So the AtoZChallenge 2015 is over and what a ride it has been. First of all I would like to thank everyone who organised it and everyone who took part - it has been an awesome year and I thoroughly enjoyed myself the whole month. I hope everyone else did too. I must apologise, I am still behind on answering comments for the last couple of days of the challenge, but I will catch up eventually.
For those who are new to the AtoZ - every year thousands of bloggers get together and post every day in April apart from Sundays using a letter of the alphabet to inspire their post. Many of us also have an overriding theme for the month. Then we try and visit as many blogs as we can during the month.This is my third year taking part in the challenge and I think I have enjoyed it the most, simply because I found so many wonderful people to interact with. It was great last year too, but this year has been simply excellent.
I know some people were pantsing this year and creating their posts one by one, but if there are two things I have learned make the AtoZ easier it is:
Preparation & Organisation
My sister and I had four blogs enrolled in the challenge this year - one personal blog each and two that we shared. There is no way we could have managed without serious preparation. These are the things that made my life a lot easier:
- Choosing a theme made deciding on posts much easier.
- Choosing a theme allowed me to take part in the theme reveal before the main event and it helped to connect to other themed blogs and choose initial sites to visit on day 1.
- All blog posts were pre-scheduled before April even began (well almost all - I had three drabbles (100 word stories) left to write :))
- I created a spreadsheet for the whole AtoZ list to mark down who I visited and who visited me on a certain day.
|Example of a small part of my spreadsheet. As you can see I have no idea who visited me on the last 4 days yet because I'm behind on reading comments :)|
I reserved a certain amount of time every day to visit sites in the list and then used a routine which I stuck to day in and day out. I won't bore you with the details, but it involved noting down everything I did so I did not get lost. This routine fell by the wayside on the last 4 days due to personal matters, which is why I have not dealt with comments yet and helps to underline that it was the routine which kept me on track :).
Things that made me visit/come back to Blogs
So there were some blogs that I went back to time and again and some that I visited, but they didn't necessarily grab me. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts:
- Blogs with questions at the end of the post were often easier to comments on, but only if the question was not too complicated. Blogs with multiple questions were even better because then I could pick and choose what to answer if all were not relevant to me.
- Short posts with short paragraphs were definitely the best when trying to visit so many blogs.
- Comments with blog links or blog titles made it much easier to return visits - there were a couple of comments where I couldn't actually find a blog to go with the person because there were no clues. I tried to return every comment, but sometimes I simply couldn't find where to do it.
- Pictures are a lot of fun and make a post eye catching and memorable.
- Mentioning the AtoZ at the top of the post (with one of the graphics was even better) or in the title of the post is a really good idea - I visited a couple of blogs that were a bit confusing.
- Being creative and cheating a little with X is for etc can sometimes make the posts even more fun ;)
- Short flash fiction works really well, serialised stories, not so much because if you miss one post or can't make it back for a few days you can't just pick up.
- People who took the time to return my visits, even if it was just a couple of instances during the month, made me want to engage more.
Blogs I Visited and Enjoyed
So enough about my thoughts. I have decided to share the links to blogs that had me coming back every day or as often as I could after I found them. Be warned there are quite a few. They are in no particular order.
- Author Stephen Tremp
- Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary (MY)
- S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
- Susan Gourley @ Susan Says (WR)
- Stephanie Faris, Author (LI)
- Melissa Barker-Simpson
- MopDog - Hungarian weirdness
- Chrys Fey - Write with Fey (WR)
- Patricia Lynne (WR)
- Sara C. Snider
- Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie (CR)
- The Other Side (GA) "A to Z of Vampires"
- Hilary of Positive Letters
- Chatter From the Mongoose Den
- Scribbles From Jenn (WR)
- Shells Tales and Sails (HI)
- J E Oneil is Still Writing
- CollectInTexas Gal
- Stories I Found in the Closet (WR)
- Clarabelle Rant
- Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
- Precious Monsters
- Scattergun Scribblings
- Storytelling Matters
- Lisa Buie-Collard, Author (TR)
- A Bench With a View (MI)
- Doorway Between Worlds (WR)
- The Doglady's Den
- Curling Stones for Lego People Jewellery Blog (FA)
- Book Reviews by Lanise Brown (BO)
- Annalisa Crawford - Wake up, eat, write, sleep (WR)
- The Old Shelter
- Alex Hurst | A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
- C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game (WR)
- Samantha Bryant-Balancing Act
- Tangent Shell (LI)
- Carrie-Anne's Magick Theatre
- Fiction and Film
- The Odd Particle [Re]View
- Spuds Daily Photo (PH)
- David Powers King (WR)
- The Writing Game (WR)
My Post for the AtoZChallenge 2015
And finally, here are links to all my posts for this year from this blog. My theme was Fictional Deities and Demons and I had so much fun. Thank you to everyone who visited.
|//||//||//||01 (A)||02 (B)||03 (C)||04 (D)|
|Aslan, Ar||Belar, Barbas||Cthulhu||Dahak|
|05||06 (E)||07 (F)||08 (G)||09 (H)||10 (I)||11 (J)|
|Ewya||Lord Frith||Gozer the Gozerian||Herne the Hunter/ Hathor||Issa, Blind Io||Jareth, Jasmine|
|12||13 (K)||14 (L)||15 (M)||16 (N)||17 (O)||18 (P)|
|219||20 (Q)||21 (R)||22 (S)||23 (T)||24 (U)||25 (V)|
|Q||Raiden||Sutekh||Thor||Umberlee||Vyres/ Vinz Clortho|
|26||27 (W)||28 (X)||29 (Y)||30 (Z)||//||//|
My Sister's Site in the AtoZ: Sophie's Thoughts and Fumbles