Reflections- #AtoZChallenge

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

How does it feel when you attempt an examination which you have no clue about, but eventually come out with flying colors? That’s exactly how I feel regarding my attempt of this year’s #AtoZChallenge! It has been an AMAZING experience filled with wonder, anxiety, excitement and a sense of contentment.

Little Background: I started blogging (on a serious note) in mid February, 2016. My initial months of blogging majorly included exploring WordPress and it’s wonderful bloggers, besides writing once in a while. But I wanted to develop a habit of writing meaningful, thoughtful content and not just for the heck of it! For a newbie, it is definitely a challenge to write and post regularly, without pondering 101 times before clicking the publish button. I wanted to get over this nerve wracking moment before posting, broaden my thought process and develop a habit of writing regularly irrespective of life’s challenges. This made me take up the AtoZChallenge, which I first came across in mid March. The very first time I came to know about it, I was pretty sure it wasn’t my cup of tea. Why? Because I knew, I can never write daily nor come up continuously with meaningful content for 26 days. Hence, I ignored the challenge.

A week before April 1st, my reader was full of posts featuring themes for the #AtoZChallenge. Having a theme, sounds so cool, I thought. It narrows down your thought process and makes it easier to focus on topics within the theme. The excitement going around in the blogging community before the challenge, enticed me and made me sign up on 31st March, without second thoughts. I was towards the end of the list and had no idea if I’ll ever survive through the challenge at least midway. But Voila! Who knew?! And I did complete my very first blogging and #AtoZ challenge!

These are a few takeaways from my first writing challenge, ever!

Increased Readership:

Ever since I started participating in this challenge, the number of views, comments, hits increased tremendously! Not only did bloggers from WordPress take time to read and comment, but also did bloggers from other blogging platforms. I would owe the instant hike of my followers, likes or hits to this challenge. Numbers may not matter much, but they definitely boost an amateur’s confidence and do encourage bloggers to keep the momentum going.

Thinking out of ‘your’ box:

This challenge has made me think beyond my capability and comfort zone. Since I had no theme, I was open to a vast ocean of subjects. But this did not help me much as I ended up getting too confused on what to write about.

What I loved about the challenge was, I was forced to think each day, to come up with meaningful content. While, writing every day was part of the hurdle, knowing what to write about was another. I realized my potential of pondering and writing beyond what I ever imagined. This definitely helped me improve my writing skills and thought process.

Instilled Belief:

When I signed up for the challenge in the last minute, I had no idea what I would be writing about, every day. Nor was I sure that I would survive through this challenge. But as I started, I thought throughout the day, during my work on what to write. I took time to actually write, during the nights. It was definitely challenging when life came in between, with strict deadlines and accusations from loved ones about not spending quality time with them! Because, I was stressed about hitting the publish button before the clock strikes 12 and spent more time with my phone, typing!

Amidst all this, this challenge has instilled a strong belief in me, that no matter what comes in the way, I can definitely concentrate on one thing I love and succeed in the end! Part of my reason for blogging was to do what I love, to pursue my interest for writing and art. I realized I can, in spite of all the ways life can make you give up! This challenge made me determined and reminded me of what I was capable of, even during odd times!

What I could do better:

I wish I made time to read and comment on more blogs than I actually did. Due to the lack of time for coming up with my posts, I hardly had the chance to dig into more blogs, apart from the weekends. I wish I could explore more! But it was wonderful exchanging comments with fellow #AtoZ challengers.

I wish I signed up much ahead, so that I could come up with a theme, or at least prepare on what I would be writing for each alphabet. This would have saved time and would have been less stressful during busy days. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘last-minute’, nervousness to think and write by the end of the day. Made me realize that I can work just fine under pressure too.

The encouragement:

The organizers of the challenge did a great job by keeping the bloggers updated. The Facebook page with comments for each alphabet, has allowed me to explore blogs and read posts with similar topics, but different takes. It was very kind of the organizers to take time to drop in their thoughts on few of the posts, once in a while. My first challenge has been a wonderful learning experience and I have no complains with the #AToZChallenge whatsoever.

I met few amazing bloggers and made wonderful friends during this stint of mine. I received great encouragement from many bloggers, that stopped me from giving up! Special mention to Gary and bloggeray, who have followed me through out and never felt tired of taking time to comment on each and every post of mine! You have no idea how much this means to me! Thank you!! 🙂

I would highly encourage every blogger to take up this challenge, just to make them remind themselves of what they are capable of. If you haven’t participated, please do consider signing up next year. Congratulations to all the survivors!! 🙂

The complete list of entries through the challenge-> AtoZChallenge- 2016

 

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44 thoughts on “Reflections- #AtoZChallenge

  1. I share a lot of the same thoughts about the A to Z and I had just started my blog in March before it began. It was a huge reason I was successful I think because it taught me how to find and maintain a blogging community. It’s the reason I found your blog! I’m looking forward to trying it again next year.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Believe I have been thru same phase as I believe in writing meaningful content and not just for the heck of it. I have read few of ur blogs and I found it good too. And many congratulations for exploring new things and completing the challenge. This must have increased ur confidence level ..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for the personal appreciation. I’m humbled, honestly (bows head).
    I concur with you that without trying, we can never know what our capabilities and limits are. And I’m very happy for you that you undertook, and successfully finished, the A to Z challenge.
    Your posts are very good, especially the little stories that you write to paint a larger picture or explain a bigger theme. I expect to read more of you, maybe not daily like it was last month, but fairly regularly. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!! You should definitely take up this challenge next year. I’m very sure you’ll do well. 🙂 It gives me immense pleasure knowing that you liked the little stories, because these are something new I’ve been trying. Means a lot! Thank you!
      And I will post regularly from now on, whenever time permits. Thanks again for all your encouragement 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking of that, whether I should take up the challenge or not. Let’s see how it turns out next April.
        I enjoyed reading those stories. Looking forward to reading your posts. God bless. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The other honourable mention is merely thinking about it next year…obviously I must now go check out his blog too….but this one caught my eye…thinking about it…..since we have mused upon doing it together next year why not drag in anyone who says ‘thinking’ about it 😁

        Especially an honourable mention 🙃

        What say you bloggeray?

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Humbled has been said above…and yet the mention was not required but is very much appreciated. I was pretty amazed by the dedication needed to stick with the program. I could not have done that this year as there’s too much going on…always is to the professional prevaricator…

    Really pleased to see your reflections too. Seems you got far more out if it than just a daily post….awesome stuff indeed….what’s next 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe, Thank you! I was reminded what dedication is after this. lol. Ofcourse, this year you have a good excuse to skip this 🙂 But next year, if you aren’t busy drafting another book, you can try this.
      I’m not sure, what next, really. Need to start writing again, took enough break. May be, I’ll address the nominations I have currently, like your Quote Challenge 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The quote one is an easy one to break back in with. I’ve got the kindness challenge going on at present and a sequel to The God Strain for a potential blog battle next week I think. My books are waiting for me to get going again too. I need better time management 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  5. WOW! Since Feb ? You are doing so well. I havne’t wanted to do the reflection but may just do it. I see you have taken away so much from it and all indicate to a person who is likely to have a lot of success in your blog .xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was really great to read about your experience…you write so very well and made the challenge sound so intriguing….like a real adventure 🙂 Congratulations on your accomplishment and all the benefits it brought to your life and to others’ as well. You are a wonderful writer and thinker…thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s excellent. Good for you. You know, I read something once about a guy that painted this beautiful piece in just 10 minutes. When asked how long it took him to do it, he said, “20 years”. And that’s just it. We already have God-given natural talents. It’s up to us to home them and invest in them, so that we can grow and reach our potential. If we don’t do anything with them, they just lay lament.
    Keep going. I’m sure you will keep growing the more you invest.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what a beautiful and meaningful way of saying! It really takes great time to hone the talent we have! Thank you so much for your wonderful and thoughtful insight. It reminded me to get back to writing, as it’s been a while since I posted 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s really great that you survived the challenge. It’s always important to give an attempt without thinking of the result. 🙂 I couldn’t survive, but it did make a lot of difference. I wish I could complete the challenge, but got stuck with professional, personal commitments & travel made it difficult. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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