Today I Give Myself Permission to Reflect on the #atozchallenge
You know that feeling you get when your sweet cousin Myrtle, the one that talks all the time, finally departs your place? That feeling of immediate relief but with a sense that something is now missing?
Well, that’s exactly how I feel now that the Challenge is over. When I put the last full stop on my Z post, I felt nothing but relief. Now, a few days later I’m missing the structure and the creative impetus the Challenge provided. I have seen that some of my fellow participants have jumped right back in feet first to partake in a challenge involving a post a day in May. There is much to be admired about such blogging stamina. Good luck to all the intrepid bloggers who have decided to take that plunge.
Having participated in last year’s Challenge I knew what I had to do to maximise the time I had to visit other bloggers participating in the Challenge. Of course, I did none of them, not because I wasn’t prepared to, but in the end that experience felt too clinical. There’s a real buzz and energy that is generated from watching the posts of that day’s letter go up one by one. A veritable post string linked by the letter of the day, the desire to create and achieve punctuated only by differences in time zones. So to all my fellow WordPress uses who were involved in the Challenge thanks for the motivation and the inspiration.
I went through a few incantations of my Challenge theme before deciding on permissions and even explored some possibilities with my poor hapless family members. Needless to say, they would have liked to give me permission to stop turning every family gathering into a research focus group and just get dinner on the table. And then, a funny thing happened on the way to the letter Z. What started as 26 posts to fulfill a blogging challenge ended up as an online journal chronicling my own personal growth story over the last 18 months. This is the first time I have ever written any of this down and whatever else the posts might be or end up being, they have served as an affirmation of sorts.
During the course of the Challenge, I met many great bloggers from all over the sphere writing in various niches. Some were experienced bloggers partaking in their second or third Challenges, other were new to blogging. Some were not participating in the Challenge at all and still managed to stumble on my blog. All of them enriched my Challenge experience. Thank you to everyone who visited, commented, liked or read – permission granted to come by any time you like and continue to raise that curtain.
The Challenge also had another dimension this year and that was my role as Arlee Bird’s Challenge Ambassador. It is no hardship to spread Challenge goodwill as I have a strong belief in its premise and benefits. I did notice on my travels that a few bloggers threw in the Challenge towel after the first week or so, thinking that as they had missed one post there was no point in continuing. The Challenge is about creating and achieving and whilst there is a schedule it is not so inflexible that you can’t make up a post or two or three. It’s such a shame to drop out after only missing one or two posts. Please don’t be discouraged, just keep writing and posting, posting and writing.
Finally a big thank you to Arlee Bird, the other Challenge hosts and my fellow Challenge Ambassadors for imparting your knowledge and creating a sense of camaraderie around the event. It remains a terrific concept and vehicle and I’ll be back for another round.