Time for a bit of bloggy housekeeping and an award catchup.
It’s truly amazing to me that even during a blogging absence, blogging friends remember and reward. I have some fabulous readers and blogging mates and I am truly thankful.
During April and May, I received two awards from ramblingsfromamum who blogs at Ramblings From A Mum. Jen is a fellow Aussie and a very talented, multifaceted writer. Poetry, Haiku and flash fiction are all on offer at her blog. Jen has also just started a joint blog, words… from here to there, comprising thought provoking poetry and visual delights in the form of photography.
Firstly, Rambly (or mumsy) as she is fondly known, bestowed upon me the Best Moment Award.
Rambly writes that the purpose is for:
Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.
- Repost the award and award description
- Give an acceptance speech
- Pass the award on, and notify the nominees.
Not sure about a speech, but it is a real honour to be thought worthy of this award. Living in the moment and being bold takes continual practice and every day that includes these two things is an achievement. Thank you, Rambly, you really are a model recipient for this award.
If that wasn’t enough, Rambly also included me as part of her WordPress Family Award. The concept of the WordPress family is a good one and the notion that there are people “out there” who actually take the time to care about you and your life and positively impact on your blogging experience fills me with more than a little warmth. Which is needed right about now, given that Winter has arrived. Once again, thanks Rambly, the feeling is mutual.
- Display the award logo on your blog.
- Link back to the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 10 (or more) others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
- Let your 10 (or more) Family members know you have awarded them.
Also in May, dearanonymousfriend (DAF) nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. DAF blogs at dearanonymousfriend regaling us with stories about her role as a grandmother and her local community. DAF radiates a serenity that only the truly wise can muster. If your soul needs uplifting, make your way to DAF’s blog. My biggest thrill though came from DAF’s comment that I was her blogging hero. A simple thank you just doesn’t seem enough, but DAF, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that comment. We all do what we do mostly out of pleasure and to receive that sort of feedback is mind blowing, truly.
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements
Now to fulfil the rules. Seven things about me:
- I have long hair again for the first time in about a decade and a half and I’m loving it. I just don’t know whether to keep it or sheer it.
- I am once again a university student and am finding the experience incredibly stimulating and rewarding. Blogging has really helped with my academic writing.
- I love spending time with my teenage boys. They teach me something every day. We had a classic Wayne’s World moment today in the car singing along to and shaking our heads in time with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
- My favourite colour of roses is yellow.
- I love helping people and being asked to help.
- My idea of heaven is an overseas family holiday.
- I want to be a female version of Richard Glover. Richard is a writer who pens satirical commentary about everyday life. Richard blogs here .
I would like to acknowledge my WordPress Family and bestow upon them the WordPress Family Award. You all contribute to my WordPress environment and I appreciate our interactions:
Elkement from The Theory And Practice of Combining Just Anything
Bronwyn from The Speeding Turtle Gets Fit
Carrie Ruben blogging at The Write Transition
Hugh Cutler from Hugh Cutler
BTG55 from Musings Of An Old Fart
Tess from How the Cookie Crumbles
Rambly from Ramblingsfromamum
DAF from Dearanonymousfriend
Lisa from Life With The Top Down.
As for the remaining awards, I nominate you, my fellow bloggers who are also my readers. I appreciate all of your comments, feedback and the time you take to read my blog. There is an amazing blogging community out there.
A few honourable mentions from my recent A to Z Blogging April Challenge experience:
Bob’s Wife - creative glimpses into life in the Philipines
Tropical Territory – snapshots of life in the Northern Territory
Ellen M Gregg – Ellen describes herself as is a writer, Reiki master teacher and nutritional vegan. She has an amazing amount of energy and a wide variety of interests. Her blog is worth a visit.
Michael J Cahill who blogs at Nouveau Scarecrow – Michael signed up just before the Challenge started and came through with flying colours with some magic posts and beautiful writing.
Thank you for your work and your comments during the course of the Challenge. I hope life has returned to some semblance of blogging normal for you all.
Please feel free to pay these faward.
Still Sitting On The Fence? Come Join Us On The Grassy Verge for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge #atozchallenge
From your perch on the fence, you’ve seen the A to Z Challenge banners pop up around the place. You’re thinking that WordPress is looking smart, spruced up as its is with all the banner colour around and you sense a stirring excitement amongst your fellow bloggers. Your creative juices are starting to flow – the Challenge is about to begin.
You then start to seriously consider taking part and the executive committee inside your head starts its questioning. Can I handle a blog a day? Is this too big a time committment? What happens if I miss a post? Is my writing up to scratch? Will I know what to do?
Let me help you to address the concerns of the executive committee.
Dear Committee Members,
Thank you for under taking your usual comprehensive risk analysis on the proposed activity.
Your concerns have been noted and can be mitigated as follows:
- X may not blog every day, but X knows that X has several posts in them. Sometimes X gets the urge to post more than once a day because X reads or experiences something that triggers the words. There are plenty of people who undertake the Challenge without a plan and blog off the cuff.
- Alternatively, X may choose a theme for his/her blog posts which will give his/her alphabetical creations a bit more structure. Doing the research for the posts will an enjoyable and educating process.
- There is always an opportunity for X to programme his/her work to post on a given day and time, so that X does not have to write every day. This is particularly useful if X knows he/she has a another commitment during April.
- If X misses a day or two or three, X can make up the missing posts during the Challenge. There are plenty of bloggers who post multiple posts to catch up.
- The posts don’t need to be particularly long. Whilst it’s up to X to choose the length, a rule of thumb is that the optimal length for a Challenge is between 250 and 750 words. It’s quality that matters, not quantity.
- Every participant brings something individual to the Challenge. X’s writing and ideas are unique.
- The concept behind the Challenge is simple, blog and comment. X is undertaking these activities already with much aplomb.
This is a unique opportunity for X to grow as a blogger.
Rest assured that the Committee’s work is appreciated, however April will be the optimal time for the Committee to take a much needed vacation.
Still note sure?
Take a look at some of these WordPress blogs taking part in this year’s Challenge:
Daily (W)rite - Damyanti is a Challenge co-host and will be showcasing Indie books and authors
Circles Under Streetlights - first Challenge and writing about all things bookish, writing and fictiony
Sound of One Hand Typing - an A to Z chronicle of White Sox baseball players. Batter Up!
Tropical Territory – the theme of this blog is pictures from Australia’s Northern Territory, particularly the Top End. Can’t wait to see what this blogger comes up with.
Peter Denton – Writer – Peter writes flash fiction, scripts and short stories
A Common Sea - returning for a second round after last year’s Challenge
Bob’s Wife - who will be sharing little illustrations of the Islands of the Philippines … from vignettes of beautiful scenery to images of the Filipino way of life
Mental Indigestion - blogging about imaginary friends
Irreverent Feminist - a feminism theme
The Speeding Turtle Gets Fit – a new blog from a new blogger. If you do nothing else, check out the fantastic banner photo on this blog!
And there’s a whole lot more WordPress blogs taking part, not to mention a bunch of Blogger blogs. Total participants now number more than 1,200.
That fence starting to feel slightly uncomfortable?
Hop on down and join us. 1 April is just around the corner.
Join up by clicking the here.
It as easy as …..the quick brown fox jumping over a lazy
Today I feel like a real milestonemason.
Ok, that’s probably not a word, but it sounds good and seems to fit the occasion.
The tagline for this blog reads “Life At the Crossroads”. Little did I know when I penned that tagline, that today my blog would be very much at the crossroads. For today is where my 100th post meets the first anniversary of this blog.
Hard to believe that a year ago I pressed that daunting blue “publish” button for the very first time.
Over the past year, I have:
Raised The Curtain on the journey through mid-life
Raised The Curtain on creativity which had long laid dormant
Raised The Curtain on raising sons and parenting teenagers survival tactics
Raised The Curtain on what it means to be Australian and live in Australia
Raised The Curtain on my introspective musings occasionally spouting some wisdom
Raised The Curtain on the humorous aspects of life
Raised The Curtain on aspects of life bordering on the ridiculous
Raised The Curtain on my writing skills
all through the vehicle of this blog.
Most importantly, I have also:
Raised The Curtain to my emotions. To those whose blogs I follow, I say thank you for allowing me a glimpse into your world. Thank you for making me laugh, for making me cry, for making me feel connected and for making me think and marvel at your amazing talents. It’s been a great year of discovery.
Raised The Curtain on some wonderful blogging friendships. No matter that thousands of miles may physically separate us, it seems like you’re just next door. The following bloggers deserve special thanks for making this past year of blogging a fun and inspiring affair:
All quality blogs from quality bloggers.
And thank you to ALL of my followers and those who have dropped a like or a comment or two here at Curtaindom. Your little bit of cyberlove is much appreciated.
Great motivation for another year of pulling at ropes and letting in more light.
Not sure where the crossroads will lead, but I am grateful that the blogging community is here to share the journey.
200 posts by the second anniversary? Who knows?
But here’s to Raising the Curtain just a little higher one post at a time.
In what has been an interesting week in Blogdom, I happened upon a blog post by my A-Z April Blogging Challenge mentor, Arlee Bird. With the attention catching title of Why I Hate WordPress, and having been posted on a blog run through the Blogger platform I was curious to see not only what Arlee had to say, but also how his readers would respond.
You can read the full article here
In all fairness to Arlee, apart from the shocking title, the post represented a fairly balanced viewpoint on the difficulties of inter-platform commenting. The reality is that crossing the great divide and commenting on a Blogger blog using a WordPress ID is not as streamlined, efficient or as easy as commenting on another blog within the WordPress platform. I liken inter-platform commenting to starting a new job. In a new job, you have to learn what your colleagues all already know and take for granted – the real procedures for getting stuff done, where it is safe to put your personal belongings, where the restrooms and the lunch rooms are etc. These are the basics that once learned and mastered grease the wheels and facilitate job performance.
Commenting WordPress to WordPress is easy. No need to type in your ID or email address, no worrying about HTML to create a live link to your blog or loading a photo. It is all done for you and as an added bonus you get notified by the friendly WordPress system when someone responds to your comment. Cross the great divide to Blogger and you have to supply your own grease.
When I started this blog, I had little expectation other than to use it as a vehicle for learning. After a couple of posts, I discovered that content was the monarchy (you can argue whether King or Queen and there is plenty of literature out there on that issue if you are keen to explore it), but like all palaces it is the servants that keep the place running. In the context of blogging, the main servants are Networking, Promotion, SEO, Analytics, HTML and CSS. I don’t profess to be a master of these, I am but a keen student at the start of what is a very long path. So it was with this in mind, I explored the benefits and drawbacks of each blogging platform before I decided to stick my claim in a small piece of WordPress blogging real estate.
At the time I had a friend who was pushing heavily for Blogger and we in fact ran a joint blog on the Blogger platform for the 2012 A to Z April Blogging Challenge. That blog is dormant now, but you can check it out here if you feel the urge. The concept behind it was to show the difference in viewpoints of a generation X blogger and a generation Y blogger to the same issues.
I have therefore blogged on both platforms.
What tipped me to WordPress for my personal blog was two things: appearance and potential. To me WordPress blogs looked like they had more “gravitas”. They looked more professional and had more plug ins and features. This then tied into the potential point. The literature I read at the time indicated that to enable monetization of a blog, the only serious platform contender was WordPress.org and to move a blog started on the Blogger platform to the WordPress. org platform was fraught. The move from WordPress.com to WordPress. org was more streamlined and enabled continuation of an established following through various plugins.
All of this is rather technical as well as hypothetical and at this stage I have no intention to monetize my blog. However, I do believe in maximizing my options.
Returning to Arlee’s original “hate” post, what surprised me about the comments on it was the sheer negativity that was expressed about WordPress from the predominantly Blogger commentators, most of who had never run a WordPress blog. My search amongst the comments for some objective criteria as to why Blogger was a better blogging platform proved elusive. All that I learned was that comfort is a powerful motivator and clearly, the choice of blogging platform participation is an emotive issue. Of course, when you try something new, it is not going feel as familiar as the old and of course you may initially have a negative perception of your experience. But should this colour your whole view on the inferiority of a blogging platform? Personally, as a reader and a commentator I don’t find the long running scripts on Blogger or Google + comfortable, but I will tolerate them for the sake of expanding my world.
Finally, as a blogger you are not compelled to cross any divide. You can be effective and have a fulfilling blogging experience simply by sticking to blogs on your own platform. Bloggers, of course blog for a host of different reasons and if your main reason is to socialize then there is probably no need to attempt the divide crossing. It’s your choice but if you choose this path, then do so knowing that there is a whole world of blogs and blogging that you are consciously saying no to.
My questions to my fellow WordPress bloggers are:
- Have you ever crossed the great Blogger/WordPress divide to comment on Blogger blogs?
- What has been your experience with cross-platform commenting?
- Is there a way that you have found that may make it easier to comment on Blogger blogs?
- Would you follow a blog on a different platform?
I’d love to hear your comments on the Blogger v WordPress issue.
- BLOGGER vs WORDPRESS (ictwelcome.wordpress.com)
As preparation and excitement was mounting for the start of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge, a call from the Challenge co-hosts went out for a team of minions to assist with the behind the scenes verification of signed up blogs. The enticement offered by the co-hosts to sign up for minionship was a special A to Z volunteer badge and the offer of a few blog linkages.
The minute I saw the call, I knew I had to sign up. The enticements offered are fine, but to me the real enticement was the opoortunity to work with some amazing and experienced bloggers. So, having braved the great WordPress/Blogger divide, I put my Gravatar up for the cause. It was up to each co-host to choose how many and who they wanted on their volunteer teams, so the volunteer teams were up for grabs.
I am thrilled to announce, I GOT THE BIRD!!!!!!!
What this actually means is that I, together with four other bloggers, are now official Arlee Bird ambassadors for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. Over the coming weeks we will be checking blogs that have signed up for the Challenge to ensure the links work and that they are legitimate blogs, not just purely promotional vehicles. We will also be checking that they have not overdosed on the use of profanity or if they have they are appropriately marked as adult content. Moreover, we will be spreading A to Z Challenge goodwill to signed up blogs. I’m looking forward to the task of sprinkling some A to Z Challenge love.
To set the scene for the coming weeks, I thought I’d tell you a bit more about The Bird and my fellow Birdassadors (as I have termed them).
The Bird, whose blogging name is Arlee Bird, conceived and is the mastermind behind the A to Z Challenge. Arlee resides in sunny California and runs three personal blogs as well as contributing to the A to Z April Blogging Challenge Blog. Arlee’s three blogs are:
Tossing It Out – this is Arlee’s main blog and in his own words covers the field from economics to entertainment. It is a blog rich in postal variety and includes posts on business promotion, US politics, poetry and the human condition. A veritable potpourri from someone who clearly is well read, finds the world an interesting place and conveys that interest with enthusiasm and well written prose.
Wrote by Rote – is a blog about written memoirs, or more specifically provides thoughts and tips on producing a memoir. You can find information on music and video to feed into your memoir, life stages and the elements that go into a good memoir.
A Faraway View - is a blog about dreams of the nighttime variety. It contains posts about the different types of dreams and their aftermath. Arlee’s nocturnal life must be as exciting as his waking hours to produce a whole blog dedicated to the topic. For someone like me who doesn’t remember their dreams often, it makes for interesting reading.
I belive that Arlee will be entering at least two, if not all three, of the blogs into the Challenge. It is no wonder that the lead up to and the Challenge month of April is a busy time for Arlee. Good luck with the Challenge, Arlee and thank you for believing in me as a Birdassador. My aim will be to pay the goodwill you showed me through my first Challenge, last year, forward to other bloggers. For a newbie blogger your guidance and interest made a big difference to the Challenge experience.
Arlee’s love of the eclectic has extended to his choice of Birdassadors. My four cohorts are:
Alana who blogs at Writercize. This is the place for writers! The blog is centered around word play and writing tips and exercises to capture the imagination and help with writer’s block. Alana has recently added opinion posts as well as insight on the growing pains and highlights associated with a burgeoning writing career to her blog mix.
Jaimie who blogs at Living In The Light. This blog is about Jaimie’s relationship with her husband and with Christianity. It contains some soulful reflections and important messages. Not forgetting the earthly necessities, it also contains posts about cooking and recipes.
Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword, a compilation of blog writers who blog at a site of the same name. Wikipedia tells me that:Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, is a fictional character, a high fantasy sword and sorcery heroine created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith, and loosely based on Red Sonya of Rogatino in Robert E. Howard‘s 1934 short story “The Shadow of the Vulture“. She first appeared in the Marvel Comics book Conan the Barbarian #23 (February 1973). Red Sonja has become the archetypical example of the fantasy figure of a fierce and stunningly beautiful female barbarian who typically wears armor resembling a bikini or lingerie. She was ranked first in Comics Buyer’s Guide‘s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.
The site appears to be a compilation of Red Sonja “appearances” either in comic, artistic form or in real life. If you’re into fantasy, sword play and female barbarians it seems the place for you!
Yvonne Lewis who blogs at Yvonne’s Poetry Corner. Yvonne engages in versal rhyme in each post and as a bit of a rhyming aficionado myself, I respect Yvonne’s talent immensely. You can even catch a glimpse of a picture of Yvonne and Arlee on the front page of site.Yvonne I’m glad we’re on the team Both with the ability to rhyme, it may seem The next few weeks are bound to be fun As we give the A-Z Challenge list a run
As you can see, we are a mixed bunch and will no doubt each bring our own unique perspective to the role of the Birdassador.
The next few weeks are therefore slated to be busy on the blogging front. I have no doubt that the experience will be extremely worthwhile, I will learn a lot on the way through and meet some great bloggers. I am hoping to introduce you to some great blogging finds in the lead up to the Challenge.
In the meantime is that a cry of BIIIIIRDMAAAAAN, I hear?
Do you remember watching Birdman and the Glaxy Trio cartoon as kid? Who is your favourite cartoon hero or heroine?
Postscript: For those of you still thinking about the Challenge, sign up today, you won’t regret it. You can sign up here.
A very belated happy new year to all of my blog readers, even though it’s almost February!
Where has the time gone since my last post on Christmas Day?
It’s been a wonderful Summer here and I have been enjoying the warm weather and the change of pace. I am mindful of my countrymen to the north who have faced extreme weather conditions in the form of flooding and severe storms. For the uninitiated Summer tends to bring with it extremes to Australian weather and this year has been no different with heat waves, fire and flood. And that’s just in a two week period!
Otherwise, I have been checking in and reading your blogs and making the very occasional comment. The idea for January though was to keep away from writing and just be. And I was and now it’s over.
I’m also now officially excited as I’ve just signed on for the 2013 A to Z April Blogging Challenge. This is where the blogging journey began for me last year and so I have a real soft spot for this challenge. It was the impetus for starting my blog and it gave me a great introduction to the blogging world.
The Challenge involves creating 26 posts in April, one for every letter of the alphabet. Each day has a designated letter and on that day you post a blog relating to that letter. The subject matter is entirely up to you. You then visit 5 other blogs participating in the Challenge and comment on their blogs – you can visit more if you want. Last year there were over 1,000 blogs participating!
So, if you are contemplating starting a blog, have only recently started a blog or have an established blog, here are 10 reasons why YOU should sign up for the Challenge this year:
- It’s just plain, good fun.
- It’s a great way to get your creative juices flowing.
- It will teach you about the craft of blogging and you will see your blog posts develop as the Challenge continues.
- It’s a great way to meet fellow bloggers, both on WordPress and Blogger. The Challenge is supported by its own blog site, a Facebook Page, Google + page and Twitter account. Go meet some people, ask questions!
- You will learn a great deal about blogging technique, community, presentation, online interaction and promotion.
- It’s a fantastic way to tap into a ready made audience.
- It’s a great way to experiment with your blog in a situation where you have the potential to receive some knowledgable and valuable feedback.
- You will certainly lose your inhibitions about blogging by the letter E!
- You have the opportunity to talk to some extremely experienced bloggers who are willing to share tips and tricks. The hosts are generous with their time and ideas and are very receptive.
- It’s only February and you have oodles of time to prepare.
- I know I said 10, but here’s a bonus reason – because 10 just isn’t enough. You will have a great sense of achievement and satisfaction when it’s done and will have likely picked up at least a dozen new followers along the way.
I hope you come and join me in the Challenge come April. If you decide to, please add a link to your blog in the comment section below, so I can visit you throughout the Challenge. Also, if you have any questions about my experience from last year, I am happy to answer them.
Join up and experience all the emotions from Anticipation to Zealous. You’ll be glad you did.
Sometime before the lovely Lisa became an Oscar winning balloon handler and clown stalker, Lisa lobbed the Liebster Award over this way. Lisa blogs at Life With The Top Down and is always imploring her readers to Enjoy The Ride. As a long time reader of Lisa’s blog, I can safely say I enjoy being a passenger to her ride immensely. If you are looking for a humour filled, reflective blog and are not afraid to take your top down, then go no futher than Lisa’s blog, you won’t look back.
A big thank you, Lisa for this wonderful award. I am humbled that an Oscar winner with such a wide blog following would consider me worthy. The great thing about blogging is that it is bigger than the confines of geographic boundaries. Although we bloggers may be spread out far and wide, this does not prevent us from connecting with kindred spirits.
Now on to the rules of the Award which are:
- Link back to the blogger who gave you this award
- Post the award to your blog
- Post 11 things about yourself.
- Answer the questions asked of you, plus create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer
- Nominate 11 people you think deserve the award and link them to your post.
- Go to their pages and tell them they have been chosen
Because I’ve always been something of a maverick, I ‘m going to fulfill my duties in two parts.
Firstly, 11 things about me:
- I’m a boundary pusher – both my own and other people’s.
- I take great joy in being instrumental in having someone else push their own boundary, particularly if it is a boundary that has limited them in some way.
- I am a dog lover but dislike cats. My favorite dog is a beagle.
- I love having my feet tickled, it’s super relaxing. However, I’m not fond of having any other body parts tickled.
- Talking to teenagers is neat and I enjoy having them around, even when they are in locust plague mode and eat me out of house and home.
- I’m not fussed about who I learn from. Young or old, everyone can teach me something or offer an alterative perspective to mine.
- I dislike judgemental people and gossip. I am far more interested in ideas, concepts and projects.
- I get a huge kick out of helping others and seeing them achieve their dreams. If they consult me along the way, they have a friend and champion for life.
- I have friends from various sources, the more eclectic and diverse the group, the better.
- I admire people who are self-aware and confident and who have the balls to call me out.
- I believe that life is too short to hold grudges. Love, peace and let’s move on.
Secondly, answering the questions Lisa asked:
1. What is your favorite song of all time?
Has to be Hey Jude by the Beatles.
2. Boxers, briefs, boy shorts, granny panties, thong or the universal choice of Commando?
Boy shorts but without the boy in them.
3. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
I’m going to plead the 5th on this one (although we don’t have amendments to our constitution). If I told you the answer to this question, I would have to shoot you.
4. Would you go back to being a teenager, without the wisdom you have now?
No way. The wisdom and confidence I have now has been a hard earned prize.
5. What are you most grateful for?
Lots of things, but I would have to say my family and my health.
6. Are you a beach or mountain kind of person?
Definitely beach, I’m a warm weather, water frolicking kind of girl.
7. Reveal one of your guilty pleasures?
Corn chips at midnight, although not when I’m in bed!
8. Are you a dark, milk or white chocolate lover?
Milk and especially with nuts.
9. If you could give a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t let anyone destroy or negatively affect your self-esteem, know and embrace who you are.
10. What is your best childhood memory?
Going to Disneyland with my dad when I was 12.
11. Do you act your age or your show size?
I try not to act my age. I have got some zaniness to catch up on!!!
Thirdly, 11 blogs to which to pass the award
This is where I thought I would try something a little different.
It was not so long ago that I first dipped by toe in the blogging waters, nervously tapping out my first post. I watched in wide-eyed wonder at the following and awards amassed by seasoned bloggers and felt very out of my depth. At the time, I would have welcomed any advice, feedback or attention.
It is now eight months later and I am well on my way to making one hundred posts. I have met some great people and since received advice from some experienced bloggers. It’s time to pay the blog love forward and to give a helping hand to some new blogs and new bloggers.
So, I am looking for 11 blogs that I don’t currently follow and which are preferably less than 4 months old to hand the award to.
I’d love to hear from you if you are a new blogger or have a new blog. Please come over and say hi and post a link to your blog so we can all check it out. Even if you are not a new blogger, but wish to promote someone else’s blog or even your own, I invite you to post a link to the blog here.
I’ll also be scouring WordPress for exciting new blogs and will post the questions the winners will need to answer and the names of the winners before Christmas.
Let’s connect and build some blogging bridges!
We have been asked to write a post reflecting on our A to Z April Blogging Challenge experience. This is mine. I have an alphabetical reflection list written out but during writing, this post morphed into something else, so I am going to let it go where it wants.
My blog had been up and running for exactly two weeks before the Challenge started so I was itching to get going. Being the noob that I am to the blogging world, I didn’t really understand all the talk amongst the experienced bloggers of having a theme for the Challenge. I now understand the utility of that – keeping your posts confined in that way gives you focus and simplifies the task somewhat. I’ll be heading into next year’s Challenge with a theme.
The where many highlights of the Challenge for me. Living in Australia, I was one of the first to post on day one which felt awesome! I visited some amazing blogs to see how it’s done, the creative talent out there is incredible! I felt connected in most instances to the Challenge blogs I read simply because the author and I were facing the Challenge together. Visited by some incredible bloggers, I felt very fortunate to also have some of the Challenge convenors swing my way.
The Challenge gave me a wonderful opportunity to build my blog content and to play around a little to see what works and what doesn’t. I am still scratching my head because there doesn’t appear to be any real rhyme or reason as to what an audience will like. Some days you nail it, some days all you do is hit your thumb! Whilst the Challenge was a demanding mistress, it taught me the benefits of a daily blogging discipline and it was comforting to have a daily programme. I admit I often changed my blog topics and I went into the Challenge knowing I would have to wing some of the letters. But inspiration always came and sometimes at the VERY last minute.
I commend the Challenge to all bloggers when it is run next year…
…especially if you are new to blogging!
A suggestion for next year. As a noob, I would have liked to get to know and talk to a few novice bloggers before the Challenge so we could make all our mistakes and grow as bloggers together and support each other. There didn’t appear to be an appropriate Challenge forum to do that or I didn’t know about it. The Facebook page swept up all non convenor posts. Maybe Twitter was the way to go, but I only recently became a member. I would have also appreciated the chance to join a couple of basic blogging workshops or opportunities for test runs ahead of the Challenge run by some of the experienced bloggers. If the convenors take up this suggestion, then I would be happy to be involved/facilitate because as a noob you are grateful for any advice and attention thrown your way – at that stage of the game a little bit of cyberkindness goes a looooooooong way. I realise all it takes is time, which is a scarce commodity for most.
Otherwise a fantastic concept and a great job, well done!