Congrats to all my fellow Blogging from A to Z Challenge comrades – we Arrived, we Blogged, we Commented. And we conquered – 26 alphabetical posts in 26 days! We are a crazy and creative bunch.
When I created this site last October, I chose the tongue-in-cheek title “I’ll Blog When I’m Dead” as a play on the phrase “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”. I had a mountainous to-do list prioritized, and blogging seemed like a frivolous afterthought. The sold-my-soul-for-rock-and-roll day job often seeps into my off-hours, the 10-year old has a social schedule to rival Zani Gugelmann’s and the book, as they say, ain’t gonna write itself.
I also thought – who wants to read my ramblings? As I wrote in my very first blog post: My pearls of wisdom are costume jewelry at best and I’m like a little kid playing dress-up. I write FICTION, not State of the Union. How could my site possibly contribute to the blogging pool at large? It will be just a drop in the bucket.
After completing A to Z, and discovering so many amazing and entertaining blogs, my reflection has changed. I still see a drop in the bucket…but I also see the ripples, widening in the blogging pool with each click, post and comment. Very cool.
The A to Z Challenge reminded me a bit of an Around The World party in the college dorm – but with less vomit in the stairwells and no one’s dorm furniture on fire outside in the middle of the quad by night’s end. But seriously, it was like a big party where you move from room to room, sampling different party foods and drinks and meeting all sorts of people as you traveled through.
One of my favorite parts of the month was landing in a “room with no guests”: arriving on a fresh blog post with zero comments. You know the host behind the post is a lot like a host at a party – nervously hoping people show up and have a good time. No one wants their visitors just standing around, not talking or sampling the spinach dip. So it was always fun to make the first comment on someone’s post, and come back later in the day to see how the party had grown.
I’m a stats junkie, so it was also fun to watch my April stats skyrocket in views – over 2,500 views for the month! That kind of high puts you on a high.
Some of my favorite discoveries and personal highlights: Bibsey, a UK new mum living in Spain – her blog posts were so clever and once, when she was at a loss for an “R” topic, she took inspiration from my blog. What a compliment!
I also became totally enamored with The Death Writer. She’s a non-fiction writer who truly has a gift for writing clearly and elegantly on all different aspects of a topic many may consider morbid or uncomfortable.
Another blog I found myself landing on almost daily was the whimsical Clay Baboons. I have a droll love for clay people making weird facial expressions that dates back to old SNL Mr. Bill skits. Oh no….! Clay Baboons’ ABCs in clay were killer!
Finally, I was totally blown away by the sheer number and quality of the “writer’s tips” blogs out there. Some were informational, others merely inspirational. But they all reminded me that I was never alone in my quest. Moody Writing was always very thought-provoking. And Steven Chapman‘s blog always gave me a kick in the writing pantaloons when I needed one. Plus, he’s a good one to have your back during the zombie apocalypse. Through comments, we agreed: he’s bringing the crossbow, I’m bringing the sandwiches.
If I am up for the Challenge next year, I think I will develop a theme. It was certainly a good exercise to pull a random topic out of the air each day, but after seeing so many cohesive themes this year, I feel inspired to come up with one and stick to it!
Out of my random ramblings, I had a few personal favorites, if you care to peek: