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#AtoZChallenge Reflections

May 2, 2018

April is now over so that means the end of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  This year is the fourth year that I’ve participated and each year I have found it to be a challenge to post every day for a month.  Last year I also participated in the challenge with my other blog Next Phase In Fitness & Life. Oh my goodness, I was busy! Posting every day for 30 days on two blogs was almost an impossible task. April 2017 really was a nightmare. I was so relieved to make it to the end

This year, the theme that I chose was The Story Of Me. Due to my interest in family history and genealogy, I felt this theme was appropriate. Many family historians write a book about their family and/or a memoir about themselves. I have done neither. The Story of Me was to be a snapshot of my life.

I soon found that this was a difficult theme for me. Writing posts every day, and reflecting daily, on events that have occurred in my life, was both exhausting and stressful. As I started to write  each post, memories from my past, that I hadn’t thought of in years,  came flooding back to me. Usually, I don’t spend time dwelling on things that have happened in my life, but there was much dwelling done during April.

I should also say, that many happy childhood and teenage memories came back to me. Before writing these posts, I didn’t think that I could remember much at all from my childhood. These memories were a huge positive to me and I’m pleased that they are now recorded.

I also was very quickly over myself! I didn’t feel right about focusing on me every day, in every post. This is something that I don’t usually do and I felt that I was being very self indulgent.  I very quickly tired of writing about myself as the main topic of discussion. To me it seemed relentless and I was very much aware that it probably felt relentless to the readers also. Writing about myself in such a personal way,  also made me feel very vulnerable. I try to always be authentic, but vulnerability is not one of my strong points.

One thing that I did realise in writing the posts, was how important the word Acceptance has become to me. As I wrote about events in my life, I realised, that without thinking about it, I had accepted that things beyond my control had happened in my life. Realising this gave me a huge sense of freedom, that I no longer have to carry these things around with me. They definitely do not define me. I am who I am because of them, and I can now accept that.

I found the trickiest letters to write about were S, U and Q. When I couldn’t think of a word to go with a letter, I would go out walking and think about something else.  Every time, without fail, a word would just pop into my mind. I do plan to use this strategy in problem solving more often in the future.

Even though A to Z is a huge challenge, I do love it. I’m already starting to think about my theme for next year. Note to self: Choose a theme that brings you joy. That is my advice to me for 2019.

One of the things I love most about the challenge is visiting other blogs during April.  The genealogy blogs are a favourite, however, I love finding blogs on very obscure topics that I would never have imagined anyone would think to blog about. This is a highlight of the challenge for me.

During the challenge, other bloggers have commented on my posts and I wish to give huge thanks to those who did so. It really is great to get feedback, and to know that your posts are being read. Big thanks to all who left comments and showed your support. It’s very overwhelming and always unexpected.

Even though the challenge is now over, I am still checking some of the other blogs. Listed below are some of my favourites so far.

Anne’s Family History
Sizzling Towards 60
Cresting The Hill
Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.
Profound Journey
Genealogy: Beyond the BMD

These blogs are just a few of the many fabulous blogs that I read during the A to Z Challenge. I am still catching up with visiting participants and will share other blogs of interest in future posts.

2018 #AtoZchallenge participation badge

  1. Well done, Anne. I’m baffled how you did this, but it appeared in my comments section as a ping! (Don’t ask me what that means – but I’m treating it like a comment!) Congratulations on completing the challenge. It’s been fun but hectic, especially as I was finishing off a book at the same time.

    • Sounds like you’ve had a busy April also Shirley. Well done! A ping is a notification that I put a link to your blog in my post.

  2. Congratulations Jennifer. It has been great to follow along and thank you for visiting my blog and supporting me during the month. I didn’t plan much other than work out who I would write about during the month. Even though I deviated from the plan a couple of times during the month it reduced my stress to know I had a subject for each day.

    • Organisation is the Key Anne. I had all posts for first two weeks done before April but only outlines for last two weeks. Well done on completing AtoZ with well researched posts

  3. I really enjoyed your A-Z posts Jennifer. It might seem self indulgent to you but to others it was interesting and reflective. I can imagine how stressful it was thinking and going back over memories. You did a great job! I can’t imagine doing it for 2 blogs though!!

  4. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris

  5. Hi Jennifer – that was a great wrap up – very honest and I completely agree that it would be hard to write about myself every day – and also to be posting every day if you didn’t have a back up of scheduled posts. I had mine all ready to go and that really helped with the pressure of visiting and commenting on so many posts throughout the challenge. It’s nice that it’s over, but a little bit sad too – I’m already mulling over next year! And thanks for the shout out to my blog xxx

    Leanne |
    AtoZ Reflections and Farewell

  6. The challenge may be over – congratulations for your success by the way – but I’m just making my way here via a mention on someone else’s blog. So I’ll be poking around in your archives and getting to know you. Your reflections post is quite interesting to me, and I particularly liked what you said about acceptance and vulnerability. Both of these things are truly necessary I think for an authentic “snapshot of you” and I celebrate your choice of topic.

    • Thank you Deborah. I’m enjoying visiting A-Z blogs now that April is over. Will definitely be visiting you

  7. The A to Z Challenge does sound quite challenging! I’ve read so much about it this year though, that I definitely want to give it a try next year. Thank you for sharing with us on the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty! I’ve shared on social media.

  8. Picking a theme that gives you joy is great advice – for any blogger trying to complete the challenge. Congrats on completing the #AtoZChallenge this year!

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