I had never heard of the A to Z April Challenge until I stumbled into it. Kathy of Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy was announcing her participation. I was curious and followed the link. The requirement that each entry be short sold me. Everyone had already started, but there was still time. I signed up.
But honestly, I got cold feet. Hopping from blog to blog sent a clear message that most participants were professional and would-be writers, poets, homeschoolers, and crafters. I began to doubt anyone would be interested in my family history. I wrote an email to the hosts to say I changed my mind, but just before I hit SEND, I changed my mind again. What the heck. I don’t have that many readers anyway, so what difference would it make? At least the daily letter would give me a focus. I’d have fun by myself.
Now the organizers of the A to Z April Challenge want to know what I think. So I’ll answer their questions.
1. Did you meet new bloggers with similar interests? Are there any you would like to feature and share with others?
It turns out I wasn’t by myself. Several participants visited me every day. That’s so nice of them. And I found new blogs that I looked forward to, and – I must admit – I was disappointed if they didn’t post first thing in the morning and I had to wait on them.
· Sue of Collectin Texas Gal is a family historian too, and her blog is an inspiring blend of research and creativity.
· Dana of the Daily Dose writes about motherhood and writing. I enjoy her humor and outlook, and she always responds to comments.
· M. J. of Lots of Crochet Stitches posts beautiful pictures and instructions about crocheting. I don’t crochet, but I looked forward to how she applied the challenge to her craft.
· Tammy of Heartstring Quilts is another crafter. I don’t quilt, but I love quilts, and Tammy is a professional quilter. I now come here to get my quilt-fix quilting vicariously with the best.
· Lucy of Lucy B Goosey felt like a kindred spirit as she used the challenge to teach some grammar.
2. Did you enjoy posting daily? Was time management an issue?
Since I’m retired, I can write whenever I want, so posting daily is never a problem. I went away for a week, so I had to write about 7 posts in advance because I don’t have my research on my laptop. A few of those entries suffered as a result. Yeah, they really did.
3. Did you have a theme or did you wing it? Was it easy to come up with ideas for each letter, or were some harder?
My theme was the same as the focus of my blog: family history. I have never been in love with my blog, but A to Z made me love it. Within the structure of following the alphabet I had the freedom to be random with the people I wrote about. Quite the paradox! It was fun to be creative with challenging letters like Q and X. The hardest letter for me was M. (See Question #2)
4. Did you stumble upon sites still using word verification? Did this prevent you from leaving a comment?
Many participants still use word verification, but that doesn’t bother me. I commented just the same. I do not have it on my own site because I’m not worried about spam.
5. What will you do different next year?
Right now I have no plans to do anything different with my theme. I’ve gotten some ideas of different ways to treat the letters. For example, Collectin Texas Gal was doing family history too, but instead of limiting herself to people’s names, she used letters for places or collective words like “S is for Sisters.”
More reflections on the A to Z April Challenge are just a click away.