Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Reflections


Happy Monday, everyone! Did you survive the A to Z April Challenge? As far as I'm concerned, even if you didn't post every letter on the exact correct day, as long as you put a post up for all 26 letters, I think you survived the challenge. So if you did, congrats!

This was my first year as a co-host, in fact it was my first year being involved at all, and I have to say that while it was a lot of work, I consider it a huge success. My posts were great, nice, short, and easy, but really what the challenge was mainly about for me was discovering new blogs. I met so many new bloggers, and for the first time expended my network outside of the book and writer blogosphere.

It was my first time working on something of such a large scale, and with so many awesome co-hosts. In particular, I want to thank Lee, for creating this challenge, and Alex, for administering the linky list, but I also want you to make sure you visit all the other co-hosts, and thank them as well:

Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs,
Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report,
Tina Downey at Life is Good,
Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie,
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude,
Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse,
Elizabeth Mueller,
Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs,
Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain,
Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small.

For me personally, the challenge started out very strong. I was averaging almost 100 comments a day on my posts, and I was visiting around 150 blogs a day for the first week. Then things got really busy at work, and my ability to keep that up dropped off significantly. I still have not visited every single blog that signed up, but I'm slowly working my way through.

I did have some favorite themes. I'm sure everyone saw how Alex featured other bloggers, and Jeremy's head to head posts, but another favorite theme of mine was Joe Lunievicz's Greek inspired posts.

I don't really have any regrets or complaints, and I will be participating next year, because I had so much fun. I do wish I'd had time to visit more of the blogs involved, but I spent most of my time concentrating on the section of the list that had been assigned to me.

How about you? Did you take part in the A to Z Challenge? Did you feel like it was a success? Do you have any complaints, or regrets?

53 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I just wish I had more time to read more new blogs! Getting the posts sorted was fine. Keeping up the momentum ... well, I didn't. It was impossible. Third year in a row for me. Think the novelty wore off too quickly. LOL

Creepy Query Girl said...

The A-Z challenge was definitely...a challenge. Just pulling posts out of my rear-end on a daily basis was about the summit of my april accomplishments;)Great job co-hosting!

Laura Pauling said...

I didn't participate this year because I was planning my own blog series for May. But I'll agree with Laura Marcella's comments that instead of clicking randomly on the blog or going through the list it would be helpful to know what they blogged about - instead of just following and commenting. I enjoyed reading everyone's posts but at the same time, I missed the bloggers' regular posts too.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for you!!! You survived in the most zen of ways!! Hooorah!!!

Take care
x

Sarah said...

150 blogs a day ...? *faints*

*revives*

That's incredible. Congratulations to you, and to everyone else who completed the challenge!

becca said...

what fun I truly enjoyed A to Z challenge and i even learned a few new words so thank you

SA Larsenッ said...

So glad you co-hosted, though I'm sure it was tough traveling around so much of the blogosphere. Somehow, I missed the logo for the reflection posts, today. I found a greater sense of focus, while participating in the challenge. That's basically what I wrote about today.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't participate because it doesn't fit with Casey's and my blog but I did follow those who I already follow when I can.

I agree with Laura that sometimes I missed the regular posts. And I wish it were somehow shorter because I missed some of my regular followers in April and would have liked things to get back to normal sooner. Loved your theme and congrats on being a co-host.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'll admit I'm glad I didn't do it. There was no pressure for me to visit everyone. My blog took a hit with it being on. A few of my regular visitors vanished. :(

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks for co-hosting, Matthew! I appreciated all your encouraging comments throughout the challenge.

I wish I could have gotten out there more, read more, discovered more. But who knows? The list is still up? Maybe I'll spend my break time (in 16 weeks!!!!) going through them and meeting everyone I missed!

Cheers and thanks for a great challenge,
Jen

The Armchair Squid said...

Thanks for co-hosting and also stopping by to visit. See you 'round the sphere.

Jess said...

I didn't participate, but I'm so impressed with those of you who did (and an extra high five goes out to the hosts). You visited 150 blogs a day for awhile there???? Amazing :)

Huntress said...

Big success. *thumbsup*

A big Thanks to you and the other hosts for the encouragement and good models to follow.

LTM said...

holy... no wonder you were pretty much MIA last month. BIG congrats for doing it, co-hosting, being the rockstar supporter that you are. *cheers* :o) <3

@ami said...

Thanks for co-hosting.

{ami}
http://sundrysumthins.wordpress.com/

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I really enjoyed the challenge. The team were excellent the only negative point I have were the people who insisted on leaving their verification codes on and there were quite a few, but apart from that I had a ball.

Yvonne.

Talli Roland said...

Well done, Matt! As a former host I know how much time it takes.

elizabeth seckman said...

You're posts were fun and educational. I didn't so it this year, but next year...

Sara McClung said...

Holy crap, you visited 150 blogs a day??? There's no way I could do that and keep my sanity. *impressed*

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you enjoyed my theme. Need to think of a new way to do it next year.
I kept up my pace of commenting, but didn't visit as many new blogs as I wanted.
Really glad we talked you into being a co-host!

Susan Roebuck said...

Thank you Matthew for co-hosting this successful event. I loved your daily word - most of which I never knew (but hope I will remember!)

Shain Brown said...

I look forward to doing this again so I can take part. I had so much fun reading the different blogs. Thank you all for putting this together.

Slamdunk said...

You all did a great job. I really enjoyed Clarissa Draper's death and murder theme; not that I want to reveal my morbid side or anything.

Nancy Thompson said...

Yes, I participated & survived posting everyday. You & Alex were my anchors during the challenge. Thanks for co-hosting. I had enough (minor) comaints to make up for your lack of any. Yeah, sorry, I'm a complainer. Keeps the ulcers away. But I did enjoy it, especially your posts: informative, short & sweet! I couldn't be short if my life depended on it.

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Congrats on a successful A-Z Challenge! It must have been a lot of work to host, and you did an outstanding job. Well done!!

Cassie Mae said...

It was way too full of awesome! I'll be participating as long as they don't kick me out :)

And thanks for being a kick butt co-host! You guys all rock it. :D

Johanna Garth said...

I loved meeting so many new bloggers and I thought your words of the day were great!

Annalisa Crawford said...

It was also my first time in the challenge - and as such, I'm totally amazed that you also took on the co-host mantel! Well done.

Jay Noel said...

Thanks for co-hosting. I really enjoyed your cool posts too.

Lynn Proctor said...

you did an awesome job---thanks and hope to see you next year!

Michael G-G said...

I have to admit that I have blog overload and have been scaling back considerably, both is posting and commenting. (I find Twitter easier to deal with as my attention span wanes with increasing age and vodka consumption--you know what I'm talking about Matt!)

That said, I think your A-Z posts were superlative. Just the right length, and full of cleverness. I even learned what a marlinspike was! Good job!!

Claire Hennessy said...

No complaints, I thought it was great, even if massively hard work! But so wonderful to find so many new blogs, and I increased my followers and got lots of comments, so well worth it. Thanks for co-hosting. A great idea and I will do it again next year.

Patti said...

It was fun to see the themes that people picked. I didn't participate because we always go away for a week in April, that would make it a little difficult.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

You are the host-ess with the most-ess.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I really enjoyed the challenge, but didn't get to nearly as many blogs as I wanted. Better planning on work things next year should help :)

Thanks for hosting - I loved your theme.

Carrie Butler said...

I didn't participate this time, but I'm definitely game for next year. :)

Elise Fallson said...

I 2nd what Michael said.
And like so many others, I only wish I had more time to visit more blogs. But part of my problem was not having anything written ahead of time. I will participate next year the difference is I'll come prepared for battle!

Arlee Bird said...

You did a great job as a co-host and I greatly appreciate all of your efforts. I admire all of you who were working full-time jobs and still able to keep up with the challenge. 150 blog visits a day is amazing. Congratulations on a job well done and a big thank you for doing it.


Lee
A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

The Golden Eagle said...

Nope, no complaints or regrets; except for not visiting more sites, but I'll just have to be more organized about it the next time around.

Thank you for co-hosting!

Andrew Leon said...

I thought your words were fun.

And I've already aired what I thought. And still processing the rest.

Jemi Fraser said...

Other than not having enough time, I thought the challenge was great too! :)

Megan Wille said...

I loved the challenge and am so excited because I saw so many blogs where people wrote stories using the A-Z Challenge. My posts were really random but it's given me great ideas for my writing :)

Here's my new writing blog, created after the challenge...can't wait to enter this one next year!! http://mjwauthor.blogspot.com

Theresa Milstein said...

I can't believe how many posts you kept with, at least at work. It was fun to be a part of it, even if I never do it again in the future. My reading time was slim-to-none.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I loved your theme this year, and I'm looking forward to even more bloggy goodness in next year's challenge. I think next time I'll be sure I have a working laptop!

Stephen Tremp said...

I think the Challenge was a smashing success! No complaints here. I did need to take a week off to recover though.

Susan Oloier said...

Thanks for co-hosting, Matthew! We all really appreciate all the behind-the-scenes work you all put into the Challenge.
I got so much out of it!

J.C. Martin said...

It was a phenomenal success! Thank you for co-hosting the Challenge and for your help in making it all run so smoothly! You guys rock! :)

D.G. Hudson said...

Thanks for helping to co-host, Matt.

I enjoyed the challenge too, and it's interesting reading everyone's reflections (another list to get through, however).

I enjoyed your series during the A to Z. I learned things I didn't know I might need to know.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Matthew .. enjoyed your posts and connecting again .. and you co-hosts were amazing - Lee is extraordinary!

I'm exhausted just doing it - but can be nowhere near as shattered as you all ...

Cheers - Hilary

Christine Rains said...

The Challenge was awesome! I wish I had more time to get to all the blogs too, but it was fun meeting new folks. I'll definitely be doing it next year. :)

Elana Johnson said...

I didn't get around to every post, but I enjoyed seeing the different things people came up with for each letter.

Shannon Cyr said...

I think you did an excellent job with the challenge, Matt. You rock!

EvalinaMaria said...

Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflections post!

Evalina, This and that...