“Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters, troubadours; For they teach us to see the world through different eyes.”
by Jacob Nordby (shared by Happy Holly)
That is one of my blogging goals – to see the world through different eyes. April brought me that, and more.
I used March to “pre-visit” blogs on the linky list of bloggers with <100 followers and compile a list of “follows” for April. Being a new blogger myself, I wanted to give most of my attention to newbies.
In early April, I did additional bloghopping to accumulate 85 blogs I regularly visited. I spent several hours morning and evening to visit, read and comment, as well as respond to comments on my own blog.
Would I use that approach again?
Of the 85 I followed, 83 completed the Challenge. Not all visited my blog; not all responded to my comments, and not all are blogs I follow now that the Challenge is over. However, more than a handful of very talented, interesting people have become my cherished blogging buddies. We laughed, cried, learned and supported. I have every confidence our relationships will flourish, and our blogging passions will be richer because of our connections.
In addition to my treasured blogging buddies, my Challenge rewards are:
My new library. Every blogger I followed has not only 26 excellent A to Z posts which are worth re-visiting, but an accumulation of posts I’ve never read. And they will publish future valuable posts. I can travel, eat, garden, paint, think, imagine – knowing I’ll enjoy where-ever I meander in my library.
My referral system. Each blogger I follow has a treasure trove of bloggers they follow. That’s a rich reservoir of talent, and the potential for broadening my horizons is immeasurable.
Material for my future posts. My buddy bloggers have triggered so many memories, questions, emotions, curiosities, musings during my April visits that I have a notebook full of triggers and prompts. It’s impossible in this post to say how uniquely each of you has touched my heart and energized my brain, but my future posts will pay tribute to your individual talents and your cumulative impact on how I view my world. I think about each of you every day, and feel so blessed that you have come into my life.
What I liked:
I pre-wrote 95% of my posts. I couldn’t possibly “wing it”.
The support from Co-hosts and Minions! A bucket load of Thank You’s to each of you who worked tirelessly and cheerfully to support this Challenge. I cannot imagine participating AND performing your functions. Kudos to all for your stamina and dedication!
The pre-Challenge instructional posts by Co-hosts and Minions. Very helpful.
What was difficult:
Sticking to my theme. I’m not sure I’ll pick one next year.
The (no one’s fault) snafus between blogging platforms: My WordPress Reader only intermittently picked up non-WP bloggers I followed, so I had to refer to my list and visit them manually. Commenting on Blogspot was a time-consuming process – even with Captcha turned off. I can only assume it was the same hassle for Blogspotters to comment on a WP blog.
Suggestions for next year:
Perhaps Z to A Challenge (backwards) for a change of pace? People seemed to burn out just as the toughest letters came up.
A few bloggers suggested we drop Q and X. I disagree. We’re a creative bunch; if we can’t take “literary license” during the Challenge, what’s the point?
During March instruction period, please clarify when “how-to” instructions pertain specifically to Blogspot platform. I finally figured out it was Blogspot bloggers hosting A to Z, and the instructions were written accordingly. But I wasted a lot of time, as a WordPress blogger, trying to figure out what those instructions meant.
Will I do this Challenge in 2015? Sign Me Up!