A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

A to Z Challenge Reflections

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

April is over and with it, the A to Z Challenge for bloggers. I posted one post every day, except for Sundays, and ended with 26 new blog posts.

A to Z breakdown for the month:

A is for Amigurumi
B is for Bibliophile
C is for Crochet
D is for Dialogue: Writing Dialogue That Works (Part 2)
E is for Editing
F is for FREE PATTERN! (Amigurumi Snake)
G is for Gift Giving and Giveaway
H is for Hot Glue and Rock Sculptures
I is for Invisible Decrease (Crochet)
J is for Jotting Down Ideas as they Come
K is for Knitting vs. Crocheting
L is for Listening to Your Characters
M is for Making Amigurumi Patterns
N is for New Camera
O is for Overshooting Your Word Count
P is for Popsicle Stick Picture Frame Craft
Q is for Query Writing (Part 1)
R is for Rejection
S is for Sock Puppet
T is for Thesaurus
U is for Understanding Our Flaws in Writing
V is for Video (Ink & Stitches YouTube Channel)
W is for Watercolor Techniques: Re-Learning and Perfecting a New Medium (Part 2)
X is for X-ing Out “Killing Your Darlings”
Y is for Yelling at Your Computer
Z is for Zzzs and Catching Some When You’re a Writer

I had been told prior to beginning the challenge that it wouldn’t really help gain the followers that were promised by the A to Z Challenge creators. Let me just say, in a month’s time, I saw 70 new followers subscribe to my newsletter for Ink & Stitches. That is 70 people that want to continue hearing and reading what I have to say in my future posts. During the month, I had over 18,000 new users with over 29,000 page views. I’d say that is more than a success!

I was astonished each day by the amount of wonderful comments I received (to which I replied to each one).

The only way I knew I’d be able to get through April’s challenge was to write the posts in March. March was a feverish dash to get them all finished with pictures included. The only things I wanted to have left to do in April were, re-read what I had written, making any final adjustments necessary, then to post and promote them.

The simple act of posting and promoting, and answering back all of the comments that came through, took up much of my free time. I wondered how others were able to add writing the posts to the mix each day as well. Did you write your posts each day in April? If so, how stressful was that, or did you find it an easy task to accomplish?

Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

On the night of X’s post, April 28th, I went to prepare my Y post for the following day and found I couldn’t log into my WordPress account. Not only could I not get into the admin site, but I couldn’t even see my blog at all! To say I was in disbelief is an understatement. How could WordPress crash? Were other A to Z Challenge participants dealing with this same issue?

My Y post could not go out on the 29th because the site was still down. The last day of the month came and I was checking back every couple of hours. My husband told me it wasn’t WordPress that was the problem, but one of their database servers that had gone down. He had done some research and found that they knew of the problem and were working to fix it. My worry was that I would fail to complete the challenge after all the work I had put into doing so.

Survivor A to Z Challenge 2016On April 30th, in the 11th hour (so to speak), WordPress came back up and with it my blog, as though nothing had ever happened. It was the middle of the afternoon and I got both posts reviewed and put up (Y and Z), as well as promoting them on my social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus). Then, my son woke up from his nap and I breathed a sigh of relief that I had gotten everything done with not a moment to spare.

Reflections:

  1. Was my A to Z Challenge experience stressful?
    Yes.
  2. Did writing the posts the month before help?
    Most definitely. I couldn’t have made it through the month without having done so.
  3. Would I suggest this challenge to other bloggers?
    Of course! It was a lot of fun and a great way to virtually meet new people and fellow bloggers as well.
  4. Would I do anything different next time?
    I may stick with a specific theme rather than have such variety in the posts. Did you all enjoy the “Artistic Variety” theme or would you prefer I stick with a more specific theme next time?
  5. What is on the agenda for May?
    You probably thought I would say rest, but actually, I have begun re-editing my first book again to make it even better (more on this to come). I think Adeline was feeling a little left out of the action.

How was your experience with the A to Z Challenge? Did you have difficulties making it through the month?

I think it’s time for a nap…Zzzzz

Photo credit: zubrow via Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Photo credit: zubrow via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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