This was my first year participating in the A to Z Challenge, and I had a lot of fun. Like any journey, the road was easier because of the friends I met along the way, those who supported me during my travels. It made a difference.
I visited many new blogs, as well as keeping up with those I visit regularly. One of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, especially as I have more time, is exploring and connecting with some of the ones I missed during the actual challenge. People like Sabina (Victim to Charm) has made that even easier – Sabina organised an excellent after party. You should check that out.
I know some of my friends will groan when I say this, but I’m not all that interested in stats. In fact I haven’t looked, so I don’t have any magic numbers to share with you. What I can tell you is that I got more comments than ever before, and visitors really responded to my theme. I’m glad I provided something worthwhile, and I had a blast preparing the posts, so I see that as a major achievement.
Speaking of scheduling. I was warned about preparing my posts ahead of time and, the fact I didn’t, was my greatest challenge by far. Next year I’ll do things differently. I can still write posts on the fly, only next time I’ll write them before the first of the month!
As I reflected on the challenge, and I reflected daily, I began to realise that a regular theme or format is what’s missing from my blog. I need a clearer sense of direction. When people visited during the challenge they got exactly what it said on the tin, so to speak. I want to ensure that happens consistently. I talked a little about this during my weekend coffee post, so I’m not going to go over old ground, or over-egg the pudding as it were.
Here are a few of the changes I will make over the coming weeks:
- A complete overhaul of Writing Room 101. The site has evolved naturally and I will now focus on author spotlights; cover reveals, reviews, interviews, excerpts, etc. For the interviews I’d like to take a different approach, and where possible, incorporate a level of interaction. My next interview will be with Luther Siler on Thursday, and I had so much fun chatting with him about his work – including new release, The Sanctum of the Sphere.
- The monthly writing challenge I run at WR101 got a little lost along the way, so I’ll be moving it over here. More news on that soon.
- I will create two regular features per week (this site). I’m considering a fantasy based theme for one of these. Still working through the ideas.
- I plan to give the site a facelift – it’s too similar to my author site and the repetition isn’t needed. This will give my personal blog more focus, and allow me to separate the two.
- My overall aim is to post three times per week. I would love to post more than that, but I really enjoy collaboration, so by allowing time to contribute on other sites – it’s the best of both worlds.
The challenge was an extremely positive one, and I’m so glad I took part. I can’t end without thanking a few people though. First, thanks to all my visitors during the challenge; those who took the time to chat with me, or left encouraging comments. I’m thrilled I met so many new people. There were also those I consider my cheerleaders. They stopped by regularly to check in and offer their support. So, a huge thanks to Callum, Natasha, Charles, Jacqui, Patricia, Robin, Alex, and Hannah.
There are so many blogs and posts I enjoyed along the way and I intend to create a top ten. I’ll do that once all the fun is over, and I’ve explored those areas I’ve yet to visit!
Thanks for stopping by.