Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reflections on a Challenge Accepted #atozchallnge

I blog therefore I am.

Last month there was a blog challenge issued; one post per day corresponding to the alphabet in sequence.  It was just the kick in the cockles I needed because I was slacking off.  Writing is like working out;, if you let one workout go, before you know it, you've gained ten pounds, binged watched eight seasons of something you don't care about and look like you swallowed a Buick. 
I upped my own ante by doubling the challenge.  I did one for my children's picture book character, Ollie Bug on his blog.   Ollie's Page, go have a chuckle in a treehouse.  That's 52 posts in 30 days with 26 original illustrations and a total of about 26,000 words. No small feat.  

I blog-hopped and met some nice people who are now my blog pals, subscribed to a few blogs and hope that some would follow mine as well.  I learned about the worlds of other writers.  Some posted excerpts from books in progress or characters they are fleshing out.  Others offered writing advice.  Some posted pictures or poetry.  I learned that some people weren't interested in writing the next great novel, they just liked writing about their daily experience. 
NOTE OF RELEVANCE: When I was a boy I figured out early I wanted to be an actor.  I knew everyone on the planet wanted to be a big Hollywood movie star so I had a hard road ahead.  What made it worse was upon discovering Playboy Magazine, I read the "Playmate Data Sheet" (they print words, you know) and discovered that every single one of these women also wanted to be actors.  No, it didn't matter that they were women, it just made me realize everyone wanted to do what I wanted to do.  

SIDE NOTE TO THE NOTE: When I started viewing Playboy these mythical women had the distinction of being older which just added to the allure.  Nothing makes you feel old and crotchety than knowing these young women could be your daughter.  I no longer have an enthusiasm for that particular publication.  Now I read magazines about model cars because the 57 Chevy will always be older than me.  

My point is I thought everyone who blogged was trying to churn out a career as an author.  I learned that isn't so.  I also learned people lead pretty interesting lives outside my corner of the planet.  My stat counter told me that people from all over the world read my blog at one point or another.  That's pretty cool.  Maybe someone out there is thinking I have a pretty interesting, if not entertaining life, too and that's a blessing.  

As for the technical stuff, my writing chops got better with daily discipline.  My editing skills sharpened up, too.  Some of my stories were recycled from older pieces clocking in at over 2000 words.  I trimmed them down to around 800 so people would stay a while and read the whole entry.  My viewership went up, too.  I hope these new faces come by again and again because I don't just write for myself, I write to entertain anyone who'll listen.  
This was a very worthwhile experience I'm grateful for.  I'll be back next year and hope my new friends will be, too.  As for me, a lot of people said I should "write the book already"  which showed me I'm on the right path and for that validation I'm especially grateful.


  1. Congratulations on finishing and good to hear the outcome in your Reflections. Thank you for sharing! I too enjoy seeing the diversity of the blog world. Thank goodness for that. If not for that diversity, reading blogs would get a bit boring.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. I was something I'd like more of, maybe semi-annually. It was worth the time and effort.

  2. The challenge is hard enough with one blog. Kudos on finishing the challenge with two!

    I am so not a writer. I am not an actor either, even though I started out in school to be one. For now, I'll just blog about my cats. LOL!

    Stefani | Dreams of Nyssa

  3. Your blog was probably the best new blog find for this years A to Z. ssshhhh!!! Don't tell the others :) PS--I mentioned your blog in my reflections post. It was hard choosing which post I wanted to single out for the "made me laugh" one!

    1. I won't spread that around, Katie. I'm glad we met and became blog pals. I had a lot more visits but not too many, and only two new follows, yours included.