Reflections – #AtoZ Challenge 2018

This year included a new personal challenge that I set for myself to attempt to learn to curtail my posts. I was shooting for an average post length of somewhere between 500 to 750 words per post. While this often doesn’t sound like it may be enough to adequately address a particular topic I’ve found it is far to easy for me, personally, to ramble on in an attempt to give multiple viewpoints on the topic.

However, I’ve been told, and have read, that much over 750 words you as the writer can often lose the attention of visitor’s to your blog. This seems to be especially true for an event like the A to Z Challenge where many visitors are also busy trying to write, post, and manage their own blogs.

For complex or in-depth topics it is extremely easy to exceed one thousand or more words per post, which despite the extra focus on trying to restrict my word counts I often found myself exceeding even that.

During the month of April, I try to not only write and post my own articles, which I often did the day before or the day of but also to try to visit at least five other blogs each day. I am sorry to say that I failed at consistently visiting five blogs per day, though I am also happy to report that I am finally starting to be able to make the time to catch up on visiting other blogs.

I learned I need to set aside more time each day to manage and reply to comments although my hope is that next year I can preplan, write, and schedule my posts in order to free up that chunk of time I would normally use for those activities to dedicate it strictly to visiting other blogs. This will help immensely.

There are many new things this year, including the fantastic new tracking and recording methods introduced by the great team at the A to Z  Challenge website. While it’s true that anything new has a learning curve, I honestly feel that these changes have enhanced the reporting as well as the ability to find similar blogs in your preferred genre or topic area. It has already helped me find some great blogs I may not have found under the old system that I will be following throughout the year.

If you took the time to visit my blog I thank you. If you further made the effort and took the time to comment, I welcome the engagement and appreciate your comment. If I have not yet gotten through my extensive to-do list to reply to your comment, please do not be offended and rest assured that I will reply to your comment. Each and every visitor and comment are extremely important to me and I appreciate them all. I simply underestimated the amount of time required or overestimated my ability to fit more into an already hectic schedule. A lack of response is most definitely not an indication of lack of appreciation. If I’ve not yet visited your blog, I hope to get to visit as many as I can during the month of May, and for that matter, throughout the year.

Overall, I feel the A to Z Challenge was a success for me as I managed to make all the posts despite the wordiness exceeding my preset goals. I exceeded my attempt at keeping the blog challenge as a whole under 15 thousand words and ended up with a total of roughly 23 thousand words for the entire challenge.

I will continue to hone my writing skills in an attempt to further reduce any unnecessary repetition, but there are times where word counts matter less than the information conveyed, and there were times that I just didn’t feel I could adequately convey the topic in fewer words.

Best of luck to all who participated in the challenge and I look forward to staying in touch with many of you throughout the year as well as seeing you all in the next challenge!

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