A to Z Reflections

For this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I came up with the worst romance novel ever written in 26 days. Pandora’s Tacklebox, an epic (mis)adventure involving an intrepid multi-tasking hero (with muscles of iron, a beard like a god, and a bank account of legend) and his poor cursed mermaid girlfriend, was an effort to both entertain and educate about writing techniques. Visitors to the blog seemed to enjoy it a lot. I got such a big and positive response!

This was my second year doing the challenge. Last year I talked about writing too, though not as entertainingly. This year was a much more organized and focused effort, and took a lot more work. However, like last year, I started writing my posts in February so they were all ready to go by April. This turned out to be quite smart, as I ended up moving house in April. I surely wouldn’t have been able to write day by day in the midst of that chaos. I recommend to everyone to decide early in the year if you want to participate and write your posts well ahead of time–then you can cruise through April on autopilot!

I do admit, by about ‘S’ I was starting to burn out on the challenge, even with all my posts done. Each day I still had to promote the posts on Facebook, Twitter, and the like, visit other blogs, and answer my comments. Perhaps my burnout was just because I was living amongst towers of boxes at the time and trying to put all my ducks in a row so the actual move (which took place on April 30th) went smoothly. I was distracted a lot and it eventually felt kind of grueling to immerse myself in the challenge.

I met some new blogger friends this year though, and enjoyed the challenge overall. I got to participate in a few of the Twitter chats and that was fun.

Will I do it again next year? Of course! I looked forward to the challenge this year and couldn’t wait for it to get under way. Maybe next year I’ll try something a little less complex, though.

Check out the other reflection posts on the A to Z Challenge site!

35 thoughts on “A to Z Reflections

  1. It has taken me a couple of weeks to recover from the challenge. It’s nice to finally discover your site – sorry I didn’t visit during the challenge.

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    1. That’s quite all right. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Just now finding your blog as I begin to read the reflections that have been posted. It is no coincidence that we read over and over how important it turns out to be to write the posts before April 1. It seems to influence everything from how many other blog visits you can manage to improving the posts after they have sat awhile. This, my 4th year, brought home how important the selection of a theme is. A 26 day to encourage visitors to return. Dropping into the middle of something that in a way can’t stand alone may be better published later. (More of this in my reflection). I love the whole thing, how else would I find you.

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    1. That’s wonderful you’ve done it so many years! It really is a great experience and I know I’ll be back for it next year. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I hope you’ve settled in nicely, Megan. Congratulations on completing the challenge amidst all the mayhem. It was my first year and I struggled near the middle but I persevered (something I’ve learned to do, being a writer) and got there 🙂 It was great to visit lots of other blogs too. Well worth the time and effort. Wishing you a great month.

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    1. I did, thank you! Congratulations on getting through your first challenge! It’s a big accomplishment.

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  4. This was my first year participating and I wrote some of my pieces in advance (I should have done more), I did find it a challenge to get through so many posts that I wanted to read and give thoughtful comments.
    I loved your posts, so entertaining throughout the month, a great twist to the writing advice theme.

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    1. Thank you so much! And congratulations on getting through your first year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. randommusings29 May 10, 2016 — 8:47 PM

    I loved your theme, although I didn’t manage to visit everyday! I found I had a bit of blogging apathy too – I think it was because all my posts were written so it was a bit monotonous just doing promo everyday. It got to the point where for a good two weeks I didn’t do any real promo but after that I felt so motivated again so I think it was the right decision for me
    Debbie

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    1. I understand completely, that’s pretty much how I felt. Thank you so much for stopping by, I’m really glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. How do I love thee… well let me count the ways… 🙂

    We made it…Hope you had a great time, thank you for your Reflection!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    T-SHIRTS, MUGS, FREE MAGAZINE… OH MY!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood… is Nuts?

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  7. I loved your silly story. It was a great way to teach writers what not to do.

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  8. Your posts were very informative and I thought right on for someone like myself who is still in the process of having their first book published. I enjoyed each time I visited you.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/05/reflection-to-z-blog-challenge-2016.html

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    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you found them helpful!

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  9. Writing posts in advance is the key! I wrote mine last May–July, so I’d have ample time to go back through and edit them multiple times. Pre-writing and scheduling seems so basic, yet a lot of participants don’t seem to understand they can do that. I tend to write most of the posts on my main blog ahead of time anyway, so it’s a natural habit by now.

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    1. Yes! Writing ahead is definitely key. Maybe I’ll take a page out of your book and do it even earlier for next year, that’s a great idea!

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  10. I hear you Megan! April was absolutely crazy for me too and I wouldn have never done the challenge if I hadn’t written it in advance.

    Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with next year. Will it be abotu writing once again? 🙂

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    1. Probably! I don’t know how I’ll go about it though…oh well, I have a whole year to figure it out, right?

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Personally, I’ve every intention of taking a page out of your book and using a story to illustrate writing problems next year (though, of course, there won’t be the wonderful, inimitable Hawk…unless maybe I could get permission for a cameo appearance?). 🙂

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    1. Oh my gosh, OF COURSE! You know Hawk would be quite flattered to get a cameo appearance. 😉 I’m so happy I inspired you, and THANK YOU!

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      1. I’m thinking he’d be a great illustration of an “in-joke,” and the challenges of writing to people with different backgrounds or cultural consciousnesses.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve seen other bloggers tackle writing advice, but your approach was brilliant. You managed to present advice in a hilarious, over-the-top way that was tons of fun. Congratulations on the worst romance ever. I loved it.

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    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 😀

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  13. I agree. Even with my posts written ahead of time and scheduled, I started to get worn out by the end. My reason was the day job. That sapped me so when I got home and made commenting hard.

    I loved your theme. It was my favorite of the year.

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    1. Thank you so much! I know what you mean. I’d have a list of comments to answer and blogs to visit and sometimes after a long day it just felt grueling.

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  14. Agree agree agree writing the posts is just the tip of the iceberg! Really thankful the engagement piece didn’t have an April 30 deadline.

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    1. Same here! At least we can catch up on that part at our own pace!

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  15. April was not kind to many people this year. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I know I didn’t comment often on your blog, but I did find it enlightening, especially as I’m seriously considering doing some writing of my own.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you got to stop by!

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  16. Your posts were always so entertaining – thank you – I laughed a lot. I can totally understand the burnout, some days clicking the links was so hard, even when I knew I would enjoy the post on the other end. It’s thinking up sensible comments that made my brain ache :).
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings

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    1. Thank YOU, I’m glad you enjoyed them! And I know how you feel. As much as I was enjoying posts and the social aspect of it, I started to feel like “another day of this?!” by the end!

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  17. Can’t the world just wait to schedule its happenings after April? You know, nobody understands us bloggers 😀 hahaha! I totally agree with you. I had half my posts scheduled when the challenge began but April became so busy I was burning out too! 🙂
    http://www.saraallie.blogspot.com

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    1. I know, right?! No one ever seems to think of us poor bloggers! 😉 That’s real life for you.

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