Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Some Words from a Grateful Blogger: Karen Walker

        Today we have some honest thoughts about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2011 from Karen Walker whose blog is author karen walker...following the whispers.  Karen's a wonderful lady who is always on a quest for truth, a topic that she usually talks about each Tuesday.    Her reflections post doesn't ignore the negative, but tells us that the good outweighs the bad.

Sunday/Monday Musings - Back to normal

Thank you Elizabeth Mueller
Elizabeth Mueller at:
created this award for all the a-z participants.
Isn't it lovely?

The a-z challenge is over. For those of you who may not know what this was, it was a challenge to blog 26 days out of the 30 in April using each letter of the alphabet. Lee, whose brainchild this was, has asked the participants to summarize their thoughts and feelings about it. That fits in with my getting back to normal post today, so here goes.

I had reached a point where I didn't want to blog every day - it was too time consuming and took way too much energy away from other things, like writing my novel. But I felt my blog had reached a kind of plateau. I was right. I had become complacent.

To be a successful blogger, you must continually reach out to new bloggers. That means clicking on blogs you find listed on blogs you regularly visit and things like that.

The a-z challenge made it easier to do that, because they were all listed in the linky tool provided. I simply had to go down the list. Unfortunately, there were 1200+ participants, which meant lengthy times at the computer to get to all of them before the challenge was over. That was the downside. Also, there were many links that weren't viable and many people who signed up, but didn't participate.

However, the upside far outweighs the downside. My blog went from 189 followers to 358, just about doubling. Comments increased exponentially as well. I don't think that could have happened without participation in this challenge. So, I am very grateful.

Would I do it again? Depends on what's going on in my life at the time. I enjoyed it. Do I want to keep blogging every day? Probably not. Unless I pre-write and pre-post, which is what I did for the challenge and it is the only way I could have managed it.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to visit and leave comments. I have met so many wonderful new bloggers. I only hope we all find a way to stay connected. I have added a bunch of new blogs to my blogroll. How to keep up? That is the question.

So, for today, I am grateful things are back to normal and I can blog any ole time I want.


         As with any challenge worth accepting you have to consider the good and the bad.   It's not all wine and chocolates.  Sometimes you get some sardines and Brussels sprouts.  Personally, I happen to like sardines and Brussels sprouts so it's not so bad.  Thank you, Karen, for this honest look at the A to Z Challenge.   We're thankful to have blogging friends like you to open our eyes to the truth every now and then.

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Wonderful post,


Laura Eno said...

Great post, Karen! I feel much the same. I'm terrible at blogging with any regularity or visiting new friends I've made (such as YOU!)but it was fun joining the challenge and I plan to be back for the 2012 round. :)

MISH said...

An open and straightforward reflection with no "frills" - just telling it as it is!
Thanks for sharing, Karen.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And making all those new friends is the best part of the Challenge!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I still plan to do it again next year even though I didn't visit even half the blogs on the list.

VON SPOOKS #1 FAN said...

This got down. Keep blogging.

Unknown said...

Just found out about this from the Blogs of Note feature. I had seen the A-to-Z on other blogs, but didn't stop to check out what it was. Now that I stopped by to look--This is awesome! Wow, I wish I had known sooner. I will definitely participate in the 2012 challenge.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I really enjoyed the friendships we made as well as all the wonderful support!

Pearson Report said...

I remember reading this post Karen, back in May; I also found it daunting...but you are so right, the upside did out weigh the hardships of posting daily.

I made some wonderful blogging friends, like you! Big smiles coming your way!

I'm looking forward to reading your posts for this upcoming A to Z!

Cheers, Jenny

Empty Nest Insider said...

It was tough, but I agree that it was worth it! Julie

Jessica Bell said...

You know, after doing this challenge two years in a row, I'm going to probably regret opting out next year :( But I just don't think I can manage it again. I think I might spend the time working on my writing.

But ... I did have an idea ... would you be interested in me, kinda being like your A-Z reporter. Lee? Perhaps at the end of each week, I could highlight some folks who have a really low following, on my blog, to try and get them some traffic? I like the idea of trying to give back, rather than just GAIN followers myself. I think I have plenty to handle as it is.

Let me know.

Kortnee said...

I was just thinking the Blogging Challenge sounds like a good way to get new readers and followers. I'm considering signing up once the sheet goes live.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. great thoughts .. once we know what we're doing it takes some of the stress away and also realise that we cannot possibly reach every blogger.

I loved it - and through it met some wonderful new people .. who I still connect with ..

Cheers Karen and Lee - have really happy and successful Christmas times and 2012 .. Hilary

Shannon Lawrence said...

A good and honest post about the challenge. It was definitely a lot of work to do the blogging daily and try to visit everyone, but I found it to be worth it.