A to Z Challenge #27 — Reflections

So I technically missed the deadline for this. Oh well. On a side note, I turned twenty-eight yesterday. Happy birthday to me!

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Reflections on how this A to Z Challenge went

By the time April came to a close, I had indeed made a post for every letter of the alphabet. This was my first year participating and I think the biggest lesson I walked away with was that the “hold on to your butts” approach when it comes to theme only works if you have more free time than I did this April. I really my masterly grip on things was around the middle of the month, when I went to Indianapolis for a business trip and didn’t take my laptop. Some posts were scheduled in advance and some I typed on my phone, but I lost my lead.

That said, making a list of topics and brief gameplans for each day in advance was a big help. I didn’t stick to all of them because I came up with a better idea on the fly, but when that didn’t happen at least I was able to stay on track.

I also feel like I did pretty well with responding to comments. (If I’ve missed any, my apologies.) Thank you to everyone who visited, followed, liked, and commented on my posts!

My goal for next year: stay ahead of posts by at least a week.

Reflections on my most popular A to Z posts

  • The most comments (and 2nd most views, and top combined comments, likes, and views): Sushi
  • 2nd most comments: Underwater
  • The most likes: Dragons and Quiet (and Theme Reveal)
  • 2nd most likes: Gluten Free
  • The most views: Jury Duty (although Theme Reveal beat this by almost double)
  • Total comments = 118 (although this includes my replies to comments as well)
  • Total likes = 190
  • Total views = 361

I am not surprised that two of my tops are food-related, haha. Everyone loves food. I wish I was in a better situation to bake, and then I would post more about baking! I miss experimenting with new baking recipes, although to be fair my favorite is pies and I’m running out of conceivable new variations of pie dough recipes.

The most likes went to the two posts that featured the most creative writing. I do kind of want to do more of that next year, although that’s a little intimidating.

The most views went to Jury Duty probably because of the tags, lol. And possibly the picture of Sophia Vergara in shorts. The moral of the story is that I should be sure to do at least one picture with every post! As far as top views went, the first to not have a picture in it was in eleventh place.

I’m a little disappointed that my Belief post didn’t get more attention, because it was the one I was most excited about writing.

And here are some other random facts from my stats page…

Top referers:

  • WordPress Reader, 172 of total views for the month
  • Search engines, 99 of total views for the month
  • A-to-Z-challenge.com, 65 of total views for the month

New followers:

  • + 7 between posting my theme reveal and the start of the challenge
  • + 12 in April

 

Reflections on who I want to be as a blogger (and a writer in general)

More than anything else, I want my blog to have a distinct voice. This is something I’ve struggled with as a writer — and I say that as someone who just realized the other day that the short story I wrote in high school, the one that I was so proud of because it won honorable mention and $50 in a contest back then, has kind of a Stephen King feel to it. I read a lot of Stephen King back then. And I distinctly remember writing a story, also during high school, that came out sounding like Grapes of Wrath, which we were reading in lit class at the time. I didn’t even like Grapes of Wrath all that much. In college I got into arguments with my writing professors over whether fanfiction was a valuable writing exercise (or at least better than not writing when otherwise faced with writers block) because I had a killer Douglas Adams style, but now I’m starting to wonder.

How does one even identify one’s own voice? This is a serious question. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, please comment!

Other goal for next year: if I can manage it, write short stories for all 26 posts. In my own voice. And that way, I conceivably could have them written all in advance, too.

 

Reflections on theme options for next year

First of all, other other goal for next year: read lots of the theme reveals.

I didn’t think much about this at the time, but you can learn of a lot of blogs you want to follow that way. For the most part, I just read posts by anyone who commented on mine and that’s how I found new blogs. And if I really do have more ready to post in advance, that will leave me more time to browse the main blog list.

What do I want to do though? It seems like a fair number of people wrote stories where the letter of the day appeared in either the title or the first letter of the first word. I know of one who started each story with the letter A and and ended with the letter Z, which is an interesting twist.

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5 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge #27 — Reflections

  1. Happy Birthday! Mine was on Friday and I turned a bit over 31 American which works out to be a little older in Canadian with the exchange rate but whose counting 😉 Good work completing your challenge! I’m having a hard enough time posting every week, never mind every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations and happy birthday, too! I did A to Z Challenge for the first time this year, without a theme, because I didn’t find out about it until after the date for the reveal. It was definitely challenging and fun, too, especially the meeting new blogging friends part.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday! Interesting stats! I love doing birthday goal posts, so I wish you a most wonderful new year (:

    As far as finding your writer’s voice… that’s a tough one. In a nutshell, I feel it depends on what genre I’m writing.

    On a whimsical note, I did just recently try http://iwl.me/ which will analyze a tidbit of your writing. I put in a blog post, and then in the second try, I put in a piece of my fiction writing, and both results told me I write like Corey Doctorow. 😐 I’ve never read his work though. I was hoping to write more like my influences, but alas, such is life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Hm, interesting. I will have to try that someday, when I have more current (fiction) writing at my disposal. I want to test a theory that when I start writing something where the premise sort of reminds me of something I’ve read, I automatically start writing a bit like that author.

      Liked by 1 person

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