A to Z Blog Challenge – Reflections

During the month of April, I took part in three separate challenges – RhyPiBoMo, NaPoWriMo, and the A to Z Blog Challenge (see links in the sidebar). Apologies to anyone who tires of these endless, silly acronyms always ending in “-mo”, but they serve a purpose, and give budding poets/bloggers such as myself a challenge to rise to, and community to engage with, for a whole month (and hopefully beyond). As part of the A to Z Challenge, they invite you to post a blog reflecting on the month (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2015/05/wait-to-z-is-not-over-not-quite.html), hence this post.

I combined NaPoWriMo and the A to Z Challenge into one, setting myself the task of writing a new poem each day on each successive letter of the alphabet. I only stumbled across both challenges at the end of March, so had no time to stockpile any poems or content. Everything would have to be done “on the day”. Now, the alphabet being what it is, some days were significantly harder than others. What sadistic idiot designed the alphabet anyway? Who really needs the letter X? Or Z?

(If you’ve ever read a kids ABC book, these letters have always proved problematic… and I have a real bugbear about Dr Seuss and his “zizzer-zazzer-zuzz” effort)

On the other hand, I guess that’s where the “challenge” element comes into it!

So, what are my reflections on the month as a whole?

– I know now that I can write pretty much a poem a day, if I make the time for it. (Having enough of that time is a different matter!)

– My creativity is at its most… err… creative when backed into a corner. (For example, I was really struggling with J until I came up with this: https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/j-is-for-poem/ – the poem is pretty autobiographical of this moment)

– I’ve tried a few different styles and themes, but my default is always rhyming (comic) verse. I would like to spend some time trying other poetic styles, just for my own entertainment and development, but I can’t help but think that more complicated structures are just not “for me”. (I always start with the idea, and shape the poem around that, rather than starting with a poetic form in mind and making an idea fit around it – this is why I couldn’t engage with the NaPoWriMo prompts, although have great respect for those that did.)

– I don’t like talking about number of visitors to my blog (more from embarrassment about the low numbers than through modesty, sadly), but I was hoping for a bigger spike in visitors than occurred. In the first half of the month, I did see an increase, and gained some new followers, but my visitor numbers at the end of the month are the same as for March. Perhaps this was because people found, as I did, that there are just so many blogs out there, that (a) finding the ones that fit my particular tastes and interests, and then (b) engaging with them, just takes time… more hours than are in the day, sadly!

– Numbers may not have changed much, but those that did come to visit have been amazing! One of them even wrote a poem in reply to one of my poems (see https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/w-is-for-why-poem/ – and Jesi’s awesome reply at http://lunaticpoet.com/because-i-can-and-it-is-fun/). Others have taken the time to leave warm/ supportive/appreciative comments on a regular basis – thank you everyone! I dedicated my final themed post to all of these: https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/z-is-for-poem/

Would I do it again?

It has felt like a bit of a slog on some days, but I am glad that I’ve done it… and already have a “theme” in mind for next year’s challenge! So that’s a YES! (https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/y-is-for-poem/ – which is hopefully right about the secret of success!)

So, how was it for you? What were your thoughts on the month? Any great discoveries, either internal or on others’ blogs?


9 thoughts on “A to Z Blog Challenge – Reflections

  1. Huge respec’ to my main man…

    (Sorry, I don’t know what came over me there). Ahem.
    Jolly well done, it’s not something I could have carried through with. And didn’t. I didn’t even try. So to get to the end and have done MULTIPLE poems for some letters is very impressive indeed.
    The Old/Middle English alphabet also had an EXTRA character called ‘thorn’ – typographically originally a kind of a cross between D p & b pronounced “th” but which visually evolved into a kind of letter ‘y’ (hence “The Olde Shoppe” being written as “Ye Olde Shoppe” because the first typesetters just used the y they had to hand and it kind of caught on and then got mis-pronounced).
    The challenge is to do one final poem (I’ll try this one too) that is entitled ” þ is for ….” 🙂
    Deadline is oooh, let’s say the Thirteenth of May (or should that be the þirteenþ ?)
    Are you game?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was just telling someone that I didn’t officially do the A-Z Challenge because I already visit a lot of blogs and I didn’t have time to add 5 more to my list. As well, I didn’t have time to visit blogs on a daily basis (usually it’s every few days). I imagine that’s what happened to a lot of people after the initial excitement wore off and they got busy the rest of the month. 🙂

    You’re certainly to be commended for tackling all three challenges and sticking with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Y is for Thorn | babbitman

  4. Pingback: Ten-Minute Blog Break – 5th May | Words & Pictures

  5. I love your poems, Al, and your warm, supportive comments are much appreciated on my blog. I also find I can write much better when backed into a corner! and the creativity sparks creativity. Just wish it would carry on after… Have followed you now. Yes, the comments are low, I really doubt some of the people doing it actually visit, especially those with very low to no comments – it is the only way, really! Happy reflections!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Liz. My only regret is that you don’t post more often! The daily deadline definitely helps me to stay focused too, although I’d frankly had enough by the final week (didn’t help having to resign from my job that week too, adding life stress to online pressure).

      I wonder if this challenge isn’t partially a victim of its own success. I visited hundreds of blogs on the list, and like you found many broken links or sites that had obviously just linked for traffic, with no intention of posting. With the best part of two thousand on the list, how is any blogger supposed to find the ones that best fit their own particular interests? I found maybe half a dozen really good blogs through this, but it took a big time commitment to find them… is there any way that the organisers could help identify blog themes, I wonder?

      (I’d also love them to have a “lucky dip” button, to find a random blog, but am not sure that’s technically possible!)


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