Monday, May 6, 2013

A-Z Reflections

This was the third year I took part in the A-Z Challenge. The first year I did an A-Z of writing tips. The second year I did an A-Z of photography, and this year I let my geek out. I had a whole lot of fun reminiscing about all the books, movies, TV and games that influenced me into the geeky person I am today. I think I may have surprised a few people.

In all honesty, I want to continue raving about those favourite stories and activities. I’m not sure yet how I’ll incorporate that into my blog, but time will tell. I’ll work something out.

The things I learned from the challenge:
1. Scheduling. When time is tight, which it invariably is during the challenge, setting up a regular routine to get everything done is essential. That means scheduling. It was the only way I got through the challenge.

2. Planning. Another essential element, closely related to scheduling. As the picture shows, I wrote up a list on a single page of my notebook. Sure, it’s messy, but that was all I needed. It gave me direction and focus. And it meant I wasn’t scrambling around in a tizz trying to work out what I was going to post about each day.

3. Comments. I learnt I could visit everyone on the blogsphere while also online playing World of Warcraft, specifically while waiting in queue for the next raid or dungeon. Who knew?! Talk about a brilliant revelation! That means I can get more writing done during the day!

4. Followers. I gained more than I expected since I didn’t go out searching for new followers during the challenge. That was a happy bonus!

Final thoughts about the challenge:
I still came across the word verifications. They tend to be an indication of bloggers who are new, since it’s something you have to go find and turn off. I also still came across super long posts. Some were fascinating so I didn’t mind, but others could’ve been shortened. By a lot.

My favourite during the challenge:
Clarissa Draper. Wow, girl! Your theme rocked! Sure it took a little extra time to work out those puzzles and codes, but it was like a treat at the end of the day. And to my absolute surprise, I squeezed into the top five of her visitors who correctly worked out the solutions. I won a $10 gift voucher for Amazon! Thank you so much, Clarissa!

How did you go during the challenge? What did you think of my theme? Any surprises?

#AtoZChallenge

76 comments:

  1. Your theme was very fun and varied. I learned quite a bit about you Lynda. Glad you won a gift voucher. I have to agree with your final thoughts, CAPTCHA showed up on blogs I read as well and long posts take up time. You learned some great lessons and it's so wonderful that you've been going for three years. Congrats.

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  2. I didn't have a clue about the games but I loved the film choices!!! Yay for you!! And I totally failed most of Clarissa's puzzles but it was fun getting cross-eyed reading the puzzles themselves! LOL! Take care
    x

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  3. Great little wrap-up and something I'll have to do next year. You manage your time so well, too. I'm envious.

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    1. Amazing what one can do out of necessity!

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  4. Congratulations on the completion of the Challenge also a good reflection post,

    Yvonne.
    A TO Z AMBASSADOR,

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  5. See, you've learned to multi-task while blogging! People are in such awe of how I visit so many blogs a day, but I do it from my job while working.
    Your theme was great. As I said, you are my geek sister.
    Interesting you'd mention the long posts, as I encountered some really long ones as well.
    And congratulations on winning at Clarissa's!

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    1. I totally get it now! Before I just couldn't fathom how you managed to visit so many every day. It's so easy when it's broken up in between other things :)

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  6. As you know Lynda, I didn't participate this year for the first time. It was delicious hardly blogging for a month as you know from your pre-A-Z time off. I'm looking forward to your 'normal' posts and captcha codes, what the heck, even when some people are told to turn them off they still scream 'scammers' and refuse. I just don't comment on that type of blog any more.

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    1. yeah, those verification codes aren't needed. Blogger is actually pretty good with capturing spammers without it.

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  7. Word verificiation is devil's business :)
    Clarissa's posts almost turned my little brain into mash potatoes :)

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    1. mash potatoes with garlic? :)

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    2. no garlic, but diced onions stirfried with some paprika :)

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    3. oh yum!! I'll have to give that a go!

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    4. I use that for pasta :) You cook and mash two potatoes, dice and fry one onion, add a teaspoon of paprika, mix with potatoes and that's the sauce for your pasta :) It's a national dish in my Vojvodina.

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    5. potatoes AND pasta?? Wouldn't that make a thick sauce? Sounds yum, though :)

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  8. Loved your theme and added a good deal to my TBR list and film list, too! Someday I'll join in on the challenge too :)

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  9. This was my first time as an observer, and I have to admit there were days I had pangs of "oh, why didn't I join in again?" Some good themes out there. And now we all know just how big a geek you really are. :P

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    1. giggle... yeah, the geek had to come out sooner or later ;)

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  10. Great reflection Lynda
    it took almost two months to have 30 days of writing and art work pre-scheduled. I planned on having tons of free time to visit A to Zers. The two things that hampered me were the too long blogs (you mentioned) and the low return on my comments. After awhile I commented on fewer and fewer posts knowing the blogger had no intention to return the visit. Next year I think I will focus on a handful of bloggers and enjoy their blogs all month

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    1. I was fine with the low return of comments. I understand not everyone could visit every single day... but of course it meant I didn't visit them as often as well, which is a bit of a shame.

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  11. I will certainly make the A to Z a priority next year. I may not have commented throughout, but I've been paying attention, and I don't want to be left out of the fun next time. :)

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  12. I enjoyed your theme so much. You mentioned several of my favorite movies and you're amazing with the games. I'll surely read you on the next challenge. Can't wait to see what will you come up with next. :D

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    1. ha! I have no idea! It's all part of the challenge, I guess ;)

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  13. I LOVE YOUR NUMBER THREE! See, now that's what I call smart multi-tasking.

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  14. Lynda, you should repost this next March so those scared might see that it is possible to do the challenge and maintain your sanity. One thing, do you generally keep those followers? Or is it too soon to tell?

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    1. Experience tells me I keep the majority. There are some that will always drop off. It's inevitable. The other thing to consider is, they might enjoy my A-Z theme, but when posting goes back to 'normal' they may not like the regular posts ;)

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  15. Def a good theme:) I particularly enjoyed your A to Z posts this year:)

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  16. Wow! Thanks so much for the mention. I feel bad that I almost turned some bloggers brains to mush but I hope some other had fun. Enjoy your gift card.

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    1. mush is sometimes good! I like mush!

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    2. my brains is always mush, Clarissa, no worries :)))

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  17. Lynda,

    Congrats! Clearly, you're smart. I agree that Clarissa's posts were challenging, but I have to admit, the ones I did check out were over my head. :)

    Yup, planning is important. I used index cards, but still didn't have some letter worked out prior to the Challenge.

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  18. I wish I'd been a little more organised. Glad to be getting back to my more reasonable schedule.

    mood

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  19. Ah, I missed out on the a-z challenge this year - it's so much fun, must remember for next time!:)

    ~Emily Rose

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  20. I loved your theme and found a new gamer girl friend! Maybe I should do my writing while waiting in the raid queue... good idea!

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    1. Give it a go! It works wonders! In fact, I'm in a queue right now!

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  21. Congrats on winning Clarissa's theme/blog puzzles! LOL on playing WoW while blogging!! You're such a geek. ;o) I did enjoy your theme, yep! (and your posts were nice and short)

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  22. I didn't come across too many word verification blogs, but did see a good number of long posts. Congrats on beating the challenge too.

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  23. Great idea to play that game while you're blogging. Here's to multitasking! I really enjoyed visiting your blog this year and I loved your theme.

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  24. It was a great year for the Challenge. Love that you played WoW while blogging. High five! :)

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  25. Maybe I should try and do the challenge next year. You have over double the number of followers that I have.

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  26. If I were going to do a reflection (which is not looking good at this point), your blog would be on my favorite list. I loved coming here everyday to see what you had written. Always a new surprise. I did learn that I am no where as geeky as you :)

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  27. I enjoyed your theme, Lynda. It got me thinking about all the movies I have (and haven't) seen! Maybe I'll join you next year, too.

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  28. I loved all the people I got to meet, yourself most definitely included.

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  29. Congrats on making it to the A-Z finish line. Reading so many wrap-ups of this year's experiences almost makes me sorry I sat this one out. If Clarissa's theme involved puzzles of some kind, I'm sorry I missed out on that, too, because I'm a nut for puzzles.

    I did pop in on some A-Z posts this year, though, and found some very well-written posts with zero comments. After all the work it takes to fulfill a challenge of this magnitude, it would be terribly demoralizing to garner no comments or new followers.

    I'm glad to hear your experience was so successful.

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  30. I never thought of multi-tasking while commenting. Lady, you are genius. I'm going to try to play Sims and comment next year. It'll be like a holiday!!

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  31. congrats surviving the AZ!Clarissa's puzzles were definitely designed to challenge the brain :) loved her posts and yours as well.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  32. Loved your theme, Lynda. It was like a stroll down memory lane for me.... you know, not being a Spring chicken and all. ;)

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    1. Are you suggesting my chicken lacks some spring as well? ;)

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    2. I would never dare suggest such a thing :) Hope you're doing fine. Enjoy the weekend.

      Randy

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    3. I am and thank you so much :)

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  33. This was my first year with the challenge and was totally unprepared and worried about what I was going to write. Unfortunately, I was in the process of editing 2 ms at the same time which I hadn't expected which made life difficult. Though, all in all, I enjoyed the challenge and visiting interesting people and blogs.

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  34. A-Z was so much fun. I admire that you were so organised. I signed up a couple of days beforehand, and wrote a post a day for the whole month, which meant all my posts were very short, and I had some panic attacks. Definitely planning next year.

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  35. I really enjoyed seeing the movies and books you featured.

    I haven't tried playing a game and commenting. That is multitasking.

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  36. Great post, Lynda. Been a while since I commented! Wish I wouldn't have missed out on the A-Z this year, but I'm shooting for 2014. Have a great week! :)

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  37. I did the A to Z challenge last year, but not this one. I just didn't have enough time. Those are all great tips though. As for next year maybe if I start now...

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  38. You offered some good tips. I enjoyed reading many blogs this year. I didn't participate daily but I did stay with the letter of the day with guests and my personal blogging.

    I was also amazed, again, with Clarissa's work on her A-Z post. Good heavens, she put a lot of work into her blogs this year.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  39. This year was my first! I truly loved visiting new blogs, something I wish I had more time to do, and A to Z pushes us to do that. Also loved the wide open themes hinged only on a letter.

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  40. Great reflections post. This year I started scheduling posts in February (since I had a lot of baking to do) and that made the challenge much easier. It was fun meeting new folks on the blogosphere.

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  41. You came away with some great lessons, gained followers, and it sounds like you had fun with the challenge. What could be better? I loved your theme. And, hurray for notebooks when it comes to planning.

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    1. I'd be lost without my carry-everywhere notebook.

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  42. I've liked all 3 of your themes. I agree, planing goes a long way.

    Wow, look at your follower count!

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  43. Challenges are great learning experience.

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  44. Clarissa did have a great theme! Congrats on the gift card. And planning ahead is the key to a successful A to Z Challenge.

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  45. Lynda, I LOVED your theme, and definitely hope you find a way to keep sharing your favorites and inspiration. The geek in me was thrilled. :D

    Word verification. smh

    The person who goes into A to Z unprepared loses their mind. That simple. :)

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  46. I missed Clarissa's blog. It sounds like it would've been fun!

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  47. This was a great post. We learned about the challenge just a few days before it began. We weren't prepared and only made it to the letter 'l' before my writing partner/son said "we have to focus on our new book."

    I love the concept and hope to participate next year, however, next year I'll have posts ready ahead of time.

    Love your blog,
    Donna

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  48. Clarissa's theme was awesome, and yet I just didn't have the time to spare to try and figure out all the puzzles - I did manage one, at least. haha. I think next year I'll do away with my attempt to visit or at least comment on every single blog, and that may give me more time to pay attention to things I want to! ;)

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  49. I always enjoy your A-Z Challenge themes. They are fun, unusual and short and a pleasure to read :)

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  50. It's great that you had a theme and I just might consider having one for the challenge next year :)

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  51. I enjoyed reading your posts and found it pretty impressive that you could post so often and so well. Good stuff.

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    1. Yeah, posting everyday takes a lot of work. I'm back to posting once a week now ;)

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  52. Wow! A lot of love in this room. I admit I didn't see/read all your posts, but the ones I did were great. Hope you do it again next.

    Who knows. Maybe I'll join it. :-)

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  53. I found writing posts ahead of time was the biggest help to me. I've learned to write posts throughout the year and save them as drafts until April. Then I can spend the a-z challenge month just reading blogs. :-)

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  54. I am by on the A to Z Road Trip, and want to say what a great reflections post this is! You gave some excellent pointers for a new person. It was my first time to do this blog hop, and I enjoyed it immensely. Some of my posts got a little long, but over all, I tried to keep them short. I find I just have a lot to say! :)

    Congrats on finishing.
    tm
    zoecottage.blogspot.com

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  55. You rock the Blogosphere. I enjoy your writing and your wit!

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