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Friday, May 3, 2013

Reflections on my A to Z Experience

Well, I survived the A to Z Challenge.  I'd seen blog posts with that notation months ago and thought, "What is this?"  So I looked into it.  "That would be fun!" I thought.  Then I signed up.

(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.


5.  Chill out.

6.  Smile.  It was fun while it lasted and it is great in retrospect.


  1. Great Reflections post, Diana. Your suggestions are right on and should be posted at the beginning of each AtoZ Challenge.

    Congrats on all you accomplished this April.

  2. Glad you had fun! I enjoyed it too, and I'll definitely do it again! :)

  3. Well, that's a lot to take on! It really takes a lot of time, but hopefully you enjoyed it. Good luck with your book!

  4. Congrats on finishing. Good luck with your upcoming publishing adventures, too!

  5. Yes, the challenge did make for a VERY busy April! But we've survived, and by next year, we should be pros. :)

  6. The commenting thing is the toughest part. Your list for next year has it right.

    Good job in getting through your first Challenge.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  7. Congratulations on the completion of the Challenge,
    also a great reflection post.


  8. That is a lot to take on. But you made it! :)

  9. Hi Diana .. thanks for coming over from C.Lee McKenzie's blog - good to meet you. Congratulations too for keeping going and not bottling it .. I'll need to check out your postings. Sounds like we have similar ideas - and great you'll be doing it next year. We're all exhausted, yet here we are saying .. I'm in for 2014!!

    Good points you made .. it's commitment, doing what you can, chilling out and catching up ... the camaraderie is wonderful ..

    Have a great summer - cheers Hilary

  10. Wise advice Diana thank you! Don't over commit! But well done ...