Reading My Way Around the World

Monday 5 May 2014

Reflections on the A to Z challenge

Reflections on a Connemara Lake

For ages I had been looking for a way to focus my blogging and get into a regular pattern of posting blogs but I had a lot to learn.   And when I spotted this challenge, I thought 'what the heck'!   Let's try it.   It wasn't as if I had nothing else to do .... but I made a list of possible things I could write about and dived in, head first.

In the month I did all 26 posts - A to Z and I visited at least 5 blogs a day.   

And it was a brilliant experience...

Delighted to be able to add this!!! :)

Firstly, I learned a lot of technical things - like 
  • how to leave a link for my blog to get people to come back to my page ( although that no longer seems to work ... don't know what I'm doing differently), 
  • how to schedule blogs, and how to link them etc.   
  • And how to improve my pictures, although they weren't always great.  However, it's given me a place to move forward from.

Secondly I met lots of really nice people - writing about such a variety of things and showing pictures of their lives, their hobbies, their passions, their pets and families.   
People from England, America, Canada, Guatamala, Australia, India, Sweden, France - I think I came across a couple from Africa, one from Singapore .... it's like finding a nest of pen pals lol

Thirdly I learned about lots of new things: - marketing , Swedish ways , the desert, special needs children at Teaching at Pempi's Place, the heritage of Rajisthan, (although unfortunately I didn't think to follow that page and still haven't been able to find it again).   There were cookery tips, Sandy's travelling tips, flowers, lots of talk about the weather, great motivational stories and lots of stories to read in any and every genre - too many to mention individually here.   In fact I have followed so many blogs that I'll be catching up for weeks to come.  
One that really caught my imagination was Helen Jamieson's story of Moe d'Vation - I'm only up to about letter H in that story, but I'll catch up.  

Another that I loved was MJ's letters to self - really nice wee motivating notes.  
And then there was a trip back through 70s music at Andrea's Maybe It's Just Me blog, and many many more.  

Fourthly, reading all this variety has really helped me get over my shyness of putting my own thoughts forward.  and I hope that I'll be able to continue from here and start advertising my blog to my own community - I write a blog about my life and travels as a touring folk musician so it's a fairly specific audience.   

And lastly I trebled my followers!!!  Woohoo!!   Well, I only had 8 to start with so it wasn't that hard lol  But thank you so much to all who have followed my page and to those who have visited and commented.  It's been a joy to meet you all and a real sense of achievement in having completed this and come out of the closet so to speak.

My only slightly less than positive comment was that I did visit a lot of blogs towards the end that hadn't posted since day 2 or day 12 or whatever .... I wonder is there a tally of how many actually survived?

That said, a huge thank you to Lee and his co-hosts for running this event and I'll look forward to next year. 


  1. I agree that it would be nice to know how many of us made it to the end of the challenge :) I've included your blog on those that inspired and helped me through the month of April. Don't know if there are any superstitions connected with wishing musicians success on their tour (like you have to say "break a leg" to an actor) but I am sending good thoughts in your direction!!

  2. Glad you made it, glad you enjoyed and glad it helped you. This was my third Challenge and each year I was more organised. Good luck with the upcoming tours.

  3. I really enjoyed your blog during the challenge as I'm always fond of learning about new places/new countries and new things, and I'm looking forward to sticking around.

    Father Nature's Corner

  4. Hi Fil - I suspect I owe you a few comments .. life takes hold sometimes - I couldn't always add to the follower button - and that may have happened with you too ... but I have done that now ...

    I'm sure you'll meet more people and get a higher profile going on the Tour - which Tina is promoting ...

    You appear to have lots of talent and obviously definitely have lots of passion for your music ... that's fantastic .. good luck with all your projects ...

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks for the visit Hilary … it's been a blast.

  5. Congratulations on finishing the challenge.

    It's great that you've taken away so much from the challenge. I think it definitely helps with the confidence to comment on blogs that you might not normally comment on.

    1. That's totally true Click - only thing is that now there are so many interesting blogs to follow I'm getting nothing else done lol

  6. I am glad you enjoyed the challenge! It is definitely a whirlwind of new things. For next year, I suggest doing what I did and opening a folder in your Bookmarks for A to Z. I do it because then I can just bookmark blogs that look interesting, and open them all up together every couple of days, and take some time deciding if I will actually Follow them :) Also, thanks for the visit!

    1. That's a great idea Tarka … thank you.


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