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 mepermission slip 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.


About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

27 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission to Reflect on the #atozchallenge

  1. Ah Jude you did so well and like having dear cousin Mrytle leave, I know how you must be feeling. This was truly a journey for you, not only posting daily and coming up with the excellent and informative posts that you did, but also seeing a part of you develop, a time of learning and absorbing as you wrote. You performed brilliantly and I am positive there are many more posts in you, if you need a breather..take one…if you don’t we all look forward to your next 🙂 xx

  2. Thank you ma’am, your support is pure gold. I will admit to being changed by the experience this year, in more ways than one. I’m not sure if I need a breather, but I do have uni assignments that are crying out for attention. I could come back and write a dissertation on the issues presently facing media regulation in Australia, but I think I would lose all my credibility at being humerous and entertaining 😉 xx

  3. It was great fun to follow you in the exercise. I hope you will do it again next time around. I am afraid I wouldn’t like the tight structure: my blogs tend to be all over the place!

    • I think you would have no trouble with it since you blog pretty much everyday already. You don’t need to have a theme, the only real rule is to follow the letter if the day. Thanks for joining me for the journey, the comments and feedback add another dimension to the whole experience.

  4. Judy, I enjoyed your alphabet soup very much. Between you and Z, I learned a lot about your worlds in Austrailia and Ecuador (in her case) and know that there are so many common bonds we all share. Thanks for letting us into your world. I miss Myrtle too, BTG

    • The common bonds are a great leveller aren’t they? The Challenge taught me that there is much to be gained from regular blogging and that it is a discipline like any other. Glad you enjoyed the meal.

  5. And thank you, Judy. Your daily entries were an impressive display of well thought out writing. I congratulate you on that achievement. Thank you so much for your efforts as an A to Z Ambassador. You did a great job and it was good to have someone who knows WordPress on my side.

    You were an outstanding addition to the team!

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  6. There were highs and lows, and I’m trying to maintain the momentum I got…but, work is kicking in now with more hours then before, sooooo fingers crossed I can meet the challenge. I did sign up for May, but am less then thrilled with many of the prompts, actually I don’t like prompts at all, but though…hey, I should give it a try. And so, that’s what I’m doing with 1 of the 3 blogs that I had in the a-z. See, I’m not totally nuts this time, lol.

  7. Cousin Myrtle got under your skin too, did she? The woman is such a pest! I see many suffering with the same withdrawal symptoms as you. 🙂

  8. Looking at my archive of posts in May I realize that readers may believe I am on blogging challenge as well (But it is just an accident, really!). So I needed to get back to your post and read the summary again 🙂
    I can agree wholeheartedly with what you say about energy, buzz and inspiration! I am not a musician but I believe this is how a jam session of jazz musicians must feel like! I enjoy this Mad Tea Party of blog nominations immensely – even if I had been sucked into a self-made black hole of bouncing award nominations now I can hardly escape!

    Technical note: My notebook was hit by a bluescreen (networking driver does not like my new WLAN access point) right in the moment when I wanted to click submit –> rebooted –> my draft of this comment was still there! Awesome!!

  9. I hated that I got so busy that I could not read or take the time to respond the way I wanted to. But, I know where your blog is and I am hoping that I can go back and actually respond to your posts in the way I wanted to. I love your writing and have missed you! Congratulations on finishing this challenge once more… you are my blogging hero!! As you prepare for the onset of winter and I, the hot humid summer, I hope you find relaxation and encouragement. You have done well! Miss you! DAF

    • Not sure about being a blogging hero, but happy to have completed the Challenge. Hope you getting settled in your new place and preparing for a blogging return. You have been missed.

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