Monday, May 2, 2011

Reflecting on The A-Z Challenge
As most of you have figured out, I've been involved with the A-Z Blogging Challenge from Arlee Bird's group at Tossing It Out, using the letters of the alphabet for a daily posting (excluding Sundays) for the month of April (or, beyond, if you were a little slower in posting). There was well over 1300 participants and we were supposed to visit them all, make comments, and post our own stories, or themes, to fulfill the challenge. And, today, we're in a linky, as folks follow up with their feelings about the experience.

I remember being excited starting out, because it would take a month to accomplish. Then, as each day arrived, bringing a new letter challenge for posting, the reality of it all settled in and, on a few occasions, became onerous. It isn't that I didn't enjoy the exercise but that it had become something that seemed to take over my day.

You see, here's my problem (and, it may well be the same for others): I love to research -- anything! I was once asked to speak to a senior's class on writing and my first question  was, "Who likes to do homework?" No one raised a hand or blurted out their response (as is the wont of so many, today) and all were stunned to find out that being a successful writer requires non-stop reading and non-stop research (homework). Don't know how many from that class have since become writers, but it did change some minds that day. That being said, I repeat, I love research. So, what did that mean for this exercise? Nothing got done, as I had hoped, because I was up to my chin in lovely, lovely, research!

The dark side of research is that I was led to even more interesting things and my days became blurred whilst I submerged myself in discovery heaven. That I was actually able to put a post together was even more surprising. I would research, take a nap, and then wake up to write my post, and it would all come together. Were the posts perfect? No, that's not the point. The point, for me, is that I was able to write on many things that have been kept inside for a long time, as well as clarify the unknown by having to make it understood by others.

I think that's the joy and wealth of writing, really, being able to bring something new to others and sharing in such a way that it invites even more study on their part. If that has happened from just one of my postings, then, it was an even more cool exercise.

The benefit, of course, from the challenge was in meeting so many bloggers I might never have found and discovering their way of sharing their lives, either through prose, poetry, or imagery. Since I'm still trying to get Frogger off his lily pad and safe across the street, I'm probably not going to be following the gamers. But, that still leaves hundreds of kindred posters. The Internet is an exciting place to travel, a world vibrating with so many others reaching out to share and make permanent their own voices during their own personal journeys. Please continue to use the Surprise Me button to discover these wonderful people for yourself.

I will be getting to everyone, sooner or later, but 1300+ is a big number. I hope you will do the same and come visit me on my porch, share some rockin' chair reflections on a life of adventures and anecdotes. Who knows? I may even throw in some tooth-suckin' wisdom.  It's been a pleasure and lots of fun, and will definitely look forward to next year's challenge. Come visit when you can. I'll start the tea.


  1. Research is such a fun part of any encourages digression. When I was a kid, I remember getting the encyclopedia - book by book - delivered to our home. My favorite books were A and S because they had so much cool stuff. The Internet is like that for me today. So much to learn!
    Thanks for the interesting posts - and all the research. I'll keep dropping in to share some of your tea and wisdom.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the Challenge! Sometimes it did seem to take over, but we all gained so much form the experience.

  3. Oh God, if I had to research topics during the challenge I might as well have shot myself in the head. It was hard enough writing, posting, commenting, and searching out new blogs,like yours. Congrats. Hope to see you around bloggydom.

  4. I enjoyed reading your blogs this past month,
    Last year I made quite a few mew followers and some are still commenting and I class them as special cyber friends, It was a pleasure to become a follower of your blog and I look forward to continue reading whenever you post a new blog.

  5. I really enjoyed participating in the A to Z Challenge. It made me step out of the box a little to find topics to write about. And, I got to meet so many awesome people along the way. I have so many new blogs to follow now that it's going to be hard to keep up with them all.

    Looking forward to more of your posts!

  6. I too started out with great expectations but I have found that when I really want to do something I have to deal with challenges that go beyond normal. I lost all access to the Internet and at the same time my computer was infected with a particularly painful virus. I'm still strugling with the Internet but am at least able to blog occasionaly now.
    I'm dissapointed that I was unable to complete the challenge but don't feel guilty because this really was something that was out of my hands.
    I love God and take immense joy from being able to tell about his love through my blog. Hopefully next year he will be less testing. Don't you just hate tests? God bless you my friend, love Geoff.

  7. A-Z was a fun, fast ride, and I hear you on the onerousness of the task sometimes...I did flash fiction throughout, and sometimes the piece consumed me for the day and I was only able to write it out till just before midnight.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog before, and I'm glad I finally got to visit you back. Better late than never :)

  8. Glad you enjoyed the challenge and congrats on making it all the way through to the end!

  9. I love to do homework :-) But the problem is as You say that so many other interesting things trun up on the way that I often gets lost and forgets the reason I started it all :-) :-)

    Have a great day!