The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, May 4, 2015

A to Z Reflections: What Participants Say




       Since this is my sixth Challenge that means I've already done 5 years worth of Reflections and in some years those Reflections were broken down into a multi-part series of analytical posts about the Challenge.  Anything I would say this year would only be repetition of what I've said in the past.  If you're really interested in some of my A to Z thoughts then please go back to the Reflections of previous years.

       As with every year there have been the detractors and naysayers about A to Z.  Some of their issues I am empathetic with while some are decidedly silly in my opinion.  I'm always willing to discuss these negatives but mostly these are something to do with the complaining blogger and not to any inherent deficiency of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  This Challenge remains a mighty event that many love, some accept, and more that a few benefit from.

      Also I would be remiss in failing to thank the extraordinary efforts put forth by our dedicated A to Z Team of co-hosts as well as my own Ambassadors and all of the rest of the Minions, Muffins, and other volunteer helpers who put hours into trying to make this Challenge of 2015 run smoothly.  It's still not perfect, but it's still pretty excellent.

       So instead of me saying the same things I usually say, I'm going to let some you in the A to Z Community speak.   Here are some quotes gathered from comments and other sources:

I started blogging again because of this challenge. I abandoned my blog for far too long, but I had not previously connected with other bloggers. I only shared each new post with my friends, so I hope I didn't disappoint too many visitors. Participating in this has reminded me how much I enjoy writing and it has also given many great ideas about posting more regularly.Thanks for being such an excellent host, Arlee!
         Elizabeth @ Liz's Random Ponderings


I write what I know most about. That would be me and my life’s experiences. During this challenge, however, I wrote fictional pieces and it was fun.
Now, especially having finished the challenge, (yay!) I am thinking about new directions my blog may be taking.
This is the way I feel about my blog. There are two people who I know will faithfully read my posts, no matter what. That would be me and my greatest supporter, my husband. I have a feeling that there isn’t any other single person who is waiting with bated breath for my next bit of pearls of wisdom or that it will change their life in any way if I am not expounding that day.
WAIT! Don’t stop reading yet.
What I love about this challenge is that I re-discover how much I like to write. What I love about writing is the journey. This challenge puts me back on track to do something that I love.
I can’t tell you how much writing changes my outlook on life. Well I can tell you, or write about it. :) Thanks for this challenge!
Lynda Grace at Lynda Grace An Hour Away

Having the feeling of victory over something that is a little bit harder than we thought is like a crowning jewel and would be cherished for quite a long time.
When I joined this A-Z Challenge I never knew that I could come up with such topics and express my feelings I don't usually do.
I guess I would that I'm victorious in this challenge and thank you for letting me in.. 'til next year! ♥

Teresa Dosado at Whatever Makes You Happy


Some haven't finished but haven't given up!


Not only will i participate again next year, but it’s inspired me to blog using the A to Z concept but with specific themes – e.g. travel, food, jobs, etc. It might take me more than 26 days to get through each theme, but it’s given me the motivation I’ve needed for a long time to start writing more, and more consistently. thanks!    IsItReally2015


Oh, Arlee,...You’re so kind, thank you for your continued support. I know I am eons behind, but this challenge has taught me a lot. Even if it closes and I’m not done, I am determined to address my topics, still. They are all very important to me personally and professionally, and I have A-to-Z to thank for getting me back into the groove of writing articles again. Thanks again for everything!

Jeffrey Scott  used Ranting as his A to Z theme but no rant about his feelings for the A to Z Challenge:
What a great month. I've had a lot of fun participating. I'll definitely be back next year. Met a lot of great blogs and bloggers. Looking forward to reading continually their updates.
Hopefully, I'll be one of those others have been glad to get to know.
Keep up your great work here! Enjoyed your thoughts this month.
There were those who kept their thoughts short and sweet:

D.G. Hudson said:
Nice badge. I'll post it in my sidebar! This was my most fun challenge.
Rainforest Writing



Karen Mortensen said
This was a good challenge for me. I am glad I did it. Can't wait till next year. 


bookworm said: 

This was my first A to Z but it won't be my last - I will be reflecting on Monday about just how much I enjoyed doing this I haven't felt this energized about blogging in a long time. 
Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com




Dixie@dcrelief
Truly a positive experience! Thank you A-Z Team!!

Then we heard such encouraging thoughts as these:  

Mee Magnum said
Lee, thank you for your very kind words! It was a blast to be a part of and so much fun to come up with subjects for some letters. Definitely helped stretch my noggin’
I’m so glad I discovered this. GREAT work in putting it together and keeping it running year after year.

Mee Magnum at The Chinese Quest


I am both sad and relieved that the blogging challenge came to its end. It’s been an amazing month. I feel I’ve grown as a blogger and as a person in the short space of time.
My fear around blogging has decreased dramatically. Every time I published a blog post in the past, I felt there would be nothing to write about the next time I decide to blog. I am pleased to say, the challenge proved me wrong.
I think this simple statement sums up things nicely:

Another successful year. I can't imagine an April without the challenge.


Find other Reflections Here:
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ON Wednesday May 6th

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52 comments:

  1. Those comments are why we keep doing the Challenge!

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    1. Every time I think about ending the Challenge, I think of a bunch of reasons like these to keep on doing it.

      Lee

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  2. My first year - I enjoyed it, only negative was I didn't have time to visit as many other bloggers as I would have liked.

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    1. That's my biggest negative to life period--never enough time to do everything I want!

      Lee

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  3. Wonderful comments for a wonderful challenge.
    Yvonne.

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  4. Great comments to express the "heart" of A/Z Challenge!! Many thanks for your and so many other's efforts to make it a success!

    betty

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  5. Wow, that's awesome. I love how much this brings people together. And can I just say, even cheering from the sidelines we've made some new friends and read some great posts.

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  6. Hi, Lee! Congratulations to you and all the other A to Z survivors! Here's how I see it. As time goes by, it is easy for bloggers to become complacent and start phoning it in. The A to Z Challenge whips bloggers back into shape, pushes them out of the comfort zone, forces them to stretch, requires them to meet daily deadlines, hones their communication skills, makes them better writers and better human beings. Few things are more exciting than the thought that there is a great friendship just waiting to happen, up around the bend, at the very next blog you visit.

    There's a place up ahead and I'm goin'
    Just as fast as my feet can fly
    Come away, come away if you're goin'
    Leave the sinkin' ship behind

    You can ponder perpetual motion
    Fix your mind on a crystal day
    Always time for good conversation
    There's an ear for what you say

    Come on the risin' wind
    We're goin' up around the bend
    - John Fogerty

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  7. Some excellent feedback. A good reason to carry on...

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  8. You received some excellent feedback. I may not have participated this year, but I did enjoy my duties as one of Susan's helpers.

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    1. We appreciate your assistance and the knowledge that comes from your experience. Thanks, Diane!

      Lee

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  9. That's some great feedback! April can be a crazy month but doing the Challenge is definitely worth it!

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  10. Rock On, Shady Del! Perfect theme song for the A to Z Challenge!

    Thanks for posting these reflections, Arlee :-) Just what I needed to finish what I've been thinking about since mid-way through the Challenge!

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  11. For those who want it, A to Z is a wonderful way to make lasting blogging connections. It was wonderful to read some of those amazing comments from other bloggers!

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  12. Those are all great comments you highlighted. Those people really get what it's all about, instead of complaining they're never going to finish or should've known better than to sign up again when they keep dropping out partway through. A good attitude and ample advance planning go such a long way towards success.

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  13. That was a great idea to include those quotes from participants. It's touching how many have had great experiences.

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  14. The challenge is never about complain....I don't know what complain one can make about such a wonderful event!!

    Though I couldn't complete and lastly left x,y & z; however I thouroughly enjoyed everyday when I had to think hard about what to post......

    Will wait for next year...

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    1. I guess there are always some who will complain no matter how wonderful something is. Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to your finishing with a flair in 2016.

      Lee

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  15. Before the challenge started over on the Story Dam twitter chat we were encouraging a writer to do it and I read his reflections post yesterday and he was so glad he did and learned so much about blogging. =)

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    1. That's the kind of thing I like to hear, Patricia.

      Lee

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  16. Wow, I can't believe you included my comment! Thanks :) It really has been a pleasure to participate. I plan on writing a reflection post, I just had a busy weekend, but it should be up in the next couple days.

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    1. Your comment grabbed me in such a way that I felt it was worth sharing so I thank you. You have until Friday to add your Reflections post link to the list so there's still time.

      Lee

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  17. I loved the A to Z Challenge this year and had a great time following some of the blogs daily that presented themes that really interested me. (DG Hudson was y all time favorite).

    Now you may consider me a naysayer or detractor, because I don't participate, but I don't think so. I gave it a real try one year and did make it to the end, but it simply was not for me. I found great pleasure in following along some of my good friends this year and rockin' out to their themes.

    The Challenge has it's merits on many levels, even for those of us who prefer to lurk than participate. Good job and another year completed.

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    1. Glad you stayed with us along the way, FAE. The negative folk to whom I refer are the ones who like to continually speak out against A to Z and hope that we stop doing it. I can understand those who might have their personal reasons for not doing it, but to see the entire Challenge in a negative light and wish for its demise is wrong in every way. There are too many positives that I have seen associated with the Challenge. If you found pleasure and recognized rockin' themes then I don't count you among the detractors.

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Lee

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    2. In reply to FAE, thanks for the support! I enjoyed your comments too!

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  18. I wanted to be a little different from previous years, so my A to Z "Star Trek" theme for 2015 covered a broad range of Science Fiction instead. I wanted to high five everyone who crossed the finish line.

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  19. Well I finally got my Reflections done and this year I looked at the evaluation a little differently. I think I finally figured out how to enjoy myself. (by not stressing out so much. . .)Thanks Lee, for encouraging us and being a great motivator!

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    1. D.G., One thing we don't want is for participants to stress out over A to Z. I definitely try not to stress out though managing the list can be a pain sometimes. Fun is the key. Thanks for your support.

      Lee

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  20. A to Z is always uplifting, Arlee. I can connect with the words of bloggers and waiting for my hat trick, next year. Thanks a lot for this amazing initiative:)

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    1. The best endorsements for A to Z come from the participants.

      Lee

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  21. This is what it's all about. Meeting interesting people through the blog. Finding out new things and learning every day. Many of the comments are inspiring and so sweet and helpful and others are just hilarious. We all need this and it is nice to receive and give it

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    1. Birgit, I've met so many wonderful bloggers through A to Z and some of those friendships have now endured for years.

      Lee

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  22. Thank you for all the work you've done! Congratulations, you made it!! I'm sure you are enjoying some less hectic days in Mai?

    All the best and thumbs up!

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    1. I guess in one sense with being retired every day is a day off, but so far I've been busy and I don't know if the days ahead will be slowing down that much. Thanks, "Cat"!

      Lee

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  23. AmaZing - is what the A-Z was, is, and always will be ... HUGE shout out to all who participated and especially to Arlee and his team, thank you all so much!
    Now I have to try to do linky links and put up my reflections & survivor badge - something this gal is a bit useless at ...

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    1. Susan, if I can learn to do all that techy stuff I'm sure you can! Thanks!

      Lee

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  24. I enjoyed my fifth challenge, so thank you Lee and helpers! I did do a reflection but the linky tells me my email address isn't valid! I'll try later on a more amenable computer...

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    1. Try again. Alex manages that list so I don't know anything about it. 5 Challenges!! You know what you're doing by now.


      Lee

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  25. Lee, first I am happy :) that my comment was one of your mentions. wow.
    I am baffled by the apparently angry people who don’t want the challenge to take place???
    Anyway, let me say it again…Thanks for the challenge!

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    1. Lynda, I'm baffled as well. But I don't blame the Challenge for any negativity that arises in the minds of others. Too many people love it and that's the important point.
      Thank you!

      Lee

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  26. Wow, thanks for including a few of my own thoughts.
    And you are right, I'm far from finished. I am working on my reflections and hope to have it up sometime today or early tomorrow.
    So much to do, so little time. I'll bet you can relate. :)

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    1. Jeffrey, there's never enough time and it seems I'm always catching up! Like here.

      Lee

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  27. This was so much fun! The challenge really gave me the shot in the arm I needed. Yay!

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  28. Well, this was my third time, and I love it.

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  29. Easy challenge for me this year, the had bit is finding the places to visit. Hopefully back next year. It was fun thanks for doing it

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  30. Well, I guess some people cannot look beyond faults, so we probably shouldn't pay much attention to the naysayers.

    This was my first time at the A to Z, and I totally loved the experience. I resumed blogging in Jan this year, after a long break of 6 months due to some personal chaos. And, try as I might, I couldn't shake off the "bloggers' block". Until this challenge!

    Thanks to this challenge, I've met some really inspiring bloggers. In fact, I'm already looking forward to the next year and wondering what theme should I pick!

    Thank you for putting together this great concept and such a wonderful team of co-hosts!

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  31. Aren't positive testimonials just the best?! This is only my second year participating (and I skipped a year in between those years), but AtoZ just keeps getting bigger and better. The hosts were amazing this year! Kudos to all of you!

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  32. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! I can't imagine how you ever survived being host and managing several other blogs as well. I've not yet been to this blog yet...I started my visiting beginning with the ones immediately below me in the linky (as per the instructions), but I did come across one of your other blogs "A Few Words" and I've left comments on a couple of posts there.
    As participants, we really have no idea of the amount of work that goes into maintaining this yearly challenge and I just want to sincerely thank you and your co-hosts/minions/helpers for making such a platform available to us...many of whom are quite invisible in this huge blogging world since we are not frequent bloggers, nor writers nor competing for "web space". The positive comments surely must make it all worthwhile.
    Thanks for reflecting.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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  33. Hi Lee - I think you might be right "I can't imagine April without the Challenge" ... and yes all the accolades are deserved .. congratulations and cheers Hilary

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  34. Congrats on a successful A to Z Challenge! Thank you for hosting! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

    Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle

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  35. This was my first year - looking forward to next year already!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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