Monday, May 21, 2012

the good

Artwork by Ada Z from
         I plead guilty to somewhat dropping the ball on this post.  I waited until the last minute to compose this so it may not be as thorough as I had hoped.  On the other hand, if you've read even just a few of the Reflections posts you saw many of the same good points of the A to Z Challenge repeated many times.  Or you could just go back to lasts year's post of  The Positives of Blogging from A to Z and that pretty well sums up most of this year's positives.

         I'll mention some of the obvious positives in passing.  Many of you cited the benefits of improving your blogging or writing skills by posting something everyday.  There were the elements of self-discipline and creative thinking.  Sense of community and opportunity to meet new bloggers was often mentioned.   The diversity of participants and the high quality of the writing on many of the blogs were other positives that were pointed out.

        Several people told how they broke in new blog or revived on old blog with the Challenge.  For these bloggers it was a trial by fire experience that helped instill good blogging habits and add followers.   The learning experience that A to Z offers is something veterans can use to encourage new entrants in the future.

        One thing that I had neglected to mention in my previous thank yous, but was brought up in many of the Reflections posts is the addition of the Navigation Buttons offered by Marcus Clearspring.   These were tremendously popular last year and we had many requests for their return this year.  Fortunately Marcus came through again and once again the Navigation Buttons were a hit.  Thank you Marcus.

        We received a number of kudos for the responsiveness, presence, and helpfulness of this year's A to Z Team.   We thank you for your kind words and I for one will concur on this.  Thank you Team--great job!

         Hopefully, you can give us some numbers, but I've heard of a number of the April A to Z series that will be getting published in one form or another.  That A to Z is becoming a springboard for published works is great news.   Last year I heard about at least three books that came out of the Challenge.  I know of a few from this year's Challenge, but I think there will be more.   If you have a book or some published material that was born from A to Z, let us know in the comments and keep in mind that since we are accepting guest posts at the A to Z Blog we would like to hear from you if you would like to do a post about your book.

          One other thing that many of you saw as a big positive and I heartily agree is this A to Z Blog.  This has been a great forum--or as one of you said "water cooler site".    Being able to have a site devoted to A to Z news and tips leading up to and during the Challenge was a huge benefit in many ways.   There is a lot more that we can do with this site.   What are some of your suggestions about this?

         A couple of excellent Reflections posts that you might like to check out are those of Elise Fallson and Susan Kane's thecontemplativecat-- very different in presentation, but both capturing the essence of the spirit of the April Challenge and what it represents.   But by all means don't stop there.  If you haven't read any of the Reflections posts yet, you should read at least a sampling.  Over four hundred of you have left your A to Z Reflections, which is a pretty impressive statement in itself.

          Next Monday I'll be discussing some of the negative aspects that we heard from the Reflections posts and elsewhere.  Then on the following Monday I'll bring it all together with your comments from these two posts and some additional ideas I have about this year and next year.  

           That's what I've got for now.  What positives can you think of that I've left out?   Do you agree with the ones I've mentioned?    What was the biggest A to Z plus in your mind?

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Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Arlee,
I fully agree with your presentation here. As I have mentioned it in my reflection post, let me repeat, I have learned a lot from here. Yes, the association with A to Z team as well as the contributors here I could learn lot of new tricks, tips, and trends in blogging, though I was closely associating with Google’s Knol platform, and the unfortunate death of the knol forced me to shift my field to the blogging arena. One trend I noticed is the non-responsive attitude of some bloggers, even though one comment on their blog and follow it, there won’t be any response from them to the follower not even a response to the comment of follow.
This is really upsetting and irritating too. Arlee you need to write on this trend of some of our co-bloggers in your upcoming Monday post.
Keep inform, Keep posting.
Thanks Arlee for the kind mention of my post at your Sunday Blog. I have posted a Thanks Note to that blog post. Here is the link.
And my Reflection post.


The positives certainly outweigh the negatives I have found.

Great to be back.

Lynn Proctor said...

my biggest plus, was being encouraged to write and that someone was actually out there reading--and then to find the "others"--similar to me and not so similar--all wonderful and such a connection

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think we'll see even more books come from the A to Z Challenge this year. As always, the biggest plus for me was the new friends I made during the Challenge.

loverofwords said...

The positive is "talking" to people from everywhere. I miss what I call the "front porch chat," which I do not have in my neighborhood, no front porch, and no people walking by. When you are retired, everything changes. I appreciate the longer responses and I try and leave a thoughtful response. But the challenge has opened a new "front porch" for me.

Michelle Jones said...

i learned that it's possible for me to actually complete something . . . and that's a relief

my blog

Arlee Bird said...

Phil -- I will mention that negative as you are not the only one who has mentioned this.

Yvonne-- Over all I've also found that the positives that people mention far outweigh the negatives. Glad that you're back.

Lynn -- Being read is a big positive as I see it. I blogfest--especially one of this scope--increases ones chance of being read.

Alex -- I have a sense that we'll see more books coming directly from the Challenge or at least inspired by it. Now we'll wait to hear about them.

Loverofwords -- I like that analogy. I have a front porch at my house but have rarely sat on it and neighbors very rarely stop by to chat. Blogging allows us to find others with similar interest and does open new access to communication.

Michelle -- This aspect of proving oneself is commonly cited. Glad it helped you.


L. M. Leffew said...

Like NaNoWriMo, the A to Z Challenge was really beneficial in that it got me to complete something. :)

I came up with a lot of little interesting short-shorts and I'm kicking around the idea of self publishing the collection after I review/polish/rework some of the tales.

Some might even grow to longer stories. I'm just not sure yet. My schedule/writing habits are still "off" after such a busy April.

J.L. Campbell said...

Arlee, I also think it's a wonderful thing when people actually come out of the Challenge with publishable material. That's part of what makes the Challenge worthwhile.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I'll start with the negative and it was that I couldn't take the month of April off and visit everyone in that month and leave more comments. Let's say working got in the way. :) But, I plan on visiting everyone this year.

Lee, the A-Z Challenge is a genius idea. Congrats to you for your hard work and perseverance.

I loved my theme, writing it and am contemplating putting in an ebook sometime this year just so you know.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I connected with some new followers who found me during my Sad Songs Blogfest, and I probably wouldn't have done that without the A to Z posting.

Chuck said...

I know one thing I failed to put in my reflection properly was the fact that I re-connected with some bloggers I had met the previous year only to fall somewhat distant from during the ensuing 365 days. This is making me strive to not let that happen again this year. Thanks again for a great Challenge, Lee!

Arlee Bird said...

L.M.-- If you publish something that came from A to Z be sure to come back for a guest post to promote it.

J.L. -- I think it's a big plus to have publishable material coming out of the Challenge.

Teresa -- Keep us posted on the ebook and when you're ready you can promote it here. That's big A to Z news that people will be interested in.

L.Diane -- I think it was a big help both ways to have your Sad Songs Blogfest right before the Challenge. I used it to my advantage.

Chuck -- Thanks for being a part of the Challenge. I know what you mean about losing touch and regaining contact. It can be difficult to stay connected all through the year.


Mimi said...

Oh simple. IT WAS FUN!!

Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

Barbara said...

It's great that a lot of writers came out with publishable material, it seems that writers are a majority here :) I loved that I was able to see/ learn different genres and their quest to e-publishing. Seems like a great insight.

Having said that... I think we (the participants) should do more to get others involved, not only writers...

I'd love to see the post where you will put everything together, all the ideas, positives and negatives, and we can have a healthy chat in the comments as to which ideas are the best and all!

Road Trip: On my way from A all the way to Z!
English Speaking Zone

Elise Fallson said...

I'm a little late making my rounds but thank you for the mention. I learned a lot about myself as a blogger and as a writer during this challenge. I can't wait until next year!

Arlee Bird said...

Mimi -- A great deal of fun!

Barbara -- It would be great to see more involvement from those who do something beyond writing for writing's sake. More photo and art blog and other things like travel blogs. There is a huge variety out there.

Elise -- Glad you caught your mention. I enjoyed your Reflections post.


Donna B. McNicol said...

The whole experience for me was a wonderful opportunity to continue improving my flash fiction skills. I did a 10x10 theme, max of ten sentences, min of 100 words.

I got a lot of encouragement to expand some of them and that may happen some day (got two novels WIP that I need to get back to).

I did publish my 26 stories in an ebook at Amazon, A-Z in 10x10

Tina said...

For me, the biggest positive was the pleasure of serving behind the scenes. You're so right Lee that we had an amazing group. I found it incredible how each of our skill sets so beautifully made one, totally awesome whole.
The other positive for me was that I had a theme (the Swedish lessons) and that I kept the attention of my readers all the way to the end!
I'm thrilled that I get to stay on behind the scenes.
Those of you who'd like to guest: we have a lot of open real estate between now and April 2013. If you're interested, contact me at either the info@ address, or my own, both available in the contact tab at the top.
One last thing: join the road trip! Many of you mentioned that meeting others was a positive. We're still visiting! Click the road trip badge at the top right for more info.
Tina @ Life is Good
Post A-Z Road trip!

Laura S. said...

I had wanted the navigation widget at first because I liked it so much last year, but then I didn't use it this year. Instead, the suggestion to start visiting blogs with the one AFTER yours on the list was brilliant! I got to so many more blogs this way and was able to keep track of the ones I visited and still had yet to visit. Excellent suggestion, A-Z team!!