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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rappelling Down the Mountain: 2013 A to Z Challenge Reflections from Jess Topper

As I was reading reflections posts, I invited some bloggers who I thought did an excellent job sharing their April journey with us. This is Jess Topper with her unique take on the Challenge. 

We Arrived. We Blogged. We Conquered. Congrats to my fellow A to Zers who made it through the alphabet in April!
This was my second year attempting, and completing, the Challenge. I feel a little wiser and well-traveled after having made the journey. In my 2012 Reflections post, I likened the challenge to one of those “around the world” parties we used to have in the dorms at college. I was new to the blogging world and eagerly flitted around like a social butterfly, discovering new sites and making new friends.
This year, the Challenge was a bit like mountain climbing. Not in the sense you might think of, starting at the bottom and working my way up to the pinnacle. No, I already knew what the top looked like. At the finish line, the air is clearer, the view is great. I remembered that from May 1st last year! No, the 2013 Challenge felt more like rappelling (or abseiling, as the rest of the world calls it).

Photo credit: © Jarek Tuszynski / Wikimedia Commons

With over 1600 brave bloggers on the sign up list, I attempted to visit as many as I could as I propelled myself through my own Challenge. I tried to follow systematically, starting by using the optional subject headings that were available this year (GREAT OPTION). I hit on the Music sites first, since my theme was the Music-Fan Connection. On days when I chatted about secondary subjects within my theme (parenting, travel, politics, etc), I tried to hit as many sites as I could find in those categories, and so on.  But I also visited haphazardly, clicking on links found though the twitter #AtoZChallenge hashtag, and through the daily status posts on the A to Z Facebook page.
I felt like my feet never touched the same place twice as I rappelled through as many blogs as I could, leaving comments as my footprints.
Foot traffic on my own blog was lighter than last year, but I really appreciated those who came and took the time to comment. The real rock star standouts for me were Another Clean Slate (great writing), Some Dark Romantic (for co-hosting the Big Reveal and keeping the A to Z HOT!), messymimi’s meanderings (great facts), Bibsey (2nd year of alphabetic hilarity, holla!),Whole Foods Living (yum), and Ramblings of a Silly Girl (a city girl after my own heart).
Now, I’m at the bottom of the mountain, dusting off my hands and wiping the sweat from my brow. I’m giving a wave up to all the A to Z winners this year at the top, especially those new to the Challenge in 2013. I’m off to climb another mountain as I attempt to finish writing my second novel, but I hope to take breaks along that journey and visit more of my A to Z comrades.
Thanks to the Arlee Bird and the entire A to Z crew for hosting!1600 b
Thanks, Jess for sharing your thoughts on this larger stage. The rest of you folks – go visit her!
I fe

6 comments:

  1. Greetings Jess,

    I'm delighted you took on the amazing alphabet challenge and through it all, you have interacted with so many bloggers. Positive interaction and shared, learning experiences within this great diversity, is a tremendous result.

    Even thought I would never subject myself to what I consider something to be way too long, much respect to you and all those who participated.

    Gary, at the alternative amazing anarchic astounding adventure :)

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  2. Thanks for the kind words, Gary! It really was a neat undertaking and I love telling people about the Challenge.

    The beauty of your A to Z is that it can really be as long or as short as your heart desires - some people simply posted an interesting word of the day, a fascinating fact, or even just a funny picture. Minimal can still make an impact!
    Glad you stopped by,
    Jess

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  3. Enjoyed your post very much, very creative! I didn't get a chance to visit your blog during the challenge, but I am participating in the "Road trip"! Hope to see you around! Sandy

    sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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  4. Hi Tina and Jess .. great to see a new to me blogger here .. and your reflections post is so good .. and you obviously completely get the process.

    I like the way you tackled and still continue to tackle the A-Z .. I must get onto route 66 ..

    Continue on enjoying that process - the air is so clear at the top isn't it .. cheers Hilary

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  5. Lovely post Jess thank you and well done for the completion of the A-Z! I also didn't come across you but am glad that I now have and when the move from old house to new home is completed I hope to do catch up .

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  6. Thanks, Sandy - so many blogs, so little time! You've got a fun blog name so now I won't forget it if I see it on next year's list!

    Hi Hilary,
    I love how the hop continues to share the wealth well beyond April - I just dove into your A-Z and I am sorry I didn't find it sooner, as I adore all things British AND I love food!

    Susan, thanks for popping by and I wish you the best of luck with your move. I know the physical, as well as the emotional drain such a life event can have on a person. Reading (and writing and blogging) in any form is good therapy! I look forward to finding you in the next A to Z, perhaps?
    -Jessica

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