Alphabetical Observation

Alphabetical Observation

I’ve done a few blogging challenges with varying degrees of success. I have always succeeded at November nablopomo, though not at any other month. I also succeeded at reverb10. I did not however, succeed at whatever reverb 11 was (it was too fractured for me, no one place to connect up and too many prompts to choose from) nor did I make it through #scintilla, short though it was. I did do quite well, for the most part, at the #AtoZChallenge though. I posted every day required and commented on at least five most days, sometimes more. 

I met some nice folks and will be adding to my blogroll. I’ll be visiting them . I think I might have a new reader or two.

It was truly wonderful getting to read other people’s writing and having them visit. I felt more connected with this group than with any other blog challenge group. Even November nablopomo (which I’ve done every year since the beginning). I’m thinking I’m going to keep the linky page up (it will last won’t it) so I can keep investigating those folks who wrote for this challenge. I have a feeling they’ll be open and interesting and kind. The A to Z Challenge really did feel like the internet got smaller for a bit–like it used to feel in 1998 when I was writing an online journal (and had way more readers than I do now, but my life is not quite as interesting/dramatic–happier but less dramatic) . It felt less like shouting into the void. Because while I write for myself, to relieve pressure for the most part, it is nice to have readers.

What this challenge did for me in addition to all that–is that it made me finally give up a wonderful but outdated theme that wouldn’t do things I really needed it to do–like nested comments (promoting interaction) or sign ins with Facebook and twitter. While I still haven’t gotten it all figured out and it isn’t as pretty as the previous theme–it is better for discussion, for inviting comments. It also made me finally get my daughter’s blog working again and posting there. And spiff up tumblr and try to straighten out my conduits (the ones that auto post places–like instagram to tumblr or flicker. It just really made me clean house all around, which is a very very good thing. 

The A to Z Challenge didn’t get me as active on twitter (though I did at times use it to find blogs to comment on) as reverb 10 did I was more active on other’s blogs than I was for any previous challenge. I also felt like the organizers actually had a personal interest in the success of the project–something that has gone missing from nablopomo at times .

I know I need to write earlier in the day , though I never managed that. I have so much to do when I get home–chores, dinner, walking, Bean homework that I don’t get to a place of thinking until 9 or 10 or later. At which point I’m really tired. So somehow I need to find time to write earlier. And not just for challenges, I need to do it earlier because I expect with more energy would come better writing. I wonder if I could do that right after dinner?

The finest thing about the #AtoZChallenge (hard thing to say because so much of it was truly great) was that it forced me out of my navel, where as someone with a horrid backstory, I tend to spend too much time there. Since I chose interesting unusual words for my theme I was forced to write about them and not so much about my angst. Which was a good thing. Now I need to figure out how to continue to do this.

I like how I was forced to stretch and change during this challenge and look more forward to the next one. I wonder what it might be. 

I’ll leave you with a couple of  links to my favorite abecedary:

Read it here:



 Or listen to it  (and watch it ) here:  




  1. I think part of the fracturing on Reverb11 was how the announcement of what it was going to be was handled. Honestly, I thought it was very poorly handled. Two or three days to throw something together was not enough time to really pull off a good Reverb11 event for most people. I liked the A to Z Challenge in that it gave us enough guidance and structure without hemming us in or asking us really stupid questions (I found the questions from Reverb10 a bit exasperating at times).

  2. Jyllian M

    it seemed really strange to me too Paula. I still don’t understand the “posting directly to inbox” thing that was the reason for discontinuing it (or one of them).It’s like they wanted it to fail in’11. I have to say the A to Z Challenge has been one of my favorites.

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