(Stay with me, here. I'll get to the point)
I came up with a theme (after someone mentioned a 'reveal' and I thought 'Hmmmm... A theme... How cool!' And I read what people said, both the 'guides' and the 'participants' about not doing it at the last moment, understanding that you will be swamped, and minimizing the impact of the commitment.
Now, right before the start of A to Z a couple things happened. I committed to publish a book the end of May. I committed to revise its sequel (on the timeline, previously published) for release May 15. I was in the middle of a huge project at work - I nearly dropped out. But, darn it!, I'd promised. If not anyone else (face it, I don't get a lot of traffic), I'd promised myself. It meant a lot to me to be able to finish.
So what worked well: the camaraderie. The knowledgeable participants. The guidance we received from 'the team'.
What didn't work well (for me): replying to comments. I was too darned busy. I was overcommitted and I was Tired. I could not keep up my end of the bargain. I will be going back through my posts and responding to comments and visiting the various blogs. I hope the list will still be up. There was so much to see.
A lot of thought went into making things fun and easy. I did pay attention to the leaders' comments, and I ran into some blogs that I just loved. Lots of them. Of the top of my head, a woman who goes thrift shopping - fun! The artist who crochets flowers, someone in the UK who is into genealogy. The dragon lair (well...I knew of that one before, and enjoyed when I was able to stick my head in). People I knew and followed were lots of fun to watch.
The bottom line is that A to Z was well run and a lot of effort went into making it enjoyable to participate in and to visit. What I will do differently next year (yeah, I'm signing up) is:
1. don't overcommit. This was a singular occurrence, and I'll make jolly sure it doesn't happen again.
2. do as much in advance as I can, so that I can...
3. actively participate in visits and comments.
4. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
5. Chill out.
6. Smile. It was fun while it lasted and it is great in retrospect.