Thursday, May 2, 2013

A to Z Reflections Post 2013

Whew. I made it for the third year in a row. Once again I didn't get to visit everyone, but I found some new blogs I'll be a regular follower of and picked up some new followers myself. Today is the day to reflect back on what I learned, how I will do better next year and some general thoughts about the challenge. Read more reflection posts here.

This was the first time I used a theme for the challenge and I'm glad I did. I used each day to describe my plan for advancing my career as a writer when I retire in just a little over a month. Sometimes I had a firm plan in mind but others times I asked for advice and guidance. I have entire pages of notes I took on the terrific ideas people gave me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Some of the suggestions I'll be working on throughout May but a few have to wait until I have more time. As in good by day job.

At the start of April, I visited every blog in numerical order starting from the top one day and from the bottom the next. Two weeks in, I had to do a round of edits for my upcoming book and get them back to the editor within a week. I still managed to visit twenty or more blogs per day, but my plan to visit everyone went out the window. After that, I visited my regular blogs and those that had WR for writer after their blog name on the list. I think those little identifiers were a great idea. I plan to use one next year if we do that again.

This year I had my posts ready ahead of time which is a big load off my shoulders and allowed me more time to visit others. I will do that again. Now to some suggestions for others. Please don't use word verification. I usually try twice and after that I quit and leave your blog. Also make your blog easy to follow. Don't put your follow button way down the side of your blog so I have to scroll around to find it. And put a little about yourself in your profile so I don't have to click again to find out anything about you.

 I regret that I didn't visit everyone but I really appreciate those of you who stopped into to see me. And most of all, thank you to those self-less bloggers who took the time to host and organize this terrific event. I really admire them for giving so much time and effort to this cause.

Did you get to visit everyone? Coming back next year? Did the amount of fun out distance the stress and time?


  1. Congrats on finishing year #3! That's no easy feat. I agree, having a theme and scheduling ahead made things easier. I tried to stay about 3 days ahead of myself at all times. :)
    Hope to see you in 2014!
    Jess/Blogging on the Brink

  2. I had a couple of posts ready ahead of time, but that still wasn't enough to keep up. Having posts done early is a definite for next year. I agree with your suggestions about word verification and making your blog easy to follow. Two big pet peeves of mine. Best of luck with your writing!

  3. The theme does help doesn't it. I'm glad I take that approach now. Congratulations on your third year of this. You make excellent points in this post. I hope a few people who need to take the advice follow it.


    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  4. A great reflection post and congrats on completing,


  5. Your posts were so inspiring. I found myself jotting down your ideas every day. While you may have received, I think you gave seven-fold. Thanks for a great month!

  6. I was fortunate I didn't encounter word verification often, but know what you mean about not being able to find a way to follow.
    Glad the labels worked.
    Visit everyone? Are you kidding? I wish!

  7. I really enjoyed your posts and I'm glad I "met" you. :)

    I agree re the word verification, Following, and the About Me. None of it was a deal breaker for me, but the easier people made it, the more likely I was to stay awhile and visit. :)

  8. My posts were all scheduled by the middle of March, but I still couldn't keep up.

  9. Congratulations on finishing for the third year!

  10. I didn't participate this year and after visiting all the posts, although I enjoyed so many of them, I don't think I will next year either. It IS a lot of work, both to write and to visit them all. But there sure were a lot of fun posts and themes.

  11. Congrats on finishing the challenge! I regretfully could not participate this year.

  12. Alex, and L. Diane, I feel better knowing that you didn't get to visit everyone either.
    Gina, hope you'll be back next year.
    Julie, you are so right about the work.
    Melanie and Madeline, I'm so glad I found you guys. Expect me as a regular.
    Arlee, you are the godfather of blogging to me.
    Jess, Emily and Yvonne, We did it!

  13. From one AtoZ cohort to another ~ cheers!

    Yeah, I am a little atozfatigued, but that's ok.

  14. Don't feel let down on not visiting all the blogs--I think it's nearly impossible! It sounds like you visited a lot. I'll have to scan through your posts to see about your plans :)

  15. I didn't get anywhere near visiting everyone. I barely managed the blogs I did. Definitely coming back next year, though--it was an enjoyable Challenge.

  16. This was my third year completing the Challenge, too, and also the first time I chose a theme (featuring an author each day). It was much easier planning and writing my posts ahead of time with a theme. I think I'm going to have a theme for next year, too!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  17. I would've liked to visit more blogs, but my time was really limited. It might be something to do over the course of the year! I'm looking forward to catching my breath and getting into a regular blogging schedule again.

  18. Yay for you!! I totally agree with your suggestions. I didn't participate this year as I lost all of my writing time last year but I did miss the chaos and the camaraderie!

  19. Finishing definitely makes you feel good. Congratulations! Twenty blogs a day - that's wonderful! So glad you had such a nice experience this year.

  20. Congrats on finishing. I really enjoyed your posts.

  21. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. 3 years, wow, you must be a pro. :)

    I didn't come anywhere near visiting everyone. I checked as many blogs as I could in the first week or two, but then life got busy! I still tried to get to a couple of new blogs a day, but there are still SO many I missed.

    I had a great time, I definitely think it was worth it, and I'm looking forward to joining in again next year.

    Rinelle Grey

  22. I did not get to everyone. And I'm not sure if I'll participate next year, we'll see.

    Congrats on finishing.

  23. Wow - your third year. Congratulations!
    Faye at Destination: Fiction

  24. I had my posts ready too. That helped me a LOT!! I was laid up after surgery so I commented for hours a day.... otherwise I wouldn't have gotten to so many wonderful blogs. I had a great time and can't wait to do it again next year.
    Congratulations for finishing!
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  25. I enjoyed your posts, as usual, Sue. And I'm so excited for your retirement!

    Maybe next year I'll try to take part in the A-Z. I keep thinking about it, but am never convinced that I'll be able to finish. We'll see.

  26. I find that some bloggers don't even know they have word verification on, because they don't need to use it to comment on their own blog.

    It's weird, but I've found that to be the case with a few people.

  27. I'm glad that I met you through the A to Z :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! I admit I didn't have a code on my link, but that was 'cause I had no idea what theme I would go with till a day or two out. Next year maybe I'll be more organised. ha. Maybe.

    Well done on your A to Z achievement!!

  28. Glad you made it through the challenge! I may not have commented, but I've been around, poking my head in when I could. Next year, my friend. I'll be sure to be part of the A to Z action then. :)

  29. Whew, I can't keep up with comments. The crazy just goes on and on. I'm glad everyone understands about not getting to everyone.

  30. Wow! Three years? I'm impressed :)

    Even given my time constraints, it was still a blast and hope to be doing it next year, as well!

  31. good for you!!!
    I enjoy reading blogs...sometimes life gets too busy though and I know blogging is a luxury...and sometimes I just need a break from the whole I read and write when I can!!!
    guess the upcoming retirement is kind of bittersweet..

  32. Sounds like you had a successful challenge. I hope I can plan ahead enough to do it next year. I would definitely want to have my posts ready ahead of time, too. Great reflection! Now I'm sure it's time for a break. :)

  33. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge . Congratulations my fellow reflector post maker!

    It was a lot of fun. I look forward to next year.

  34. I started off with good intentions of visiting as many as I could and the first few days hit over 100 blogs, but I couldn't sustain it. I do intend visiting all the WR sites over the coming weeks. Good luck with your writing. :)

  35. Yeah, kudos for completing A to Z for the third year in a row! This was my second year and I'm not sure I'll be participating next year.

    Your theme sounds pretty groovy, I'll need to come back and check out those posts!

    And hear, hear on where to put the Follow button: folks really shoot themselves in the foot when they stick that sucker all the way at the bottom of their blogs.
    Some Dark Romantic

  36. Hi Susan - great reflection post.

    I love reading how different things work for each of us. I’m a “wing it” gal - and last year, when co-hosting, I had to have everything ready in advance so I could do my duties; I found that stressful - the visiting was the highlight of that year for sure!

    But having a theme, whether all finished or just in idea mode, is a great plan as it really does help when one gets stumped - which I sure did on more than one occasion. :)

    I did not visit much this year - ailing parent took up much of my time. As it was I almost decided to give this year a pass.

    I’ll definitely be doing this again next year, this was my third year.

    It was also the most fun year for me - partly because I put no pressures to please anyone but me - not that that isn’t a heap of stress right there - but I really tried to focus on my posts, on replying to comments left for me and then visiting those that dropped by.

    Now that it’s done I am making the rounds to each of the blogs on the Reflection list - I find it quite enjoyable to be at such a leisurely pace, coffee in hand and birds chirping out the window.

    Cheers, Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

    PS - Happy retirement - sounds like fun. I will be adding you to my coffee list as I want to read your A-Z posts too!

  37. I hope you're finding success with everything! I'm glad you were able to get lots of good advice.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse