Guys, we made it!! Honestly, when I hit ‘publish’ on the Z post, I felt like I should squirt water onto my face and throw my hands in the air, and do all those things that marathon runners do when they finish (you can tell I’ve never completed a marathon myself.) That said, A to Z was a lot of fun – I met some fab people and read some really cool blogs.
This is my second A to Z, and both have taught me very different lessons. The first A to Z was all about the importance of planning and organisation — I signed up on the 31st of March last year without a theme or any idea of what I was going to write. Needless to say I didn’t repeat the experience this year — that’s just unnecessary stress.
This year’s lesson was on the importance of continuing even if things are less than perfect. I missed a number of letters, and posted late on quite a few days. If this was a car race, I made it over the finish line with my engine holding together with bits of wire and duck tape. I was away for the first two weeks, had a book deadline at the end of week 3, and for the last few days had a friend staying with us. All that meant precious little non writing computer time, and therefore missed / late posts.
I almost didn’t do the challenge, realising that April wasn’t shaping up to be a ‘good’ A to Z month — and I’m the kind of person who likes things to happen just right and on plan. If things aren’t going quite right, I scrap whatever I’m doing and start again ( I love me a fresh start), so half way through the challenge I was sorely tempted to stop and do it again, but better, next year.
As it is, I’m glad I hobbled to the end with my bits of wire and duck tape holding the engine together. If I hadn’t I’d have regretted it, and it was a good lesson in sticking with things even when they are very far from perfect. It reminded me of that famous quote from E.B. White: “a writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.”
This is just as true of bloggers, and especially true of challenges like A to Z. So here’s to all those of you who continued even when you weren’t in the mood or when it was a pain in the arse, or when like me you’d fallen behind on everything.
As I mentioned earlier, the social aspect of A to Z is by far the most fun part of it — meeting other bloggers and discovering new blogs. There’s one person in particular that I really want to give a big shoutout to: Dan Antion from No Facilities. Dan wasn’t even taking part in A to Z and yet he was here every single letter, leaving thoughtful comments and encouragements. It was such a treat to hear from Dan every day – so thank you for all your support , Dan! 🙂
I actually came across Dan’s blog just before A to Z started, and he mentioned something that I hadn’t considered: that A to Z is also a challenge for all blog readers, since all of a sudden there are so many blog posts to read – and choosing to support a blog throughout the challenge is quite an undertaking in itself! So also a huge thank you to those of you who were reading – I know A to Z means an overwhelming number of posts to read, and believe me all of us bloggers absolutely love it when you guys read our posts.
Now – about the blogs that I’ve discovered. If you want to catch up on some A to Z action in May, here are two great websites to start with because they have a wonderfully comprehensive list of some of the great blogs out there (and they cover all the ones I’d planned to share):
The Old Shelter: Sarah’s recap on A to Z is here, but you should go check out her A to Z posts, which were on the roaring twenties. Really interesting stuff, and honestly, this is a woman who’s forgotten more about the twenties than us laymans will ever know. She was also one of the most supportive readers of my blog during A to Z, so a big thank you Sarah, it was so nice to have you cheering me along this month! 🙂
Victim to Charm: Sabina actually hosted an A to Z afterparty which is such a fun idea. People share their most popular posts and recommend their favourite A to Z blog. Lots of good stuff in there. Her A to Z theme was all about college, and it was really fun to revisit college through Sabina’s posts.