It’s hard to believe that it has already been a week since the last day of the challenge, yet here we are already about to move into the second week of May.
Signing up for the A to Z Challenge was one of the best things I’ve done in a while. I’ve always said I want to be a writer, yet I rarely find the time to write. Because I enjoy writing I’ve often treated it like a prize or reward; I’ll write when the laundry’s done, after the dishes are put away, when the house is clean, etc. But these things are never totally done; they’re a part of life, which is ongoing.
|Quote on a bench at Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens|
I learned during the challenge that writing is like anything else that’s important to me; if I want to do it, I must make the time to do it. I won’t suddenly find the time to do it. Each day has 24 hours; I’m not suddenly going to notice that Wednesday has snuck me an extra couple of hours to write. (A girl can dream though, right?) If I want to write, I must make the time for it, either by organizing myself a little better, or spending less time on another pursuit. That was probably the most valuable thing I learned during the challenge. I realize that probably isn’t very profound, but it has made a big difference for me.
I also learned a little bit about letting go of a topic, or at least shelving it for a while. There were days that I had definite posts in mind for, yet I ended up going with something entirely different. Sometimes my original idea wasn’t nearly as interesting as I first thought it was. Sometimes I was just too ashamed of what I’d managed to write on a given subject; I felt that if someone was kind enough to stop by my blog they deserved (at the least) something I wasn’t embarrassed to have written. There are some ideas I will probably re-visit at a later date, but I feel like I now have a much better handle on knowing when to move on to something else. With limited time to write, I feel like that’s a pretty valuable lesson to have walked away with.
I also learned a little more about navigating blogger, though I still have a long, long way to go. I will admit to being a little less than savvy (if it weren’t for my husband my blog would be even less ascetically pleasing), and I’m still trying to figure out to follow some people back, but I feel like I have made some progress as far as the logistics of posting: I can now re-arrange the pictures to my liking (most of the time) and I’ve learned how to schedule a post.
The most surprising, and pleasant, aspect of the challenge for me was how truly kind and supportive people have been. I felt almost like I’d won the lottery when I got my first follower; each follower after that was a wonderful surprise as well. In returning comments to other bloggers there were certainly some people whose lives and interests seem to have nothing in common with mine, yet they still managed some positive comment on my blog.
is filled with some really nice people, and it was nice to come into contact
with some of them. Blogger Land
I don’t really think I can pick a favorite post; even choosing a favorite post on some of the blogs I’m following now (including the ones I haven’t really figured out how to officially follow yet) would be somewhat difficult. But here’s a list of some of the blogs I have found that I really enjoy:
The feathered nest – She has actually come up with another sort of challenge idea, involving photo prompts that I’m very excited to be participating in.
As if by magic – I enjoy her style of writing, and her photos are amazing.
Inane Ramblings – I can never predict what her topic will be, but it has always been a pleasant read.
Writers Do Laundry, Too – I clicked on this blog because the name caught my eye; I continue to come back because I really like her style of writing. She’s a writer and has really good insight, but never comes across as condescending.
Grits and Groceries – This is another one I clicked on because the name interested me. Because I’m something of a procrastinator I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but I will. He’s also great about answering any questions you may leave.
My Life as Lynn Proctor – Her posts are a mix of many things; humor, reflections, insights, etc that I look forward to reading.
As I said, these are just a few of the blogs that I have come to look forward to reading; it’s just impossible to name and list them all. I am glad that the Challenge List is expected to stay up for a while, as I am sure there are plenty of other great blogs that I haven’t even gotten to yet.
For any of the A to Z hosts reading this, I’d just like to say “thank you, thank you, thank you”. I am so glad I signed up, and am very much looking forward to next year. Thank you as well to everyone who has read, commented on, and followed my blog. We made it through the challenge, and are better for it.