - and must work out a more efficient way of getting around the blogs(the buttons supplied were helpful) - or maybe not have anything else to do like write a novel!!!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I did last years and there was only 100 entries, this year was just as fun though I did my 26 poems before April, got my photo's ear marked and as I always play a song to compliament the blog had that sorted so I was ready to go.I did not however envisage the size of the entrties and found it difficult to get around as many as I would have liked to.
Thanks for calling by and congrats on completing the challange.


Better is Possible said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my reflection post. Nice to finally find your blog.

Paula Martin said...

Congrats on completing the A-Z, and thanks for visiting my blog. I agree that the secret is to prepare in advance, so that you have more time to visit other blogs. I'm still trying to catch up!
Paula Martin’s Potpourri

sam said...

well done on completing the challenge. I have to agree with you there, it did take up time but it was all worth it in the end.

Stacy Henrie said...

I didn't participate, but I enjoyed reading those who did. And maybe next year I'll do it.

Graywolfie said...

Congrats on completing the challenge...!
Sounds like you had lots of fun.
Well...I would be joining in to next year - if I can remember...haha..

baygirl32 said...

it was a great challenge! CONGRATS on finishing

The Golden Eagle said...

Jabblog: I know! Doesn't it just expand like crazy? ;)

Alberta: Thank you!

Me, too. There are just so many bloggers . . .

I didn't use the buttons at all--I just used the Linky list posted on the host's pages. I should have tried them. :P

Yvonne: 100 entries?! I can't imagine a challenge with that few participatns . . . LOL.

You sound like you were really prepared for this year's challenge! There were a lot of people participating, weren't there?

Thank you!

Better is Possible: Thank you!

You're welcome--still making my very slow way through the list of reflections posts. :P

Paula: Thank you!

You're very welcome; I enjoyed my visit!

Me, too.

Sam: Thank you!

I agree--it was worth all the time it took. :) I had a lot of fun doing it!

Stacy: It's a great Challenge; a bit time-consuming, and it can be hard to visit people and even find the right words for the letters, but it's worth the effort. (I think.)

Graywolfie: Thank you!

I'm sure there will be posts about it. LOL.

Baygirl32: Thank you! :)