Sunday, April 24, 2011

After the A to Z Challenge What's Next?

 
       We are now facing the last week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2011.   Some of you may be breathing a big sigh of relief that it's ending, while others who are having a great time with it may be wondering what to do next.
      
       Hopefully you have gained some insight from your experience this April and we'd like for you to share your thoughts with us.  That's why after the Challenge has ended next Saturday April 30th, we are inviting anyone who would be interested in sharing these thoughts to join us on Monday May 2nd for the 2011 edition of the A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post.

       Tell us about your experiences with the Challenge, both good and bad.  How did it help you?  How many followers did you gain from your participation in A to Z?   What was the most challenging aspect of this event?  What surprised you the most?  Would you do it again?   Why or why not?  Would you recommend it to others?

        We know that not all of you have liked this Challenge and we'd like to hear why.  Did the A to Z Team of event hosts do an adequate job of helping to answer your questions and to offer solutions to your problems?  Was the preparation leading up to the challenge handled well enough and in what ways did the Challenge fall short of your expectations?   What was wrong and what suggestions would you offer to improve it?

        The Reflections Post is also an opportune time to recognize the bloggers you found to be especially outstanding.   Did you discover any new blogs that you will continue to follow and you want to proclaim their achievements to the rest of us?  Did you make any special new blog friendships that have made A to Z more memorable?     Which bloggers deserve special recognition for their posts, their comments, or both?

         Monday May 2nd will be the official A to Z Challenge Mega Post day, but the days before or after will be fine as well if you can't make it on that day.  A special Linky list for this Mega Post will be opened on May 1st.

        Please use discretion and courtesy if you add your name to the list.  We invite all participants of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge to join us to express themselves.   Others who feel like they have something truly relevant to add to this discussion are also welcome to participate with their thoughts so long as they are constructive in their intent to help and enlighten others.  Those who merely want to offer negative rants that have no constructive value are asked to refrain from joining the list.    We don't mind hearing your negative thoughts just so you are not trying to tear down other people or hurt the reputations of those who mean well.    And please don't add your name to the Linky list if you have no intent to participate and merely want to be seen on the list.  The list is intended to benefit others and not waste anyone's time.

        We hope that all of you who are sincerely interested in sharing your thoughts about the A to Z Challenge will join us for the A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post will join us in this interactive event.  I will be linking to today's post throughout the week in my blog comments signature so as to let as many know about this as I can.  

          If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or any other thoughts about the Mega Post or anything else related to the A to Z Challenge, please leave a comment below.




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73 comments:

  1. thanks for giving us the opportunity to participate in the first place and to help you improve it for next year.

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  2. I've had a great time. I'll be there for the mega-post.
    Sue

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  3. I'm both having a great time and relieved that it's almost over. :) I planned on doing a "what I've learned and gained from the A to Z challenge" post anyway so I'll definitely sign up for the mega post.

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  4. I'll definitely be there for the mega post! Sounds good...

    Duncan In Kuantan

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  5. It's a mixed bag. I love the challenge, but it became a bit harder for me to keep up. I'll try to make the Mega post. Thank you for the challenge.

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  6. What a wonderful idea! Thanks to all of the sponsors of this Challenge and the hard work you've put in, promoting and commenting and inspiring. Can't wait for the mega-post.

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  7. This is a great experience.
    I think that I failed the challenge in the sense that I did not blog about the letter "T" yesterday as I was extremely tired and could not bring myself up to writing. However, I am enjoying writing and also reading yours and other writers blogs. Thanks for the idea:)

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  8. Great idea! I will definitely be there as I had planned a post along those lines already. Again, thanks for hosting. It's been a pleasure, and I'm looking forward to letting you know just why.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  9. Hi Lee,
    Actually, my friend, you gave me the inspiration to do my alternative satire postings to the 'A to Z Blogging Challenge!'
    Although I wish you well with this endeavour in the future, I shall be somewhat glad when it's over and my blogging friends get back to a more regular routine.
    With respect and a new appreciation for the alphabet, Gary :)

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  10. I would love to participate in the after glow, Lee. Though I didn't officially sign up for A to Z, I've been having such a great time promoting others! I will look forward to adding my two cents on May 2, as well as hearing from other bloggers!

    Cheers :)

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  11. It's been fun trying to come up with posts according to letters.
    The biggest challenge is trying to get to everyone in the challenge.

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  12. I had an absolutely marvellous time with the A - Z challenge....it really stretched my mind to come up with something different each day. I met a lot of wonderful bloggers who I will continue to follow and more than doubled my readership. Thank you so much for this opportunity to participate. I can't wait for next year.

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  13. Sounds fun. I'm new to the A-Z & started late so I'm not on this rounds linky but I'll still check things out in May & try to participate as much as I can:-)

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  14. Thanks for the support so far on the Mega Post. Last year's Reflections on the Challenge were very interesting and enjoyable. And you don't have to have been on the first Linky List for the Challenge to sign up for this one. We are looking for all legitimate input about A to Z. Anyone with an opinion is welcome to sign up for this List.

    Lee

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  15. I have loved this challenge. It forced me to start a blog and is helping me maintain some form of discipline with my writing. It has been enormous fun and I will join in the feedback for sure. Thanks for putting the challenge out there.

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  16. I'm definitely on board for the Mega Post. This has been a wonderful experience! :O)

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  17. it's already over? Ah, I have a haunting feeling that everyone will take a month break from blogging after the challenge leaving the blogosphere deserted :(((

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  18. Glad to have you host a-z challenge. Enjoyed the waves of blogs/posts.

    awards for you! Pick two of your choices!

    Happy Writing!
    Happy Easter.

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  19. Great idea - I'll be there though perhaps a little late. I've had a real blast doing this and have learned a lot and got me some discipline of sorts in the process. Cheers Lee
    Lxx

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  20. I am sighing, but not out of relief, more out of concern ... I'd say this week is going to be the most challenging, because all those letters are now coming, where the words are limited!!! Aaaargh! Help! *g*

    Okay, I've already planed to write an epilogue for the challenge, but it's cool to exchange experiences with the others! I'll put a note in my mind to post it here, too! :-)

    All right, let's get into the final spurt! See you on the finishing line! Yeah!

    Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing

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  21. I think this is a great idea and I will definitely take part. See you on May 2.

    And a happy Easter to all who celebrate it!

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  22. I was opening up my last post of the Challenge for comments and suggestions, but I can do it on May 2 instead...

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  23. I'm so worried about how empty my life will feel come the end of this month that I've started up another blog!

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  24. Hi Lee .. great idea .. I've loved it - and have learnt loads .. so next year should be more manageable ..

    I'd love to hear how everyone 'managed/administered' their blogs and comments and getting through the list ..

    I started really well - then came down with a bug that knocked me out .. so struggled thereafter .. the posting wasn't a problem .. commenting more so ..

    Cheers .. and it's been great - congratulations to you and this year's co-hosts for egging us along ..

    Happy Easter .. and some relaxation .. Hilary

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  25. In case I forget to come back for the mega post - it has been a fun month! I have a nefarious plan to turn my A to Z posts into story prompts for Story a Day in May...I challenge all you A to Z-ers who are up for more to give it a try.

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  26. Hi,

    A-Z a great idea! I didn't stick with it, and said why on my blog. Nothing sinister: WIP, revisions and garden screamed for attention, but I did try to get around as many blogs as possible. ;)

    best
    F

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  27. It certainly taugh me brevity! My twenty year wedding anniversary is next weekend, but I should be able to stop by here on Monday and leave a comment.

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  28. It's been fun and a bit challenging! So glad I am part of the A to Z bloggers. I learned some stuff that is helpful to me.

    Thanks for the welcome. Next year same time same place?

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  29. Great idea Lee! And thank you and the other team members for a great job. I look forward to participating in the Mega Post.

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  30. Gosh, I'll be there and I can't beleive it is already over...see you on the 2nd...

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  31. I think this year it has been even more fun. Still exhausting! :)

    ps Snottie hottie is my hot water bottle. Do you not use one of those to warm your cold tootsies in bed on a cold night?

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  32. Silly me, I thought this was a monthly thing, so I was waiting for the May one, since I couldn't post on every letter this month. Anyway, I'll keep my comments for May 2nd, great idea though.

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  33. If I did this A to Z Challenge more than one month out of the year, I don't think I'd ever keep up with anything. Sounds like some of you got some great inspiration and that's a very good thing.

    The Mega Post Linky list will be open until May 4 if you can't make it absolutely on time. And you can always write your reflections ahead of time and have them posted for May 2nd then link to it on the list.

    And, Nikki, no I've never used a hot water bottle to warm my feet. I guess I was thrown off by the "sexy" description.

    Lee

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  34. Arlee,

    I'll add a reminder about the Mega Post to my calendar and try to make it.

    I may lose internet access this week, which will definitely make my blogging, reading, posting comments and such very difficult to do, especially since I do not have library access right now either.

    I will do my best to stay on top of it all.

    While I found out about the A ti Z Challenge late in the game (like, March 30th or 31st), I'm glad to have read a post about it that a fellow writer wrote last month because I believe that it was just what I needed to become more productive and make sure that my blog does not go stale. In my case, the challenge served as a blessing in disguise because it also caused me to reflect on my interests and goals and make plans to move these things into action for the remaining months in this year.

    The Madlab Post

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  35. Hi Lee, I am behind on the challenge because of things that came up and I will not be finished with all my posts until May 3. Can I still participate in the Mega post and am I still considered a challenger even though I will not finish with the rest?

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  36. Nicole -- Hope you don't lose your internet and will be able to share in the Reflections post. Do what you can.

    Melissa - by all means you can join us with your thoughts about the Challenge. It doesn't matter when you finish the rest of it, we are most interested in your thoughts and suggests. Please try to post this next Monday 5/2 and add the link to the list that you will find at that time.

    Lee

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  37. Hi Arlee,

    Thanks again so much for putting this together!

    I'll be blogging the first half of the month of May thanks to the magic of post scheduling technology (great tip you shared!!) but won't actually have any access to the internet.

    So, would love to share upon my return. Would the linky-link still be up or should I send comments directly to you?

    Thanks!!
    Alana
    http://writercize.blogspot.com

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  38. I've had a great experience with the challenge! Count me in for the Mega Post! It'll be nice to have an official wrap party. Julie

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  39. I've had great fun with (most) days, lol. U took some thinking, though thinking will not kill me. I'm especially worried about what to do for X and Z!! Onward, bloggers! Courage, for the end is in sight! lol

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  40. Sorry for the delay in commenting had an off day healthwise.
    I would like to take part in the Reflections of the Challenge.
    Yvonne.

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  41. I thought it would be harder than it was and will miss the challenge when its over !!! Found some cool new blogs and increased the number of followers who are prepared to read my waffle, so win win !

    I'll be adding my name to the list!

    RJRmodels

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  42. Will do. But, thanks to my not reading the fine print, I wrote on Sundays so I'll be finished tomorrow (there's always someone in class who didn't bother to read the directions). But, I will join you next week for a "Reflections" post.

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  43. This challenge was good for me! It allowed me to pull deeper within myself to write about a variety of topics. I found out that I am not an awful writer. My English teachers put a fear of writing in me. I have a long way to go but I am glad I have the courage now to try. The only negative thing about it is a few days I felt obligated to BLOG and that was not fun. But once I got rolling on a topic it was fine.

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  44. Alana -- The Linky list will only be open a few days, but if you don't make it for the official day you can either post something later and let me know that you've done it so I don't miss it or you can send me your comments directly as a comment on my May 2 post or to the email I have showing in my Blogger profile. Thanks!

    Julie -- I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the Challenge.

    Lydia -- You'll think of something for X and Z. I've got confidence in you. Thanks for being a part of this.

    Yvonne -- It's okay. I was kind of dragging this week-end as well. Still a bit tired. Some kind of flu bug or something. Hope you're doing better.

    RJR -- Glad you found the Challenge rewarding and look forward to what you'll have to say about it.

    Al -- If it had been a race then you'd be the winner! Look forward to your thoughts.

    Jacqueline -- Pushing oneself is not a bad thing. You could think of it as practice for learning to write on a deadline or assignment.

    Lee

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  45. Lee, the A-Z has kept me writing fiction through this month and given me a degree of validation I lacked before.

    I can't thank you and the other organizers enough. I'll be traveling and without internet on May 2nd, but will either schedule a post on that date, or write in later.

    Thanks once again.

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  46. It is all about faithfulness. I will be happy to be on the May 2nd. posting my reactions. Thanks for all the creativity you and your team inspired.

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  47. Damy-- You have done a beautiful job over the course of the past month. The List will be open until May 4 and should appear on May 1. Try to get your link on the list during that time and if you don't make it please let me know that you posted something.

    Susan-- Thank you for your dedication to finishing the Challenge. It would have been nothing without the participants.

    Lee

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  48. It has definitely been a challenge keeping posting each day, but I've managed until today when my net connection was down for half the day. The wrap-up is a good way to get feedback. I'll weigh in then.

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  49. This challenge has been both fun and stressful. I was terrified of committing because of how often I get interrupted every day (grandchildren and myself), but I'm doing it and I will definitely join in for the A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post. Thanks so much for running this challenge.

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  50. The A to Z challenge has been an amazing reading and writing experience. I can't wait for next year, and I'm looking forward to having time to prepare for it, as opposed to writing on the fly. I'll definitely be part of the megapost.

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  51. JL -- Thank you. The feedback is a lot of help.

    Theresa -- I think the Challenge helps us to learn how to play with blogging schedules and work around everyday life. Thank you for being a part of it.

    Rachel -- The information we receive from the participants reflections will help to make next year even better.

    Lee

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  52. Great idea to have a mega post - I'll be there!

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  53. Arlee, I was planning a little post-post on that day already so count me in.

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  54. Will try to make it. depends on my internet connection - will be in the new flat. May get the neighbours to piggy back me till the new one is working.

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  55. Hi, Lee,

    I would love to join in. I've had quite the experience and I would like to voice my view of the month.

    All good, don't worry.

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  56. We're looking forward to hearing about everyone's experience good or bad. We're ready to listen and learn.

    Lee

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  57. Awesome! I was planning on doing a wrap up with my thoughts anyway, so this is even better!

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  58. Arlee,
    I've had a great time. I did visit every blog once, but with so many participants it was hard to do the re-visiting justice. I just had to pick some favorites and try.

    I'd like to participate on May 2. Where is the linky to sign up?

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  59. The Linky will be put up starting this coming Sunday. Please wait to enter the actual link for the post that has to do with the A to Z Reflections as we will be referring to these over the month of May and would like to go directly to the applicable post.

    Lee

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  60. I really enjoyed the challenge and almost ammassed a further 100 followers, which has been great.

    I found that short posts that were prescheduled worked best for me. The challenge was keeping them fun, catchy and interesting and keeping up with the comments and other's blogs.
    I would probably do it again, though it was a huge committment it was fun to do.:O)

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  61. Yeah, I'm in both camps - extremely relieved it's almost at an end, and happy to have participated :D

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  62. Trisha, I think you speak for many or even most of us.

    Lee

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  63. Count me in Arlee Bird and thanks for passing by and commenting on my page.God bless.Lovely day.

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  64. I will definitely be there, its has been a roller coaster ride but I stuck with it, a big thank you goes out to your and the other hosts;D

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  65. I'm setting a reminder now! looking forward to it, I've had a ball

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  66. I found it surprisingly rewarding and challenging at the same time. I'm looking forward to contributing to the megapost. The Challenge has been great fun. Thanks for setting it up.

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  67. Thanks, Lee for doing this again this year. I'm afraid I won't participate in the Mega Post, it's my hubby's birthday and we'll be out of town. Good luck and congrats on all your effort! xoxo

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  68. Thank you, Lee, for this great challenge. It has inspired me to continue writing.
    Before the challenge, I had only a handful of blogs in the 2 years I had the blog. That's pitiful.
    Now I know I can come up with ideas. I have learned how to shorten the time from idea to post.

    Thank you again.
    MM the Queen of English
    Thank you for following me.

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  69. Seems like everyone else gets it, oh well. I am confused. Do I write a post on my blog that is a reflection and then add a link to the list, or do I write my post on a list?

    This is a real question.

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  70. I'll try to do the mega-post on at least one of my four blogs that all completed the challenge.

    The Mane Point - horses
    Nickers and Ink - poetry and humor
    Practically at Home - how-to's and more
    Meme Express - blogging topic ideas

    Thanks,
    Linda Ann

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  71. thanks to all for your support and kind words. I look forward to hearing what each of you have to say about your experience.

    Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.
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If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee