Friday, May 23, 2014

Guest Reflection: Maria Dunn #atozchallenge

Today please welcome Maria Dunn, one of the A-Z Challenge participants.  I've been reading reflections, and will be choosing some special ones to feature here at the A-Z.  Here's the first in the series.

As I reflect on this year’s A to Z challenge, I find a smile come to my face, satisfied to have completed another and already planning for next April.  Why smile?  Well it feels good to accomplish something that is, well, a challenge.   It is always fun to reacquaint with friends from the previous year’s challenge, meet new friends and cultures, and discover talented bloggers to follow.  It’s also a real delight to find how I grow through the challenge.  I appreciate alternative views a little more.  I find myself more compassionate towards the hurting.  I understand blogging, writing, and thinking a bit better.

1.     Loved catching up with some blog friends I made in last year’s challenge.
2.     Loved meeting new friends.
3.     Loved visiting with people from diverse cultures and from around the world.
4.     Loved being challenged to write.
5.     Loved being challenged to think and grow.
6.     Glad to be back blogging again after such a long hiatus.
7.     Sad so many didn’t finish.
8.     Glad I learned so much from some great bloggers like Silvia at Silvia Writes, who wrote on all things Romanian and Sharon at Shells, Tales, and Sails who taught us about all things fruit.  Did you know there was an ice cream fruit?
9.     Sad I wasn’t able to visit 5 new A to Zers every day.
10. Glad for those I did visit and revisit.  I hope to continue to check out others on the list in the coming days and months. 

Things I learned that were helpful.

1.     It was valuable to check in with the challenge website as often as I could to see the daily post there.  Often there were helpful tips to enhance the challenge experience.  Also, those who are commenting on the challenge website are among those who are surely continuing and so they make good first visits.

2.     It was nice not to have a particular theme, but I find that I enjoy visiting those who did, so I am thinking about that for next year.

3.     I like being able to find out more about the bloggers themselves.  So I appreciate reading the about me link and seeing their photo.  I may have to do a better job of that myself.

4.     I really liked when someone recommended another blogger, and I usually went over to visit them as well.  So I did do that a few times.  If I plan it out better, I'd like to include  more recommendations or bloggers I found worth a visit.  There are plenty I could and would recommend.

5.     Last year I planned it out a bit more.  That was helpful especially when time got tight.  However, I feel less stress about it at this year’s conclusion.  Is that because it wasn’t all new or because of just getting to it when and if I could?  I don’t know, but I think, if possible, I’ll plan ahead a bit next year.

Thank you to all who stopped by.    Thank you to the all the A to Z team for your dedication in seeing this through and encouraging all of us.  I don't know how you do it, but I know it wouldn't happen if not for you.  I appreciate you.  And thank you again, Lee, for your brainchild.  Really enjoyed visiting with each one of you.

                                                                                                                  God bless, Maria

A to Z Challenge, 2014
Thanks for being here, Maria and sharing your thoughts with us.  Maria blogs at Delight Directed Living.  Please pay her a visit.

~Tina, who apologizes for the late posting of this.  8th grade graduation festivities got the better of me.  Mea culpa...


Unknown said...

Thank you, Tina, for including me on the tour and the A to Z challenge site.

Arlee Bird said...

Thank you Maria for enjoying the Challenge with us and for sharing your Reflections on the Challenge.

A Faraway View

Unknown said...

So grateful I can be a part of it, Lee and honored to be asked to be on the A to Z blog. Thanks so much for all your encouragement.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Visiting new blogs every day is tough sometimes, especially when you're just trying to keep on top of your comments. I did notice more were recommending other bloggers this year, a theme I've used for the past four Challenges.
And yeah, I think it's easier with a theme than without.

Anonymous said...

Maria, that was a lovely Reflections post and it resonated with me as my views and experiences seemed to be quite similar in most cases.

I've been a little erratic this year (and with a theme, too) but I plan to complete all the pending letters and your post somehow makes me want to do it as fast as I can. Cheers.

Tina said...

Thanks for being willing to share your Reflections with us! We are happy to host you here.
Tina @ Life is Good
On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

J.L. Campbell said...

Tina and Maria, as always, the Challenge is a delightful experience simply because of the people I meet during the month. Organization does make it easier, but who has time for that? :) Again, thanks to the team. You rock!

Unknown said...

You're right about mentioning other blogs. And I think I probably first got the idea from visits to yours, Alex.

Unknown said...

Wow! Thanks Sonia. That's a wonderful compliment. I know it can be hard following up, but kind folks like you inspire me to get to it too.

Unknown said...

You are very kind, Tina. It's fun growing relationships through the journey.

Unknown said...

As always, you are an encouragement and an inspiration, Joy. Thanks.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Enjoyed reading your take on things.
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Unknown said...

Thanks Barbara.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the links. I followed Sylvia's A to Z and look forward to learning about alphabetical fruit. Sue’s Trifles