Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wrapping Up the A to Z Challenge

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge wrapped up on Monday, April 30. I took some much-needed downtime for about a week, but now it's time to reflect on how the challenge went for me.

This year, I entered three of my blogs, and each had a theme for the challenge:

Ellie's Blank Book (this blog) - things you'll find on Pinterest
Ellie's Couch - music videos
Help Michigan Pets - pets in urgent need of help

My Self-Imposed Rules

1. Post at all three blogs for every letter.

2. Stick to a naming format. I like looking at the sidebar and seeing the posts in (reverse) alphabetical order by the first letter of the title.

3. Write and post them on the day they're due. In other words, no writing or scheduling posts ahead of time.

4. Make-up posts are not allowed.

What Do I Have Against Doing Posts in Advance?

Absolutely nothing. As someone with three blogs in the challenge, I can certainly understand why it's a good idea. Nevertheless, I didn't do it, for two reasons.

1. It's more of a challenge to me if I write the posts on the days they're actually due. This isn't procrastination; it's just how I choose to challenge myself. For me, the challenge isn't just having a post for every letter of the Roman alphabet but also writing those posts on the days they're due. I do allow myself to research, take detailed notes, and write rough drafts in advance, but not the final posts.

2. For my pets blog, it wouldn't have been possible to write the posts very far in advance, since they were about specific pets in urgent need of adoption. Although some have been designated as "urgent" for a quite a while, others are constantly being added, and some are removed from the list (which we always hope is for happy reasons).


I read an incredible number of fantastic posts. I got many new followers and followed quite a few new blogs myself, with more to come.

Even if I had entered just one blog, I would have had a hard time keeping up with return comments and visits. That's something I'll be working on now that the challenge is over.

Will I Do This Again?

I hope so, although probably with fewer blogs. I've already been thinking about possible themes. In fact, a few days into the challenge, I remembered that I'd chosen and started planning a completely different theme months ago. Oops!


Thanks to Arlee Bird and the rest of the A to Z team for hosting the challenge.

I'd also like to thank everyone who visited, commented, and/or followed any of my blogs.


Annalisa Crawford said...

Wow - I'm impressed by your self-imposed challenges. To write them all on the day! Well done for completing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can't imagine doing it with three blogs. Congratulations!

Dana said...

Three blogs! That's amazing! I'm not sure I could have done that. Good for you. :)

notes4neta said...

I couldn't imagine keeping up the Challenge with 3 blogs! Congratulations! Thanks for checking out my blog!

Hart Johnson said...

Holy cow! I'm terribly impressed you managed this with THREE blogs! I schedule for 'next day' but not farther than that. I just do next day as I only have time to write in the evening but I have a lot of readers in Europe, so I like to have it go up in the middle of the night (3am) so it is up when they are reading in the morning.

loverofwords said...

Congratulations for posting three blogs! You are a wordsmith. I could only manage one, and I did not do much planning in advance. Thanks for being a new follower.

Francene Stanley said...

One thing in favor of writing the blogs ahead of time: You get to spend the entire ammount of time availabel on that day to visiting. I admire your organizational skills.

Janna said...

Next year I may plan a little more myself. I felt like I was winging it this whole month.

Loved the Pintrest idea, and the music videos on your other blog. Very eclectic.

Misha Gericke said...

Wow that is impressive. I finished with two blogs, visited 700 or so blogs. :-)

Lisa said...

Ellie! I've got a couple of blog awards for you over at my place! Come and get 'em!! :)

EvalinaMaria said...

Double congratulation on finishing the challenge. During the challenge I didn't visit as many blogs as I would like to but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with the reflection post!

Evalina, This and that...

Arlee Bird said...

Thanks for participating. I had four of my blogs entered. Two were completely done ahead of time, one was mostly done, and Tossing It Out I was pretty much doing it as I went. The biggest Challenge was the commenting. I'm still doing pay back visits and trying to cover the entire list.

Glad you could join us for this year's A to Z.

We need your feedback!
Blogging from A to Z

Eliza Wynn said...

Thanks to everyone who replied!

Annalisa: Sometimes I wish I hadn't made that rule.

Alex: I might not go for as many next year.

Dana: I know you could do it.

notes4neta: It wasn't easy, but it could have been worse.

Hart: Even if I'd done them ahead of time, I would have felt compelled to tweak them at the last minute.

loverofwords: Planning them out helps, even if (like me) you don't want to complete them yet.

Francene: I know what you mean, but with at least one of mine, it wouldn't have been possible anyway.

Janna: I ended up winging it last year but decided to come up with themes this time around.

Misha: That's a lot of blog visits!

Lisa: Thanks for the awards!

EvalinaMaria: I'm still hoping to visit the ones I missed.

Lee: I'm still trying to catch up on the visits and comments. I just hope I don't miss any.