Monday, May 4, 2015

A to Z Reflections for 2015


Wow. I'm still alive. It was a busy frantic month of April. I hope you'll share your thoughts on the A to Z Challenge this year at some point this week. After you do, add the link for the post to the linky list at the A to Z Blog and then visit others and see how the challenge treated them.

I also want to thank my wonder Dragon Soldiers who helped me more than I can say.
L. Diane at Spunk on a Stick
Sabina at Victim to Charm
Ann at So Much to Choose From
Shantala at Shanaya Tales


This was my first year as co-host. Some reflection on that:
1. The veterans on this team are amazing. So many of them have done this year after year. There's so much work behind the scenes and in previous years they did it with few co-hosts than this year.
2. Being a co-host is a lot of work and it takes up a lot of time.
3. The first two weeks were crazy busy but I became more efficient half way through the month.

As a co-host, I really had insight into how many bloggers signed up but didn't participate. I was shocked and that was what made the most work for the people running the Challenge. I'm sure some people had excellent excuses. Life just gets in the way sometimes. Some probably just forgot they signed up.  Also a number of bloggers didn't finish. Again, many probably had really good reasons. Family issues, job demands, illness, internet failure or an unexpected deadline can all derail the best intentions. And a good number probably underestimated the amount of time the challenge can take.

I also enjoyed the theme I picked more than I expected. It was my turn this year to suggest books and make other peoples' TBR lists longer. I really appreciated the bloggers who visited me nearly every day. In the weeks ahead, I intend to highlight some of those blogs.

I hope for next year, all those who dropped out will try again. I hope all those who made to the end line will join again in April 2016.

Don't forget you get reward yourself with some actual A to Z Survivor Gear. You know you want one of these shirts designed by co-host Jeremy Hawkins.

Don't forget this Wednesday is the first of the month so that mean it is Insecure Writers Support Group day to post. Share those insecurities with us. I'll try to keep my list short.

A last piece of advice for A to Z'ers, don't stop the momentum you've gained from this month-long marathon. Now you know you can keep your blog on a schedule, keep it active. It doesn't have to be every day. Three time, two times even one time per week so visitors know what to expect. Keep it going.

Did you order your tee-shirt yet? Have you learned something from the Challenge? Will you sign up next year? Any advice to make the entire affair run smoother? Don't forget to add your link on the A to Z Page.





80 comments:

  1. My t-shirt is on its way!
    Now you know the work involved behind the scenes. I know how many drop out since I'm the one who has to remove them from the list. But it's not called a Challenge for nothing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A challenge indeed. I'm ordering my shirt today.

      Delete
  2. I think I enjoyed it more this year being a Dragon Soldier but not participating. I had fun reading the posts but I didn't have to worry about writing my own.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You made it!

    It's interesting to hear what goes on behind the scenes.
    I know my limitations. That's why I run for cover every April. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I'm going to try and talk you into it.

      Delete
  4. I only caught a glimpse of all the behind the scenes work last year as one of Alex's Ninja Minions but it blew my mind. You all must be tired. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minions make it so much easier for all of us.

      Delete
  5. It's tough to continue that momentum, as I see a bunch of bloggers get burned out at the end. It's one big plus for getting posts done ahead of time.

    Conrgats on finishing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right, Jay. Doing posts ahead is key to finishing.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on surviving! It's tough, and I do enjoy participating as a group a lot. I was able to visit five new bloggers plus my regulars every day. Though I found I was lucky to get one comment back from the new bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a bummer with the return comments. I visited hundreds of blogs who never commented back.

      Delete
  7. The cat will continue the same routine, can't be stopped haha I was surprised by how many on the list I looked at never posted

    ReplyDelete
  8. congrats on surviving. hats off as I know my limits. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. My first year as a co-host too, and MAN was it a lot of work. But in the best way possible. I loved this year's challenge and my amazing minions. And you could not be more right - the veterans are INCREDIBLE. Congrats to us on our first year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, congrats to us after a hectic month.

      Delete
  10. Did enjoy reading your entries :) Made me think and I have lots of good books to read in the days ahead :)

    I too wondered why some blogs didn't participate after they had signed up. I too wondered if they forgot about it. I am sure keeping the list current was a never ending battle!

    Great challenge and I am looking forward to doing it next year :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope I added some of those good books to your list. So glad to hear you'll be back next year.

      Delete
  11. The first two weeks were the hardest until I finally got into the groove of the Challenge. You and the other co-hosts are awesome! I was on a team. One year, maybe not next year, I want to try co-hosting. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you could handle co-hosting. Thanks to you, I'm thinking of how to work a disaster into my next series.

      Delete
  12. I hit the wall at M! However, I refused to let a little wall get in my way, so I made it to Z.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you didn't let a wall stop you. Your posts were great. I learned a lot.

      Delete
  13. I was a minion for the first time this year, but I'm not sure if I could be a co-host! You guys have to do so much and stay so organized. Trying to do that on top of actually doing the challenge itself is definitely impressive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minion is the first step into being more. Minions really take some of the burden off the co-hosts.

      Delete
  14. Being a co-host is challenging but rewarding. You did great this year, It is a lot of work. After this Wednesday;s IWSG I'm taking most of May off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephen. I still have a lot of busy stuff planned for May. I'm relaxing in June.

      Delete
  15. Congrats to you for getting it all done. It's such hard work. The only way I could do A-Z is to probably pre-post about six months in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people actually to that. I've already read a few posts by people planning for next year.

      Delete
  16. I wonder how many people just plain forgot about signing up. Considering how busy it makes you, they might be relieved. Can't wait to see what net year will bring :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for teaching me some words' history. So confusing and interesting.

      Delete
  17. I know, right?! The list monitoring and visiting was crazy busy! A lot more work than I expected... even though it was a lot of fun too, and made me visit more blogs than I did when I was a participant. Yay :)
    And yes, you added a lot to my TBR list! Thank you! :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was more work than I expected too especially at the beginning. But I got in the flow after the first ten days.

      Delete
  18. I'm impressed by how much you got done. Great to see what happens behind the curtains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As soon as I have a chance to breath and relax, I might be impressed too. LOL

      Delete
  19. Congratulations on finishing! Awesome that Jeremy made a t-shirt this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and Jeremy is an awesome creative guy.

      Delete
  20. You did a great job co-hosting! And I agree about not wanting to lose the momentum. There is always a strong inclination for some to take a blog break after April, but that's when they should stay in the game while they're used to blogging. Not everyday, but regularly.

    Thanks for a job well done!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    Tossing It Out


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful invention of yours.

      Delete
  21. Thank you for hosting Susan! And thank you too for reading through my blog! More powers to the A to Z Challenge!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you had a good experience. Next year will be even better.

      Delete
  22. As a minion, I only had to report the blogs, but I can't imagine how much more work being a co-host was. I bought the shirt today and will proudly wear it. Maybe not to the day job because I don't want to ruin it by splattering food all over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to think of good places to wear mine. The bookstore and my writers' meetings. Thanks for stopping by so often.

      Delete
  23. I enjoyed your posts and bravo on co-hosting. I don't know if I'll ever do A-Z again but the three years I did certainly made me a better blogger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You blog so often already, you could almost do it without changing your habits. I missed a few Star Trek episodes during April but will be by more in May.

      Delete
  24. Gosh I didn't know I could buy a t-shirt if I survived. Now I'm thinking about next year ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, get yourself a t-shirt and tell the world you survived.

      Delete
  25. After three years the A to Z is still a challenge, but a very rewarding one. I don't know how you hosts and co-hosts manage it. Thanks.

    @msdeniseh553
    Life After Retirement

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a long time veteran so you probably could advice the newbies next year. You had great observations in your reflection.

      Delete
  26. Wow! That Reflections Linky exploded since I put my blog on! Haha.

    Thank you for a wonderful month. I'm sorry that I didn't get to visit as much as I should have.... but, you're in my 1st Priority folder now. :) Hopefully by next year, Blogger will have updated its commenting section to not need email notifications.

    Thanks again for all the effort you put in! You rocked it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The list did get long really quick. Your posts were great this year. Will you show us Canada next year? Can't wait to see what you come up with.

      Delete
    2. I'm hoping to. That's the plan, at least. :) Though since I'm moving in April 2016, I'll probably have to sit out of next year's challenge, unless I write all of my posts in January!!

      Delete
  27. Thank you for co-hosting the challenge! I can imagine it was a lot of work, and I really admire you and your team! So I guess you'll be enjoying some less hectic days in Mai!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your thanks! I actually have tons of things going on in May but only a few of them are on my blog. Busy, busy.

      Delete
  28. Didn't realize L. Diane was a minion for you this year. Thank you for co-hosting. A lot of work involved I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L. Diane was a great help to me. She's a veteran and knew her way around the blogosphere.

      Delete
  29. Thanks for the consistent visits and comments throughout the challenge, Susan!
    I really appreciate it!

    I hope to get a T-shirt (if postal costs aren't too expensive... and there's also the danger that the parcel won't get to me... a parcel of books posted in January 2014 only reached me in January this year... talk about snail-mail... LOL)
    This wasn't my best A to Z, but I'll be back again next year - wild horses couldn't keep me away!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a snail mail epic there. I'm spoiled with getting packages quickly for the most part.

      Delete
  30. way to go - you did an awesome job! and i really appreciate you visiting me so much. i said this before but i would love to do an event together! let me know when/where you will be =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned a lot visiting your blog. I at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA. later in May where I'm helping run it rather than doing any presentations or signings. Not sure after that. What kind of event did you have in mind?

      Delete
  31. Thank you for all your hard work for the A-to-Z Challenge.
    I'm looking forward to April, 2016!

    Letters from the Land of Cherry Blossoms

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you'll be back. Every year seems to get better.

      Delete
  32. I am so happy to have been part of the challenge this year too...this was my second year, and though it was exhausting, it was worth it! Kudos to you guys for all the hard work you put together working behind the scene. and thanks for dropping by!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The positive reflections from participants is very rewarding for the co-hosts.

      Delete
  33. O it was an incredible month.. I still can't believe April is already over.. there were so many mixed emotions that I felt.. and I loved being a part of A to Z Challenge.. looking forward to participate next year..

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mixed emotions is so true. So glad you'll be back next year.

      Delete
  34. Hello Susan.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge!
    I don't know how you managed to blog everyday and co-host as well. I'm so plain worn out just from my one blog that I'm taking an extensive hiatus break. Every now and then though, I keep an eye out for comments or look to see how long the reflections list is getting (lol). Thanks for all your hard work & for visiting my blog.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love your relating childbirth to the A to Z and I get it. I don't know if I'll do it again next year, but, knowing me, I will never say never! I felt that co-hosting this year made the A to Z that much more interesting, even though, as you say, it was a lot more work. I had a GREAT team and couldn't have done it without them... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Congrats on making it to the end. I hope the bloggers keep going too. I've had my blog four years and another writing blog eight years. I try to post twice a week on both of them, but at times I get behind.

    I will be doing the challenge again as well as NaNo that I've done the last three years. Somehow you can always make it if you're determined and dedicated.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  37. I enjoyed this year more than any other! I think in large part because I had almost every post pre-done. But I think a large part of it was my theme, Musical Memories. It seemed to spark memories in others and prompt them to share them with me. Also, I came upon so many themes I greatly enjoyed! I had to pick a few to read every post and others just drop in on. There seemed to be a warmth among so many of the bloggers like never before. Maybe because we're starting to remember each other from previous years. I don't know. I do have a T-shirt and have already proudly worn it to work!! And of course I plan on participating next year!
    ~ We made it!!! ~
    Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Susan - thanks so much for all the visits you paid ... and generally we seem to have similar problems each year ... but as Barbara above says - there's a warmth around us ... we are just lucky to be in the extended group ...

    I met a few new people, as last year and had a fun time - but it's lots of work .. yet with good repartee we can be remembered ...

    Enjoy the summer and thanks for all your help - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for co-Hosting... this was my first Challenge... and I know you had quite the challenge just co-Hosting.. AND participating?! Kudos to you!

    I'm still exploring blogs on the challenge... glad I found yours finally :)

    --Mee (The Chinese Quest)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you so much for co-hosting, Susan! This was my first time participating in the challenge - during the the third I thought I wasn't going to finish, but I did and I'm so glad I carried on :). I'll be back for next year for sure! Now that I know I CAN blog on a schedule, I'm going to try and make more of an effort to keep it up regularly :).

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you for co-hosting! This was my first year, but I will definitely be back! Looking forward to the Road Trip...

    ReplyDelete
  42. I did it the other way - I didn't sign up, because I didn't find out about it early enough, but I still finished it. Looking forward to doing it officially next year! I think it's really interesting seeing what everyone chose for their themes!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Apologies for the extremely delayed response to this post. Towards the end of April, I travelled to India and was there for a good 3 weeks. Now I am back and looking forward to catching up with everyone. AtoZ has been a crazy fun ride and it was a joy working with you, Susan. Thank you so much for the opportunity to help out. Looking forward to April 2016. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the encouragement. I finished the challenge and was very glad to have participated. I look forward to reading more of your work. Happy writing.

    ReplyDelete