Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A-Z Reflections Post 2015



So, it's over and now it's time for reflections on the wonderful madness that was the A-Z Challenge 2015. I'm going to keep this brief because just like the Challenge itself, there are many posts to get to.

First of all, from a creative writing point of view, this Challenge was really good for me. I really enjoyed my theme because it gave me the opportunity to create stories from a prompt without agonising and dwelling over them - really, I was just throwing them out there, and I was slightly worried about the response to them, but shouldn't have been. The response was really encouraging, so thank you. (Although I think I grossed some people out on a couple of occasions - sorry!) I now have a pick 'n' mix smorgasbord of ideas to come back to and take forward, and I am grateful to the visitors for guiding me in this - for one post in particular, a majority of commenters said it felt like part of a larger story. So that aspect was really positive.

There was also a really great mix of topics on offer this year, and although certain factors stopped me from getting to quite as many new blogs as I would have liked to - an unreliable connection, and putting our house on the market - I still made a good number of new friends and I'm looking forward to seeing what they all get up to when not A-Zing. I posted for the IWSG at the beginning of the month that I wouldn't get stressed about the Challenge, and I stuck to that. Some days I got to five new blogs on the list, some days just one, and a couple of times not at all. But it's cool, although on several occasions I did not get a response back from those I commented on - and also I did not see many new followers in my GFC, but I don't think many newer bloggers even know what GFC is as it was missing from many new blogs. Then I just paste their URL into my blog feed (which I have to do anyway as my reader doesn't have anything to do with Google. I just like GFC and then they know I'm following them). But those are minor quibbles. Here I want to do a shout out to some new friends I met who commented on many if not all of my posts. Some I met via the Theme Reveal before April started, another great feature.

And some of my regular blogging buddies whose themes I particularly enjoyed...
Sorry if I missed anyone out!

Did you do the Challenge and did it go well? Would you consider it next year?

56 comments:

betty said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog :) I really did enjoy your theme and I learned so many new words :)

It was a fun challenge; I do agree with you; I visited a lot of blogs and got back about 20% of people returning the visit, but that's okay :)

Looking forward to next year's! It will be here before we know it!

betty

blogoratti said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge, and might have a go with the next one!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for mentioning me, Nick! I enjoyed all of your stories and learned many new words too. :)

T. Drecker said...

Congratulations on getting through A-Z! It's always amazing (and tiring). But worth it :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I loved the way you chose your prompts from the dictionary - it introduced me to lots of new words!

I noticed there were a few bloggers who didn't even return my visit, but perhaps they were new and didn't really get the etiquette. Or perhaps they were completely swamped. I've read a few reflections posts on how overwhelmed people were feeling.

I'm really glad you enjoyed my posts :-)

Melissa said...

I didn't do the challenge, but I was impressed by many of the themes I saw. Congrats on finishing. :)

IWSG #134 until Alex culls the list again.

cleemckenzie said...

I don't know how you were able to do this and put your house on the market. Great job. And I'm still adding your words to my "Nick's Dictionary."

I think we all wish there was enough time to hit all the great blogs on this Challenge.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I really enjoyed your posts. I jotted some of your words down so I could use them at some point in my own writing.

diedre Knight said...

Thanks for the nod, Nick! You did an amazing job with your theme and inspiring daily short stories, it was a pleasure to stop by each day to see what you'd come up with!
I'd definitely do the challenge again, it's been an exceptional experience :-)

Hart Johnson said...

I had a very similar experience--just creative writing without the stressor of "needs to be great". Of course my writing was a lot sillier than yours, but seems to have had the same effect.

dolorah said...

Awesome to meet new people. I get overwhelmed just thinking of all the posts to visit for A-Z, so I have never participated. A good month to focus on reading, or um, writing.

Glad you enjoyed the experience.

nashvillecats2 said...

Wow you certainly covered alot of ground in your Reflections. Very well written and so many areas about the challenge you mentioned.
This was my 6th, found it hard at times but plodded on.

Yvonne.

Sarah Foster said...

Thanks for the shout out!!
I loved learning new words from reading your stories :)

Susan Kane said...

My goodness! What a fabulous list!

Glad you enjoyed the Challenge.

Patricia Lynne said...

I think it's good you didn't get stressed about the challenge. That would take the fun out of it. Especially since it's about having fun. I enjoyed your stories as well. The words you picked were good too. I plan on swiping a few (with link backs of course) and writing flash fiction on them.

J E Oneil said...

I really enjoyed your theme, too. The stories were fun and I loved all the words. But I'm kind of relieved it's over :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You did great with all those prompts! (Hope I didn't miss any.)
I'm sure most new bloggers know nothing about GFC. I like to click it so they know I'm following as well.

AJ Lauer said...

Yes, of course. Love the Challenge, and had a blast with my CYOA theme this year. As I was co-hosting and writing every day I haven't yet made it back to everyone who visited me throughout the month yet, but I'm hoping to catch up on that soon!
Glad you enjoyed it. Happy IWSG day :)

Loni Townsend said...

I'm so glad the A-to-Z Challenge went well for you! It's great that it was such a positive experience.

Diana Wilder said...

What a great summary! Congratulations on finishing - especially with everything working against you!
...Now I'm going off to read.

J Lenni Dorner said...

J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge. Thank you for visiting by my blog recently.
Great post. I love the shout-out heads up you did. I've clicked a few so I can go check them out. Thanks!
-J @JLenniDorner

Liz A. said...

Thanks for the shout out. I really enjoyed your posts.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I did the Challenge last year. Was unable to do it this year.

josna said...

Inevitably one discovers all these interesting blogs after the Challenge is over! (That's part of the beauty of the Reflections post, though.) I love your theme for the month--bound to generate something on the spot, and as you said, leaves you with lots of good ideas to develop later. I've just gone back and read your 'Z' story, which was short and funny--packed a punch "right between the eye-stalks"!
Thanks for visiting and commenting on my Reflections post as well.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congrats on finishing, Nick!

After four years in a row with the challenge, I took this year off... I enjoyed visiting here and there without the pressure. So it was a nice change... In know how difficult and stressful AND FUN this challenge can be...

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I am glad you had fun! I enjoyed your story snippets, and also your comments on my blog :) Thank you for the shout out! I hope to see you in the challenge again next year!

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary
MopDog

Cynthia said...

I did not do the A to Z challenge this year, but I'm glad to hear it was a positive experience for you.

The two years I did it, I remember often thinking I wasn't doing enough. But I'm grateful for the connections I did make through the challenges nonetheless.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Which were the gross ones? I took April off and need to catch up. So I'm hitting the highlights which everyone is kindly posting this week.

Yup, I think GFC is passé. You can just sign up for it on a blog with a regular blogger account either, so I don't follow new blogs that way. :( Have you looked in to LinkyFollwers? It has little heads too.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the Challenge! A lot of blogs on that list I know and know are good. Others I hope to get around to in the days ahead.

And you bet, I'll be in again next year!

~ We made it!!! ~
Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

Sara C. Snider said...

I really enjoyed your stories, Nick. Writing short fiction is hard, and I was amazed how short your stories were and yet still packed a punch. It couldn't have been easy. My sister also enjoyed them!

And thank you for the shout out! I've subscribed to your blog, so you'll undoubtedly have me lurking here, from time to time. ;)

Vanessa Morgan said...

I only know a few of those bloggers. I'm looking forward to discovering them, even after the A to Z challenge.

Michael Abayomi said...

Thanks for the honorable mention, Nick. :)

samantha mozart said...

I am another who has come to your blog after the challenge is over -- came to you through Sara Snider's shout out. I have read a couple of your stories and am amazed that someone can tell a complete and fun story in 100 words. I must work on this, since nearly everything I write exceeds the word limit

Congrats on making it through the A-Zs. I'm glad I found you.

Samantha Mozart
http://thescheherazadechronicles.org

Jeremy Hawkins said...

I found that I visited so many new sites, I began to ignore my regular sites... I do find that visiting the sites to the comments made on mine... then the regulars and then new sites. I am glad you are out there, thank you for sharing some of your favorites.

We made it...Hope you had a great time, thank you for your Reflection!
Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

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

MELODY JACOBS said...

LOVELY POST
NICE BLOG DEAR
i followed your blog, please follow back
http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/ #MELODY JACOBS
thank you

Rachel Pattinson said...

Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I found it difficult to visit as many new blogs as I would've liked, but I always tried to comment back to people who took the time to visit my blog. It's something i'm definitely going to work on for next year :).

djinnia said...

I had so much fun reading your posts.

Thanks for the shout out!

I thought I had commented already, but that could be the reason why your post was hanging out in my email. Heh heh.

Hope to see you next year. I'm already working on mine!

TBM said...

Congrats on finishing and I'm amazed how much you did considering everything that's going on. Good luck putting your house on the market. That's never fun.

Kelly Hashway said...

I didn't do the challenge, but I had a lot of fun reading the posts.

Misha Gericke said...

I signed up, but the internet messed things up. Not sure if I'll sign up again, though. It all depends on what I have to get done in April.

I enjoyed your posts. :-)

Susan Kane said...

You listed some bloggers that thrill me to the core, and others I will check out!

Thanks for commenting at my site.

Keith Hillman said...

Wow - top of the list! I am honoured! Nick I can't thank you enough for supporting my efforts during the challenge. Thanks also for keeping me entertained. I left for an adventure holiday as soon as the challenge finished which is why I went quiet, but I got back yesterday, exhausted, and wrote my first post-challenge vignette today by way of an 88-worder for my fave prompt site, Friday Fictioneers. Don't forget about that pint I left for you on the bar in Brighton should you ever come down here to visit the place of your birth - Brighton's particularly warm today by the way!
Keith's Ramblings

Medeia Sharif said...

I enjoyed your stories. Great list of bloggers. :)

Mark Noce said...

Good for you! I just didn't have the gumption/time to go for the challenge this year.

Arlee Bird said...

Glad you made it through the Challenge with a positive experience to report.

Thanks for being a part of it and for the Reflections post.

And have a very Happy Blitz Day!

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Road trippin' with A to Z
Tossing It Out

J Lenni Dorner said...

Stopping in again. This time to wish you a happy Blitz day!

Kate Larkindale said...

What a fantastic list of bloggers! I didn't make it to as many blogs as I'd have liked to either this year.

Happy Blitz Day!

Kate Larkindale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn Griffith said...

There were so many great blogs this year. It was my first year to participate and it was amazing. I will do it again next year. Right now I'm trying to check out as many of the blogs in the A-to-Z as I can as well as migrating my blog to host and oh yeah, my real job :-)
Glad I found your blog.

Heather M. Gardner said...

What a great list of folks!
You have 2 of my sidekicks in there too!

I need to get back to some of these and finish! Never enough hours.

Heather

Robyn Campbell said...

Hey, Nick! Great links to great folks. Thanks for putting them up there. It looks like you made it through. :-) Happy Blitz Day.

Inderpreet Kaur said...

WOW!lots of blogs to read about. Glad you had a good atoz.
I wrote about the 'Incredible Indian Authors'
Happy blitz day!
Have a good one.

victimtocharm.com said...

I agree that the Theme Reveal is a great feature! That's how I found most of the people who I ended up reading the whole time. Congrats on completing!

Visiting (late) from the BLITZ!

Carrie Butler said...

Whew! The Challenge really kicked my butt this year. I had the posts scheduled, but trying to return visits while launching my publishing course and organizing a charity auction did not go well. I'm just now getting to it... a month later. *gulp*

Oh well. The good part is I get to take my time and really read now!

Mary Burris said...

Just now getting around to visiting the blogs in the challenge. April was a busy month for me. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

Mary
www.JingleJangleJungle.net

Entrepreneurial Goddess said...

Hello there.
Congratulations on completing the challenge! I used to have GFC on my blog, but Blogger recently put in an iframe, a change not for the better imho. I think sooner or later, GFC will be completely done away with in favour of G+ followers (click on a photo in your gfc to see what I'm talking about). I didn't get to visit your blog during the crazy month of April so I'm popping over today from the Road Trip/Reflections linky.

Entrepreneurial Goddess