Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflection Day

Today, with this post, we truly close the page on the A to Z Challenge, at least the year being. We survived the grueling schedule, the thirteen hours of work days trying to visit as many blogs as possible and failing miserably. How was it? Was it worth it? Are the natural questions. Well, I truly had fun doing it. I selected a theme that I feel about passionately and, even though I had to research a lot and do like a month of prepping, I learned a lot, too. My own list of TBR has grown to an unattainable number and my knowledge in the genre that I'm devoting my career to has increased. So yes, in that sense it was fun and totally worth it. I also received many comments from people who felt the same way as me and that is the cherry on top. To feel your work is being useful and interesting to other, what a high!

About other's blogs and themes. I found all kinds of interesting themes. I know the themes we chose reflect our interests but not necessarily the style the blog usually follows, hence I don't think I got to know much about other blogs, but I did get to find many other bloggers who share similar interests with me, or that I liked, or whose themes were just too good for me not to follow. That is another area where I think The Challenge is very successful, in helping us connect with others, helping us make new friends.

The not so successful aspects? Well, I found out that on day I visited many blogs I got in return many comments and visits, but if for some reason I could only visit a few, then the visits and comments for my own would suffer greatly. This means the influx of people comes mainly as a courteous response to those who visit your place, but not so much because we're following the rules. In the A to Z blog it's clearly stated that we are to start from the position our blog is and continue towards the end of the list in order. I did this besides paying back a visit to the ones commenting on my blog, and if others would've done the same, the influx of people visiting my blog would have been more or less constant throughout The Challenge. All is well, though, I know not everyone will follow the rules and that's just the nature of such a big event.

The amount of followers for my blog did increase but only time will tell if the number of constant visitors and commentaries increases as well.

All in all I'd say the challenge was a big success for me. Would I do it again? Mmm... I don't know. Ask me again next year. ;)

As a special note I want to say thank you to Chris Fries for all his support, for teaching me so many things about our trade, and for his friendship, which I hope will last for many challenges more. He, very kindly, nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award, which I could not accept since the rules state that you cannot be awarded it twice. But it is an honor that he had my blog in mind. Believe me when I say if you don't visit Chris' blog, you're missing something.

Good luck to all, an official welcome to all those new faces on the sidebar, and let's keep having fun!


Lynn Proctor said...

i agree, it was so much fun and let's hope we all keep supporting one another--thanks for your wonderful comments to me during the challenge!!

Nicole said...

Also agreed - you raise some great points and I had a similar experience with comments. Thanks for your posts during the challenge!

Chris Fries said...

You bring up some really important points, Gina! In most ways, A-to-Z was fun and I met many great fellow writers, including yourself, who I am very honored to follow and support.

But it did begin to creep into the territory of just "blogging for blogging's sake"man, which is cool if that'whatht you're trying to do, but not why I started. And also -- oh, man was A-to-Z a huge time sink! I spent all my time blogging and visiting and commenting and almost zero actually writing. Next year, if I do it, I will botscaleal way back on what I post AND begin preparing much sooner!

And thank you so very much for yexceedinglyngly kind comments about my blog! I am more than happy to offer you support -- you totally deserve it!

Gina said...

Well, I do hope the sense of community keeps on going and we keep tags with as many of us as possible. I know I will never stop following a some of you. Thanks so much for your nice comments!

Nicole, let's jus hope that comments and visits will truly increase in the aftermath. =) Thanks for all your kind words.

Chris, I feel the same way you do. I didn't write a word besides my review duties through the whole month and I don't think that's the point. At least not for me. I love blogging but I started to increase my presence on the net and if I don't have work out there, then I don't need to increase my presence on the net, right? Like you, blogging in itself wasn't my point so I need to focus on writing more. I still don't know if I'll do it again but the most rewarding thing of the challenge was to find great interesting people to follow, like all of you!

KarenG said...

The Challenge is one of those things were whatever we do it never seems enough! Can you hear the collective sigh of relief that it's finally over? It was great though. Congrats for finishing with flourish!

Gina said...

Thanks Karen. I do hear the general sight of relief and this saturday I swear I even heard a few beers clink. But that could have been the fact that I was in a bar and it was 5 de Mayo. Who knows?

Anyway, thanks for your nice words and congrats to you, too, for finishing in one piece!

Michael Pierce said...

It was overwhelming...but in a good way. And I guess I skimmed the rules and just started writing. Oops. I just tried to do my best. I loved your theme and had a blast reading your posts and reviews!

Mina Lobo said...

A thing I really looked forward to, for after the challenge, was having done my duty by visiting "new" bloggers and then being able to just focus on the new blogs I now followed...but I've decided to keep working my way down the linky-list, which is probably insane. On the other hand, it's a great way to meet great people! :-)

Some Dark Romantic

Gina said...

Don't fret Michael, I'm sure we all skimmed the rules at one point or other, it was a very absorbing month! Thanks for all your nice comments throughout!

Mina, I also want to keep going down the list. It is such a crazy amount of blogs! I need MONTHS to do a dent on in... I'll keep trying, though. Thanks for your comment. =)