Monday, May 4, 2015

Reflections on April's A - Z Challenge

When I decided to start blogging again this past December, I had high hopes for maintaining a regular schedule and planning out my content in advance. Then, of course, I fell into a rut.

I heard about the A to Z challenge and thought that it would be the perfect exercise to "jump start" my writing and be held accountable for consistency. I started off really well, planning out post ideas and skeleton drafts, and kept up every day for a couple weeks. Then I got sick, and life got busy, and I found myself behind by a day...then two days...then a week...it was starting to look like I wouldn't follow through for the month.

And I was quite embarrassed when I got a "you're behind and we need to know if you intend to finish" email.

But I didn't want to quit. I had those bare bones drafts and outlines, and just needed to sit down and force myself to write. And I made it! As a first timer doing this challenge, it would have been easy to start to feel intimidated by all of the other bloggers who were on point with their theme and their daily posts; but I instead focused on how I can improve myself and my blog -- because I'm pretty sure there's no other blog out there with the same juxtaposed niche as I have!

What I learned from the A - Z challenge:
  • I am capable of writing a wide variety of posts. Some were more serious in tone, some were communicating scientific concepts, some were creative poems, some were collective lists, etc. I need to learn how to put the same amount of research and enthusiasm into all of those different writing styles (i.e. don't think of a "list" post as "phoning it in," but make it just as engaging as longer posts).
  • I am capable of writing many posts in a short amount of time. When it came down to the wire, I had to write multiple posts in one day to get them posted in a timely manner. I need to learn how to manage my time wisely, schedule posts ahead of time, and be consistent with a schedule so I don't fall into the trap of "cramming" the night before.
  • I am capable of interacting with a community of writers. I discovered many great blogs, some of which I would have never sought out on my own. I need to learn how to comment more and show my appreciation for good content when I read it.
Future plans:
  • Write consistently with a post on Monday and Thursday every week (with additional posts as they come up!)
  • Make every post well researched and engaging, regardless of content or length. Put a focus on quality content.
  • Schedule posts ahead of time and schedule time dedicated to writing/researching.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to play along this past month, and look forward to challenging myself again next year! Hopefully I will have learned from my mistakes this year, and will likely have a whole new list of challenges to face!


5 comments:

  1. Sorry you got sick, but you made a heroic comeback. Having learned a few things about blogging along the way is a big plus in my way of seeing it. Congratulations on coming back to catch up and crossing the finish line. You are a champion!

    And thanks for this Reflections post. It's a good one!

    Arlee Bird

    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

    Mary www.JingleJangleJungle.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for stopping by! I definitely am encouraged to give the challenge another go next year, and hopefully learn from my mistakes. Thanks to you and the team for all your hard work being awesome hosts!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Entrepreneurial GoddessJune 22, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    Hello there.

    Congratulations on completing the challenge! I actually got to visit your blog during the crazy month of April. I hope you're feeling better. I'm popping over again today from the Road Trip/Reflections linky.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

    ReplyDelete