Monday, May 8, 2017

A to Z Reflections 2017 #AtoZChallenge

I survived the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and earned a badge!

It is tradition for participants to post reflections after the Challenge. Here are mine.

How it started

In the last week of March, author Donna B. McNicol asked if any of her friends were participating. I said yes! I had been wanting to get into blogging and figured this was a great opportunity. Why not sign up and learn as I go?

Theme

I wrote about Ecuador since I live in a country that is not well known globally.

Topics

On April 1, I had a list with a topic for each letter of the alphabet. I knew what I would write about each day. Until I began each post. It turned out that I had little to say about some topics. Others needed more research and time than I could do in a day. For some I had no photo to accompany the post.

The list I had on April 1 and the 26 posts I published had only 5 words in common. I have a bunch of almost done, half done, and hardly begun drafts. Some of those will morph into future posts.

By the numbers - April

  • 26 posts in 30 days
  • 4821 visitors
  • On average, 14.65 people commented daily
  • I read and commented on about 490 A to Z posts 

Lessons Learned

  • My photos are a hot mess. I spent hours seeking ones that would fit each post. Late in the month, I searched for photos prior to beginning a post.
  • April is a great time to begin blogging, if you can keep up with the pace. 
  • April is not a great time for in depth posts. Some of my topics deserve more detail than I could cover in a short time. I wrote some anyway and will expand on topics in later posts.
  • Learn from others. I made adjustments based on blogs I read during the month.
  • There is little time for anything else in April. If you participate in the A to Z Challenge, clear your schedule for the month. Alternately, write posts ahead of time. Then April can be spent reading and commenting on others' posts and responding to comments on your posts. 
  • Use a blog link in your signature when commenting on other's blogs. It is the easiest way to find blogs for reciprocal visits. 

Where I go from here

I plan to publish a new post each Monday. They will be similar to my April posts. I also signed up for a blogfest... I still need to figure out blogfests. Ignorance did not stop me from the A to Z so I'll learn as I go!
  • We Are The World Blogfest - The last Friday of each month, we will promote stories showing love, humanity, and brotherhood from around the world :) 

Thank you


26 Posts in 30 Days
  1. Adventure - My life is one!
  2. Boobies - beautiful and bountiful on Ecuador´s coast! Blue-footed boobies, that is
  3. Currency - Coins over bills
  4. Digging up Manteño history
  5. Earthquake - The night a 7.8 shook Ecuador
  6. Fireworks - Any time is the right time
  7. Guayaquil - Iguana Park and other free attractions
  8. Humpback Whales
  9. Iguanas at our bedroom window
  10. Jama Bridge Jumping
  11. Kinder Eggs - Contraband
  12. Latitude Zero
  13. Monkey on my head
  14. Nurturing Owl Parents
  15. Olon Orphanage
  16. Post-Earthquake makeshift camps
  17. Quick stories - Rare Frog, Heated Toilet, Happy Snake
  18. Reinventing a 2.4 km beach front boardwalk
  19. Sunsets near the equator
  20. Tide Pools in Puerto Lopez
  21. Underwater Endangered Testudines (a.k.a. Sea Turtles)
  22. Vegetable Ivory - Tagua
  23. Water. Clean Drinking Water
  24. Xanthophobia, Xenoepist, Xyzlacatosis
  25. Yuletide at the Olon Orphanage
  26. Zoo - I live in one!


32 comments:

  1. Hi Emily - your posts were wonderful and I'm so glad you jumped into the A-Z ... not something I'd have done! But when I did ... I jumped in fully and committed ... anyway - delighted to read you'll be posting regularly and I'll be around ... I so enjoyed your posts on Ecuadorian aspects -
    cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, I am so glad I jumped in, too! What a joy the month was. Thank you for your visits. I enjoyed learning about the rare breeds that you highlighted.

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  2. Dear Emily,
    Love your reflections post . I have truly enjoyed your wonderful tour around exotic Ecuador . I so appreciate your visits to my blog during the challenge. Thanks so much . Its been wonderful meeting and getting to know you. I will be looking forward to Monday's now. See you around.
    Best wishes,
    Moon
    https://aslifehappens60.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/a-to-z-bloggingchallenge2017-a-freshers-musings/

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    1. Thank you so much, Moon. It was fun to learn that you were also a first time participant when I read your reflections post. How nice to have met you!

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  3. I had tons of fun with your theme, and I loved visiting every day! I am looking forward to what else you'll write about in the future :)

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

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    1. Thank you very much, Zalka! Your folktales were a blast!

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  4. Congratulations on completing the challenge and on your excellent observations. Like you, I learned last year that research-heavy posts are tough to do during A to Z. Really enjoyed your theme and posts -- especially learning about the orphanage and all the community support it receives. Thanks for your visits/comments on my blog. Good luck with the blogfest and hope to see you back at A to Z next year!

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    1. Thank you, Molly! Those research-heavy posts are just too much for daily posts. I look forward to revisiting some topics that deserved a deeper dive and others that I skipped entirely. There will be more posts on the orphanage for sure! I will be back next year for A to Z.

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  5. Congratulations and kudos for acing the challenge, that too as a first timer! I have missed out on lots of your posts, and fully intend to catch up as and when I can. Loved the bits I got to read. Double thumbs up!

    Good luck with the blogfest. See you around.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Thank you, Nilanjana! I plan to catch up on yours, too.

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  6. Congratulations and well done! I would love to know more about blogfests?

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! Since this month will be my first entry in the blogfest, I can't tell you a lot about them yet. However, Michelle Wallace had information on her A to Z posts. Here is her April We are the World Blogfest post: http://www.writer-in-transit.co.za/south-africas-pride-of-harvard-is-coming-back-to-make-a-massive-difference-we-are-the-world-blogfest-watwb/

      Hope you join!

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  7. Congratulations on completing your first A to Z Challenge so successfully! Thanks also for visiting me. Best wishes for your future blogging adventures. Living in Ecuador must be exciting!

    Debbie @ THE DOGLADY'S DEN
    #AtoZChallenge 2017 REFLECTIONS

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! I love living in Ecuador - it is exciting.

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  8. I'm glad you did it, so I got to meet you!
    Congratulations on a job well done. :-)
    I'll be back! (<you did read that like Ahnold, right?)

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    1. I sure did read it like Ahnold :)
      Thank you, Jz! It was so fun!

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  9. I remember doing something similar on my first challenge - I'd not long started blogging and figured the challenge would get me posting daily. Three years on and I'm still going :)
    Debbie

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    1. So it seems that the challenge is a good place for some of us to start :) Hopefully I will be making a similar comment on someone's reflections post in three years :)

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  10. I'm glad you jumped in. I didn't get to read anywhere near all of your posts during the month, but I'll be coming back to learn more (since I'm one of those who doesn't know much about Ecuador).

    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! It was fun to share some of what Ecuador has and I look forward to sharing more.

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  11. I loved all your posts. I used to look forward to read all of them.
    Congrats on finishing the challenge. Hope to see you around again

    Click Here to see what Mrs. Dash Says

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    1. Thanks DeeDee! Hope to see you around, too.

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  12. I greatly enjoyed your posts. Even if your posts were short, I learned a lot about Ecuador. And really, short pots during April are just fine when we're all trying to get around to as many blogs as we can manage in what time we have.

    Getting at least the majority of your posts written and scheduled ahead of time really does make a huge difference. I start mine a month in advance, writing a couple a day so I can focus on the visiting and commenting in the hour and half a day I have set aside for this during April.

    I'll keep an eye out for your future posts. :)
    Jean Davis- Speculative Fiction Writer

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    1. Thanks Jean! It did not take me long to realize that short posts are easier to write and read during April. I plan to have next year's complete (or mostly complete) prior to April. Having more time to focus on visiting and commenting would really help.

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  13. Congratulations Emily! By the looks of this post, you'll be super organised for the AtoZ 2018--I can see:)
    I had thought about writing a few posts ahead of time (lesson I was trying to teach myself after A to Z 2016) but didn't. But, it all turned out okay.
    I enjoyed your posts and as I said earlier, Ecuador and Peru are on my list, so one never knows--we may be having coffee one day in the real world:)
    Reflection Post

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    1. Thanks Arti! Hopefully I will be more prepared in 2018 - we will know in less than a year :) When you visit Ecuador, I'll buy that coffee.

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  14. Congrats! I didn't realise you were new to blogging. I would always recommend the A-Z as a great way of getting to know a lot of people. I can see from your list of posts that I only jumped in at letter R, so hopefully I'll have time to come back for the rest. I enjoyed what I read - felt like taking a mini holiday!

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    1. Thanks Nick! Yep, I am brand new to blogging (except for a few posts here and there years ago). I agree that the A-Z is a great way to get to know others.

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  15. I particularly liked your theme since I have my connections to Ecuador. You did a great job with the Challenge and jumping into A to Z is a good way to kick off a blog. You learned some good lessons.

    Thanks for joining us for the 2017 Challenge and we appreciate your Reflections.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks Arlee! It was fun to learn that your wife is from here. I appreciate you creating this wonderful Challenge and keeping it going over the years!

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  16. Well done for completing the challenge. It sounds like a fascinating topic to write about, I'll have to come back in the future and catch up. :-)

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. Thanks Click. It has been a lot of fun writing about. Next year, I will be more prepared so it doesn't take over my April :)

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