Sunday, 6 May 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - Reflections

It's time for the reflections of the A-Z Blog Challenge!

This is the second year I have taken part and for me it was a better challenge.

I debated on what to run with as my theme. Last year I was random in what I wrote about, but the common link was each of the items meant something to me. This year I was specific, yet at the same time a little random on the post content.

I wrote all my posts in advance, which helped me to focus on other things and visit other participants. Even at the point of writing this I am still visiting & reading!

My theme was Australia. I focused on my ancestors who migrated to Australia, both as free settlers and as convicts. I focused on localities that have links with my family and on places that I have visited. I spent time writing about the contribution Australia made in the First World War and linking that post into my Genealogical ANZAC Day post. Some of the letters were a bit of a challenge; Q featured Quilts and made mention of the Quilt that was made by the convict women that sailed upon The Rajah in 1841, X featured a Stamp about the Flying Doctors and was a little outside the box - you can have a peek HERE.

I also linked other regular meme posts to the theme - Postcard Friendly Friday, Sunday Stamps, Sepia Saturday. I loved every minute of it!

So, having written all my posts in advance, I spent the month visiting other participants. Some gave up early on in the challenge. I found commenting easy on other blogs; and only came across a few that had word verification enabled. What I did find was there was a core of bloggers that commented on each of my posts and I did likewise, and that was a nice extra bond, as if being cheered on from the side lines.

There were a couple of participants who shared a daily post of those blogs that they had come across and that helped the interaction with bloggers, whom perhaps I might not have come across.

At the end of March I was awarded the ABC Award for this blog and part of that was sharing 26 things about myself. I decided to save the response and feature an A-Z of other blogs that I had come across during the challenge.

I love the creativeness that the A-Z Challenge provides. The planning and thought process. The challenge is made easier by writing in advance and by having a theme. I already have a few ideas for the next challenge......

You can read the 2012 Challenge posts.

35 comments:

  1. I think many more of us were better prepared this year and went with advanced scheduling and themes. Thanks for telling about your A to Z experience.


    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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  2. Congratulations, and thanks for posting your summary post (I need to figure mine out still.) You did a great job on A-Z! This was my second year, and it was much easier to have things set up ahead of time, though I did write my little stories each morning.

    It has been nice seeing you on Sepia Saturday and on A-Z.

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I am still reading and catching up on those I am following. What I enjoyed was being able to link my A-Z into Sepia Saturday!

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  3. I too had mine and theme planned well ahead.
    I chose "Blast from the Past, music that influenced my formative years.
    This was my third challenge and enjoyed it every bit as much as the first.

    Yvonne,.

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  4. Yes, last year the hosts were overwhelmed by the number of participants, but we were ready this year. Glad you had such a good response to your posts!

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    1. I did Alex. I am still reading and will be for several weeks yet!

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  5. So glad you enjoyed the challenge. This was my second year as well but I was no more prepared joining in 3 days before it began. I didn't find you during the challenge but I'm following now :)

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    1. Thank you Martha. I am off to explore your blog!

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  6. I wrote about Australia as well. I went to Australia on holiday in April and wrote about the country, things I wanted to do and things that I did do. It was a great trip. I am going to read more the country from your post.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the A-Z and your trip. I will have a look at your posts and enjoy the virtual holiday!

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  7. Love that you liked the challenge and mean to do it again next year. If you'd prefer, you could help us make the next challenge better by talking about your challenge experience and how pre-scheduling helped you--- by guest blogging on www.a-to-zchallenge.com. Let us know at 2012AZinfo at gmail dot com

    Damyanti
    #atozchallenge co-host 2012

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    1. I emailed Tina sometime last week and offered a guest post. I then did a follow up email this morning with a suggestion or two!

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  8. I thought you had a great theme and enjoyed visiting your posts. Now I'm curious about the blogs you visited that had summary posts. I didn't stumble into any of those, but I like that idea. I'd like to see how that works.

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    1. Thank you Wendy. There were a few who mentioned other participants - Pauline (cassmob) wrote a few posts with links to others and there was at least two others, whose names don't spring to mind, but they will - probably at 3am!

      I think I would be inclined to do this, but as a septate post, as all mine are pre written and scheduled.

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  9. Your series turned out really well Julie, and now I know how you stayed on top of everything. You'd done all the planning. Thanks for bringing the series to my attention...I'm glad I did it, and really appreciated your support throughout. Congratulations fellow survivor.

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    1. Likewise Pauline. I enjoyed your posts and hope you'll do next year!

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  10. I'm glad that the challenge was such a positive experience for you! Looking forward to your guest post at the A-Z. I'm emailing you the info you need in just a sec.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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    1. Tina, thanks for visiting. I did get your email. Post will be off to you as agreed.

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  11. Well done for completing the challenge honey :)

    Xxx

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    1. Thanks Vikki. I enjoyed your posts. What are you planning to do with the characters you shared with us?

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  12. Well done for ompleting the challenge honey :)

    Xxx

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  13. I think being organised is the key - it leaves you with more time to visit other blogs!

    Well done for completing the challenge - are you game for 2013?
    ;-)


    SueH I refuse to go quietly!
    Twitter - @Librarymaid

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I am game for 2013!

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  14. Ugh, I'm finding so many blogs that I didn't get to during the challenge. Yours sounds interesting too, going to go back through and check 'em out. Glad I found your blog, looking forward to other posts :)

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    1. Kela, Thanks for stopping by and the lovely comments. I didn't come across yours either, and I am still reading blogs and posts. Hope you enjoy future posts!

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  15. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and sharing your reflections. I'm following you now and hopefully, next year, we will do it again!

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    1. Congratulations to you too! Likewise, I have just had a quick peek at your blog & followed it and will have a look through your A-Z posts.

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  16. Glad to know you had fun and that you've also improved your mad blogging skillz. ;)

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  17. Oh, also, I agree with you about the core or regular commenters - it does create a nice bond.

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  18. I was prepared, yet I still panicked.

    Reflection is a good thing, You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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  19. Hello,
    Didn't come across this blog during April, but it's never too late for a visit.

    Good idea to pre-write posts. It certainly makes for less hassle during the Challenge.

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  20. live and learn - this was my 2nd year, and I was still not as prepared as I should have been - next year...

    congrats on finsihing

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  21. I LOVE Australia...at one point, I wanted to move there! I even thought of working with the Flying Doctor's (as a nurse) or the School of the Air (I'm also a teacher). I visited Australia twice in my past, and travelled all the way to Tasmania and Port Arthur...
    Glad you had such a good experience along the way...congrats!
    www.4ambassadorsofchrist.blogspot.com

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  22. Congrats on completing the challenge and on your blogger award!

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