This year, I sat out the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but got vicarious pleasure from watching other bloggers showcase their creativity and determination through April.
Before the Challenge took off, we invited some bloggers to share tips for how to ace this challenge, based on their experience from past years. Today, it’s only natural that we invite bloggers to share their experiences from April 2016
Here are some lovely bloggers sharing their Blogging From A To Z 2016 Experience
Sunita Rajwade – Mumbai On A High
This was my second A to Z challenge and quite different from my first. Last year I thought winging it would be easy and it wasn’t ! This year I chose a theme closer to my heart and wrote about the objects in my home.
It was fun and challenging trying to find time in my busy day but I completed it. Having found out the mistakes I’ve been making with my blogging I consciously avoided them and tried to make the posts more interesting and engaging.
My visitors increased marginally as did the views. There was a dramatic increase in the comments and number of likes. I made some lovely friends along the way and discovered some great blogs and bloggers. Sadly I didn’t receive the response I expected .But I was also disappointed to find that not every one reciprocated my shares or visits in return. Towards the end of the challenge there was a distinct drop in enthusiasm and it seemed that everyone just wanted to get it over and done with. However, it was another step in my learning journey and I was glad that I participated .
My favourite post: The letter ‘F’ – Did you know how difficult it is to buy a fly swat?
Shilpa Garg – A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose
Flocking at fellow AtoZers blogs and reading what they shared from A to Z is something that I liked the most about this challenge. It was amazing to see such diverse themes and varied styles of writing. My reading plate was full of fun, interesting, insightful, inspiring and some beautiful writings. The April A to Z challenge is a perfect time and place to explore some new blogs too. And I am glad that I came across some pretty wonderful blogs. I am hoping to read them regularly.
My favourite post: ‘C’ for Compassion
Kala Ravi Sarathy – Relax-n-Rave
With a ho-hem I started my A To Z Challenge, not really sure how or what I was going to do with it. Being ill-prepared, with just four posts in hand, I jumped into this bandwagon of blogging of madness! Veterans had assured me that I should go for it and that it would be a whole lot of fun interacting and networking with bloggers across the globe.
But let me tell you it is the most exhilarating kind of madness out there, I thrived on the daily highs of commenting, reading and visiting scores of blogs of diverse themes coming from all across the world!
The first week was pretty much wild with me trying to read and comment on practically anything #AToZ, then it sunk in, for the next week I had no posts….panic and more chaos! Each post took me two days to make it to my ascribed standards before going in for publish. So I was literally scrambling around with mad research, compilation, editing while reading and commenting sharing on social media. I can’t imagine how I even did it!
I fervently wished I had pre-scheduled my posts or at least decided to jump into the fray a little earlier! To top it I had selected my theme of Home & Interiors, a theme that required in-depth research, validated back-links and slick editing, just not what you can do pronto. Sigh!
The comments and page-views I received on my blog were what motivated me, keeping me afloat on the most trying days!
My most memorable post would have to be the: Y: Your Home Your Style one in which I connected with some of the fellow A to Z Bloggers who had been visiting my blog regularly. My request to feature their homes displaying their unique style was so warmly received and supported by them, that I felt truly humbled.
A brilliant month that went by and a most-fulfilling one, never worked this much ever!
Esha Mookerjee-Dutta – Soul Talk
The decision of jumping into the A-Z Challenge this year was purely based on a momentary impulse! It was like getting into a roller-coaster of thoughts and emotions, waiting for something exciting to show up. My theme – Pins on the Map of my Memory was about places which had a special connect with me through my personal journeys. It was not easy, though! The only thought that held me together through the four weeks was the belief that being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional! I am glad that despite the odds, I made it!
We can now raise a toast to everyone who successfully completed it, which officially makes us A-Z Survivors! It was nothing short of amazing to discover new blogger friends and their awesome blogs. On the whole, I had a great time, followed on adventures, read many stories, and made new friends. Only regret: Wish I had more time to read other blogs! It has been great for a first experience.
My favourite post: For the letter ‘J’ – JungfrauJoch
Parul Kashyap Thakur – Happiness and Food
On 30th April, it was hard to believe that not just April but A to Z challenge had also come to an end. I had thought of a theme well in advance, but when the real work of research began, I realized how much people all over the world do for the good of our society. How we never know what’s happening around us unless we leave our work desks or homes and step out to do something that really matters to us. With that thought as inspiration, I set out to write and do my bit. This year, 26 posts took a lesser time than I would have expected.
Like a mum can’t pick her favorite child, it’s hard for me to share one post that’s my best but R for Rights was written with pain and that was the day I had first heard of breast ironing. Instead of best, it is the one I felt most for.
Ankita Shukla – No Agenda Just Life
Last year, I started feeling very restless in my job as software engineer. I knew that I wanted more from life. I have never been the one to settle with my condition. I had always loved to write, but somewhere along the way, I had stopped pouring my thoughts on a piece of paper or anywhere. That’s when I decided to start blogging.
I get moments of self doubt every now and then. When I came across Blogging #AtoZChallenge, I decided to check my writing ability through this challenge. This challenge has been more than just a 26 days challenge, it was my journey of validating my ability to express myself non-stop for 26 days.
I am happy that I participated in this challenge. I posted every day without fail. I created a template for all 26 days in advance to avoid last minute hassle. Moonlighting as a blogger took its toll every now and then, but I was determined to come out of Blogging #AtoZChallenge with flying colors.
This challenge helped me to know more about myself than I had known before. I realized that I hate spending a lot of time in formatting, which is quite visible in my posts. I do not have a lot of patience for revising my posts, and I hate following a routine. I found a few positive traits of my character, as well. Now, I know that I have a lot of determination, and I adore writing. If I make a commitment, I intend to keep it. Oh yes, one more thing that I realized is that I would continue learning and writing about the wonderful French language. So, there is my experience in black and white.
My favourite post – French Verb of Day.24 of Blogging #AtoZChallenge – X!
Sheetal Susan Jacob – Scribblings
Writing twice a week itself is a huge achievement for me. So writing throughout a month. Awe! Too much of work. But this was my 4th year in A-Z. And every year I think of doing and scheduling posts, and even having a theme, but what to do, my Geminian trait never allows me do anything preplanned. So as always it was the last minute rush. And like always April was busy for me in personal and professional level. But still when April comes I somehow register for the challenge. The first year in this gave me an exposure into the blogosphere like never before. So many friends, like-minded people, beautiful writings and so much of encouragement. Blogosphere thou virtual is one huge family, you could never get this much of appreciation and acceptance in any other challenge. So if you have never jumped into A-Z before, do it next year itself. You’ll never regret it. And Congrats to all the A-Z participants. Cheers to you guys.
This is the link to the first and favorite post this year – A for .. A to Z Challenge 2016
“Third consecutive year on A to Z challenge and this time successfully completed with two blogs! If I have to sum up my experience in a word, I should say that I am overwhelmed! I was skeptical in choosing “Life as an Army Wife” for my theme in Tale of Two Tomatoes. Because I thought after all, who would want to know if I have 27 Military Boxes in my home! But the love and support I received from friends and fellow bloggers was humongous! My personal favorite post is Guns N’ Roses .
When I set the theme as Chicken Recipes on Something’s Cooking, I knew I had a disadvantage of loosing the crowd who are vegetarians. But I’m glad that it turned out good too. Try out this Indonesian Chicken Curry .
I made a lot of new friends, had many visitors and my blogs have seen many milestones. I believe that blogging communities like Write tribe and Blog Chatter help a great deal lot in giving you that extra push and motivation.
I’m elated at the experience. The month of May is for reading the A to Z participants whom I missed during the challenge. And given a chance, I would participate again..and again..and again..!
Sue Loncaric – Sizzling Towards Sixty
This was my first year taking the A to Z Challenge and what an experience! I wasn’t sure what to expect really, however once I had decided upon my theme A to Z Guide to a Healthier, Happier Lifestyle the posts started falling into place. I actually started writing and planning ahead of time as I knew that trying to write a quality post daily would be almost impossible for me.
During the process, although it was heavy going, I really experienced some positive blogging moments. I felt that my writing style went up a notch and I was so happy with what I had written that I made it into a free online course for my readers. It seemed such a waste not to utilise the posts I had written.
Another positive experience was meeting new bloggers and reading their thoughts. Each day I looked forward to the comments I received and also commenting on others.
During April, my visitors and comments increased dramatically and I had an increase in subscribers, however since the challenge has finished so have many of my views unfortunately. I did however, feel that towards the second half of the challenge people started to drop off and some stop doing the challenge altogether.
I have met some lovely people through this challenge and these connections will continue. I would recommend the challenge to other bloggers as it really does extend you as a writer and the opportunity is there to connect with other bloggers from all over the world.
My favourite post was ‘X’ is for X-Factor – Do you have it? Yes you do!
I would definitely do the challenge again although at the moment my first thought when I finished was ‘I have nothing left to write’! but I’m sure that a good rest will fix that!
Some bloggers have shared their experiences on their blogs.
Let me share extracts from their posts (click on their names to read their posts):
Tina Basu : I was taking part in the challenge from both of my blogs. Sharing healthy recipes here and sharing a series of anecdotes from my life in The Sunny Side of Life. So it was fifty two posts for me. I am happy that I survived and finished the challenge.
Lata Sunil: I wrote about a series of short stories about an everyday couple who were different from each other. My characters, Dia and Sameer, who were never described and profiled, gathered a fan following beyond my imagination. If only, I could also illustrate them. Most of the readers could identify with them. The moments they shared were commonly acknowledged. I had found it difficult to respond to all the comments, but if it were not for the comments, I would have dropped off the challenge. My readers held my hand and helped me survive the challenge.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.
Sanch and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.
Since Sanch is located in Australia and a lot of Aussie bloggers join this link up, the post will be up here by Thursday evening.
Our featured blogger from last week is Suzy Que with her post Zooming Into The Soul in response to the prompt ‘Two people seeing each other and making eye contact for the first time’.
Prompts for this week
Prompts for 6 May 2016 (tomorrow). Looking forward to seeing how you interpret these:
1. Is there a person you admire? Write a post about them and what it is you admire and why
2. Write about doing something you don’t want to do/something you dread
3. My name, what it means and why my parents chose it.
4. Write a post using this quote as an inspiration or within your post:
“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary” – Brené Brown
5. Picture Prompt (Credit : Corinne Rodrigues )