FYI. As Alex Cavanaugh mentioned: several sites were hit with malware warnings this past weekend. Some of us, because we were link to those sites, have also received warning flags—even after removing the links. Over Coffee is absolutely clean from all malware.
REFLECTIONS: I DID IT MY WAY
This was the second challenge I followed and while I didn’t participate officially, I did put up articles that corresponded to the letters when I could. I tweeted and Facebook articles where I could and visited as many blogs as I could. I met so many new people, read so many interesting articles and commented on them. There are so many fascinating people blogging these days.
What I noticed more this year was the camaraderie between most of the bloggers. That was cool. I also noticed this year, many had particular themes that were interesting to read. An enormous amount of work went into blogging everyday and making the articles interesting. I loved the humor. Face it, blogging every day, visiting blogs everyday is exhausting and many of the blogs I visited humorously alluded to scraping the barrel for both energy and creativity to put those articles up. Daily.
I loved the separate A-Z blog site. This year it was so much easier to follow the participants. The co-hosts worked together both in supporting the contributors and providing encouragement and help along the way. This on top of contributing their own articles.
Round of applause on a job well done host team!
I had people ask, what’s the purpose of such a challenge. It’s too much, too time consuming, and time that could be used for other things, like writing.
Here are my thoughts on doing blog challenges:
- Creativity and presentation isn't limited to writing fiction. The whole purpose of writing blogs is the desire to share something with others. Whatever your something is, you have to capture and keep your readers’ attention.
Think of the teacher who has certain points students have to know. The teacher can make it fun and engage the class or just present the facts—cut and dried. Boom. They’ve done their job and probably lost half of the class to daydreams. There is a seminar you have to attend for work. Certain facts have to be relayed. You can make it interesting or a boring monologue. It’s up to you.
It’s all in the presentation.
So challenges like A-Z sharpen those skills. Challenges teach you to think outside the box about subjects that may or may not interest everyone. It stretches you. If you think about it, you can make just about any subject interesting to your readers by knowing your audience and streamlining the subject matter to meet and capture the majority of that audience. Again presentation and playing to your strengths to get your thoughts across to that audience.
- The other lesson that comes from such challenges is discipline—for writers. You have a deadline. To meet it you have to write every day or regularly and you have to juggle life with that writing. Thought has to be given to what and how you’re going to write. It takes discipline to sit your butt in the chair and get it done.
- The third lesson that comes from such a challenge is learning how to promote you and your writing or blog. Promotion isn't always comfortable, is it? Regardless of whether we are introverted or extroverted, promotion is a necessary task. The challenge allowed each participant to strengthen those skills. Helped all to see we can promote and make connections. Making those connections weren't as difficult as many thought. Connections, networking, cyber friends. All good things, and you learned could be yourself and accomplish good promotion for your name, your blog, and your writing. You didn't have to be anyone but you.
As Frank Sinatra sings, “I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew when I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.”