Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A New Member's A-Z Reflections: After the Stereoviews


This was my first A-Z and I can honestly say (excuse the cliche) it took my breath away and turned my world upside down! But I will admit that I had some legitimate concerns in the beginning.

A dear friend had urged me to join, but I kept asking myself, what could I possibly say that would be of interest to other bloggers? As a new blogger, this whole blogosphere thing was uncharted territory. Should I talk about my writing, I asked.....about a novel that I have taken far too long to write? What about the time drain the challenge would take from finishing this book? Perhaps I could write family bios of my ancestors from the vast archive I had inherited. This could serve as research for a future book. But no, that would be too much to write, I decided. So....I opted for something visual that I knew would be fun, the scanning of over 70 stereoview photos. It was a good first year choice. No regrets!!

What I learned from the challenge:
--Bloggers are a community. There is a surprising sense of family shared among bloggers. I have met people I plan to follow for hopefully years to come and look forward to their friendships. The international connection was the biggest surprise of all. We really are a small world after all.
--Short posts are better than long. I had chosen a topic that didn't require a large amount of writing and the subject matter was mostly light. It allowed people to pop in and out quickly. I found that I glazed over reading posts that were too long. However, having said that, I will say there were several sites that were so interesting, I plan to revisit the posts I missed, for instance, Margot's A Devotional Mosaic. So my comment here is this: if you have a lot to say, make sure it is tightly written and the material is unique.
--I do have something to say. I found validation as a writer. I am a published writer, but it's been a while (okay, a long while). Blogging has been a fantastic way to hone my writing skills and an opportunity to write fresh material. I'm editing my novel, so writing something new has been wonderful. 
--I am more focused and organized: More than ever before, I am excited about my writing career. While writing my A-Z posts, I was also able to fine tune my blog, organize my pages and links, and think about my writing goals beyond the blog. I feel I have new direction and enthusiasm. In part, I have the A-Z bloggers to thank for this. Their encouragement to other writers has been a huge benefit.   

So congratulations again to everyone who made the A-Z Challenge possible. I am in your debt and hope to see you around for many years to come!




23 comments:

  1. I'm so glad this was worthwhile to you. It sure transformed your blog and, as you said, gave you a different perspective on the whole package of being a writer, which includes social media and community. Super, super job on your first year's challenge. A+++

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    1. Cathy, what fun the A-Z was, and since you started me off on this adventure, my thanks to you!!!

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  2. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the follow.
    Good to know about your new experience with this
    year's a to z challenge
    Lot of things learned and said here,
    Keep inform
    Best regards
    Philip

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Philip. I enjoyed visiting your blog today.

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  3. Congrats on the finish!!
    You had a lot to say and it was very interesting.
    I agree with you that shorter posts are better than longer one.
    = )
    Jai

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    1. Hi Jai. You and I started out with the same number of followers, and now have about the same. What a nice connection we have had together! Stay in touch, okay?

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  4. It's funny how it takes time to find your blogging voice. You'd think it wouldn't be that hard, but it kind of is. And bloggers have such a community. I did not know that when I started blogging as well.

    Congrats on finishing.

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    1. I suppose that voice changes over time, too. Thanks for all your visits, Liz. Hope to see you again.

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  5. Hello Sharon

    Congrats on finishing A-Z. It was daunting at times, wasn't it. I've been following your blog since almost the beginning. It's fabulous.

    Best regards

    Felicity

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    1. So many other fabulous blogs, too. Glad I found yours.

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  6. Congratulations on taking part in the challenge and for a most detailed Reflection Post.
    Yvonne.
    A TO Z AMBASSADOR.

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    1. Thank you. It was quite the adventure!

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  7. Congratulations on surviving and completing the challenge :) I didn't get around as much as I'd hoped, but the stereoviews I did get to see were wonderful! Such a refreshing and unique theme to the challenge this year.

    Happy to have met you through the challenge!
    Cheers,
    Jen

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  8. Congratulations on completing your first challenge. You are right - bloggers are a community!

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    1. And such a varied community too. Learned a lot in A-Z.

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  9. Hi, congrats on your completion of A to Z. This year was my first too. I enjoyed it. I liked your summation points. I hope we can keep in touch. I will be visiting often. :)

    Mary

    http://mary-anderingcreatively.blogspot.com/2013/05/going-to-link-up-today-from-hospital-bed.html#comment-form

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    1. Both your blogs were interesting...not sure how you kept up...but you did. Yes, let's stay in touch!

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  10. Great post Sharon! Well said!
    Anna
    oxox

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  11. Thanks for visiting my "reflection-post".
    Anna
    ox

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    1. Hey, Anna. You did great in the A-Z.

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  12. And I've enjoyed reading what you had to say.
    Congrats on completing the challenge. I agree: short posts are better, especially with over 1700 blogs to visit.

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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    1. Whew...1700. No wonder we were so exhausted at the end. Fun though, and would do it again!

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  13. Hi Sharon, what a lovely reflection post, I also gained a lot from the challenge and know it has changed my writing style and voice, which is more than I could have hoped for. Trying to keep posts short was a huge challenge for me, I can pour out 1000 words in no time, but trying to say the same thing in 300 words was so satisfying. Maybe next year I will try a more pictorial approach as you did and see what that stimulates. Congratulations on winning :)

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