|Please copy the Badge and display on your blog to let everyone know that you finished!|
We made it! Some never started, a few had to stop early, but as far as I have been able to tell most of you made it to the end of the alphabet. It was fun, but it was sometimes grueling. It was a Challenge.
I want to start by extending my deepest thanks to the A to Z Team who so effectively helped to co-host this event:
Jeffrey Beesler's World of the Scribe
Alex J. Cavanaugh Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jen Daiker's Unedited
Candace Ganger's The Misadventures in Candyland
Karen J Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain
Stephen Tremp's Breakthrough Blogs
These bloggers did a fine job of making the rounds in visiting as many participants as possible and I hope everyone will stop by to tell them thanks for keeping this Challenge going.
Next I want to thank each and every one of you who made it to the end or at least gave it your best shot. I have made many wonderful new blog discoveries and met wonderful new friends just like in last years challenge. I think that several of these new friendships will last a while and may lead to some interesting collaborations. And I really want to thank the many of you who continually gave me and the rest of the team such positive feedback and words of encouragement and thanks. Thanks to all of you.
This year's A to Z Challenge showed even more creativity that the Challenge of 2010. The many returnees had the hang of the process and showed their mastery of day to day blogging. There were so many amazingly creative entries for each day from the veterans and the new participants alike. There were short stories, poems, essays, and informational pieces that were original, thought provoking, and often absolutely dazzling. Anyone who thought this Challenge would produce a bunch of hack work and trivial blog posts was proven wrong on a daily basis by some of the quality that appeared on some of your posts.
It was a challenge for sure, but for me it was great fun and highly rewarding in many ways. For the month of May I will be cutting back extensively on my blogging activity so far as posting goes. Instead my focus will be on responding to all of you who posted your reflections. trying to keep up with regular daily visits, and attempting to continue on through that monster list of over 1200 bloggers who signed up for the A to Z Challenge.
My plans at the outset failed and I don't know that I even visited half of the blogs that signed up--I still hope to do so. I had not expected as many daily comments on my own posts as I had received and now I remember why my email box was so full last year after the Challenge. This year I have over 1800 emails to get through. Without daily comments I should be able to go at a faster rate, but still it's going to take some time.
I want to give a special thanks to Marcus at Writing Investigated for creating the Blog Navigation buttons. I know many of you had fun with these and even relied on them to a great extent. "The Next Blog" button has been a great aid for me in keeping track of how far I am on the list. The "Surprise Me!" button helped break things up for me and skim the list when I was feeling like I wasn't getting along far enough. Marcus volunteered to do this for us and I hope all of you will stop by to thank him.
So enough from me. I want to hear what you have to say. In a few weeks I am going to try to have a recap post where I will compile some of the best suggestions that you have to offer and things that occurred to me as the Challenge was underway. There is much improvement that can make the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge better, but I want to assimilate the data first before I come to final conclusions. So stay tuned for a post near the end of May.
What about next year? This Challenge seems to be a hit so we'll definitely consider that option. But for now I think a lot of us need some down time as far as blogging is concerned. And maybe even some extra sleep and perhaps a vacation. I'm going to Tennessee next week for nine days and have time with family. I'll slow down some during that time. But like the Terminator--"I'll be back".