And now for a bit of a confessional with some lessons for all from blogger Amita Gulia who can be found at Amita's Pen and Quotes. Amita was also part of the 2016 Arlee's Ambassadors Team. Don't feel too badly, Amita, at least you did some things right and most importantly you understand what some of your errors were. Read on and enjoy...
Lessons from the Failure
I first heard about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge in May 2014 and was bit disappointed since I was late. I subscribed to the A to Z Blog and waited patiently for 2015. A to Z challenge 2015 was my first participation in the challenge and I was determined to survive it. I finalized on a theme and did some research. With some hiccups, I managed to complete the challenge and went on to write my reflections post. I was so proud of myself. Posting every day with relevant content on the blog made me feel bravura.
My confidence touched no bounds as I managed to pull it off on two blogs simultaneously. Amita's Pen where I blog more often saw some great Indian women who made the road clear for future ladies in various professions. The other blog - Quotes, made me pen down at least one self-made sentence on Pregnancy. That section is very close to my heart and the words came directly from inside as I was expecting my second baby at that time.
Then came 2016 and I was very confident of completing the challenge again. "If I can do it on two blogs at the same time while being eight months pregnant, nothing's going to stop me now", were my thoughts at the back of mind. I went a step further and went on to be on the team of Arlee Bird's A to Z Challenge Ambassadors. I had a great theme and finalized more great topics for each letter. April 2016 started and so did my challenge. After 10 days, I actually gave up. I knew I had failed it this time. I was sad. I felt embarrassed on not being able to contribute to Arlee's team - I volunteered myself for it and I was not doing anything. Honestly, I still feel bad more about being a non-active helper more than being a non-survivor.
I asked myself, "What went wrong?' 'Where did I lack?” My inner self shouted the following answers:
1. You did not Schedule the Posts
Plan, draft and schedule the posts. This is the top advice or tip anyone would get when it comes to any blogging challenge. And there I was an existing survivor and still ignoring this important advice. Mark it in bold letters: If anyone want to survive the challenge with flying colors along with good content, scheduling the posts is a must.
2. You did not Seek Help
I have never had guest posts on my blog. May be this was the time to let the curtains up. I could have approached my friends and I am sure many of them would have helped even if I gave them the topics. But, I did not even try it. So next time, if you are having a hard time coming up with enough of your own original posts, try calling your friends - bloggers and non-bloggers both might be willing to lend a hand.
3. You were Over-Confident
Remember - success is never guaranteed. Just because I succeeded last time, does not mean I would continue to do so without more effort. Challenges often get tougher with each passing moment. Be prepared for them so they won't become insurmountable.
So, does that mean my failure was all my fault? Actually, I would not be so very harsh to myself. In my defense I had a very, very busy month at work. I was writing programming scripts at work all day long throughout the month of April and each day I when I took time to work on my blog posts, I got more behind at work. The official work pays me and needs to be completed at any cost. Thus, I forgive myself--just this time--for ignoring my dear blog. I would keep the learning in mind and definitely take up the challenge again in 2017. Next year I hope to heed the lessons I learned in 2016 to make my life as a blogger far less stressful and uncomplicated.
PS - I hope I would still be chosen to assist on a team next time - Guilty me! I'll do better next year!
Thanks, Amita! I'd be happy to give you another chance on my team.
We're accepting guest post proposals for the A to Z Blog. If you have something that you think might be of interest to the A to Z community of bloggers, contact us with your idea. I'll be happy to work with you on a post for this site.
One must always Learn from Past .. :)
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Thank you so much for the motivation Rahu
Nice innovative article.
Yes indeed we learned from our failed attempts and that helps us do better in the future.
Eight months pregnant and running two blogs during the challenge? I'd say pulling the plug on that was not a failure, it was stepping back and trying again another time.
I agree with you that posts absolutely have to be prepared in advance. I begin in January setting up the shells of the posts and filling in as the ideas form.
Yes, I would not consider it a failure, just a learning curve. Thanks for sharing!
This year there were health problems, which may continue for awhile.
My first time out wasn't smooth at all. I didn't schedule. I didn't choose a theme. I barely limped across the finish line.
Thank you Manali
Well said Sheena.
Looking up and moving with improved strategy is a must for everyone.
I totally agree with you Tami. The over-confidence led to stepping back.
It's great to know fellow writer's plans and helps to learn.
You are most welcome Janet.
Wish you all the good heath Susan. Get well soon.:)
Congratulations on your efforts and hard work dear...
A theme is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended as it helps sorting of ideas.
Life happens while we're making other plans. My first A to Z 2016 went very well and I know there are no guarantees that 2017 will go the same. Looking forward to seeing you next year, Amita! :)
Great idea to have guest posts fill in for you when life gets too busy. Not a failure - you've managed to extract a lesson/growth from it. Thanks for your candid post. All the best for 2017!
Congratulations on completing the challenge and all the very best for next year.
Thank you Nilanjana for the kind words and best of luck to you too
There is No failure in the A to Z, I'm sure Mr B would agree. I have done the thing a few times now, a couple of times by planning it with much care and a couple by thinking one day ahead or even just making it up on the day. The key is not to put yourself under pressure, most of us blog for pleasure and the A to Z is a way of meeting folk, what it is not is an exam that must be passed or all is lost. As one of my blogging pals posted for N . . N is for No Post today . . . Well that sorted N out short and sharp.
So if you are in a position to do the A to Z next year remember first and most importantly it is for fun and a way of meeting a few like minded folk. No one will judge your posts, but if you have any good ideas through the year then make a few notes somewhere and it will help loads as April starts to approach. My only other tip is avoid subjects that involve huge amounts of research unless you have loads of time and love doing research.
Completely agree with you Rob.
The No Post was fabulous. Thank you for the useful tips and taking time to reply in detail:)
अमिता जी, किसी कारणवश यदि हम अपना कार्य पुरा नहीं कर पाते है, तो इसका मतलब हम फेल हो गए ऐसा नहीं होता है। हां, अगली बार वो कार्य करते वक्त जो-जो कमीयां रह गई थी उन्हें सुधारना जरुरी है। बढिया पोस्ट।
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धन्यवाद ज्योति ,
मैं पूरी तरह से आपके साथ सहमत हूँ। एक बुद्धिमान व्यक्ति ने कहा - जो लोग कभी नहीं की कोशिश असफल। वे या तो सफल हो या कुछ नया सीखते हैं।
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