Reflections on April A2Z…and life

April was a busy emotional roller coaster of a month for me. If I had been gifted with foresight I would not have signed up to do the April A2Z challenge this year. But I don’t have foresight, I did commit…and I did finish.

Results

Even though some additional editing is required, I feel like I created a body of work way more cohesive than my usual random posts inspired by the myriad of prompts (thank you to all of the prompters out there!) or things that happen to catch my attention.

I don’t really follow statistics closely. However, it looks like I had an uptick in the number of visitors to my site and several people added as “followers”. Thank you! I wish I were a better leader.

I did enjoy reading people’s comments and felt like there was thoughtful interaction from the people participating in the A2Z challenge. That counts more with me than numbers.

Excuses…excuses

In April I traveled twice, totaling almost three weeks out of town. Both locations, Arizona and China, had limited access to the internet and activities limited time available for blogging. This meant that I rarely had time to visit other people’s blogs. I am hoping to do some catching up now that I am home again.

Added to the travel, there was drama, including two deaths, in my family which knocked words out of my head for a while.

In some ways the April A2Z commitment kept me going and gave me a non-emotional focus. I posted Zip lock bags at approximately the right time, only one day after my grandmother died, with photos I took in the nick of time at my son’s apartment, walking a mile to the school he works at to use the internet which kept dropping out. If it had been the B post I doubt I would have stayed the course!

Organization and logistics

Focus

It was nice to stay on one theme for the whole month. I, for the most part, did not do other posts during April, except for my weekly Pull up a Seat Challenge. Since my usual “style” (or lack thereof) is to post when I happen to be inspired, either by a prompt or just something in the world, to have a focus was a nice change. I found that I wrote more (I tend to be very picture oriented). Since I was intending to use blogging to work on writing skills that was a benefit.

Planning

When I signed up I had a list of ideas for each letter, I knew I would be traveling and planned to pre-write and schedule most of the posts. I did do some of that, but not as much as would have been wise. I could blame it on emotional stuff, but, in reality, I think that I should have started writing the posts themselves a week earlier than I did. On the road I rarely can do more than one post in two days. Even at that, I often feel like the writing would be better if I had more time to revise.

Writing quality

There are more errors than I like to admit in the writing. Does anyone else have commas that you know you typed in disappear? Commas are the bane of my grammatical existence. I never really learned the rules and spent way more time in my prime writing computer programs than prose so I try to use them logically as delimiters, which doesn’t always work out so well. Especially combined with so-so typing skills and my comma eating gremlins.

Pictures

I tend to be visually oriented and use a lot of photos in my posts. It takes time to curate that. In several cases it might have been better to include fewer photos. I don’t know if I can get faster at curating, this may be a place where I will always need to take a break from the posts and come back with fresh eyes.

I used Inkscape to create headers that combined the lovely logos provided for each letter with my own pictures. I liked how that made the post headers have a common element to show they went together and, hopefully made them easier to find, as well as giving each an image related to content.

Now what?

In general the thing I seem to be most challenged by is the need to spend more time on these posts, especially for reviewing and revising. That said, having a deadline does mean I get them out the door instead of revising until I hate the post then trashing it. I am ruminating on how that applies to my blog in general and how I might approach a 2020 April A2Z.

Getting social

I am hoping to visit one or two new blogs from the challenge each day for the next month. I regretted not being able to check out what other people were doing.

This year’s posts

I am planning to go back and do some editing and create a page to organize and ease access to the A2Z posts for this year.

Next year?

We’ll see. It is definitely worthwhile, so if a theme emerges in my head I’ll probably do it. I don’t think I would do it without a theme, because one of the benefits for me was the cohesive group of posts.

One thought on “Reflections on April A2Z…and life”

  1. Comma-eating gremlins are EVERYWHERE. They attack when you least expect it! 😉

    I’m sorry for your loss(es). I was dealing with deaths in my own family during last year’s challenge; I understand well the feeling of having lost all words.

    This was a thoughtful reflection post. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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