This year was the third year in succession that I participated in this challenge. Once again I was a reluctant participant, mainly because despite my previous attempts I didn’t find any appreciable change in either my traffic or number of followers. However, being perennially optimistic, I decided to give it one more try.
Reflections of another challenge over
I must say it was fun. The thrill of finding out what each person is going to write about especially the letters X, Y and Z.
During the Theme reveal, I had already decided which blogsI was going to visit. My regular pals from the Write Tribe featured high on my list.
I would actually wake up earlier than the rest of the household to quickly spruce up my post and pin . Then I would eagerly read and visit as many bloggers’ posts as I could.
But now that the #A to Z Challenge 2017 is over, I can finally stop feeling guilty every time I glance at my phone or creep away to type my post for the day.
[Tweet “Honestly the biggest challenge has been to keep up with the posting, the reading, the commenting and the sharing without the stealth and guilt”]
Did any of you feel that?
Living in a four generational household is tough . And when the weather gets hotter and the toddlers are at home, it does become difficult to keep to deadlines. In addition if you have to deal with a lousy wi-fi and fat fingers that type in the wrong letters when you work on an iPhone, it gets more even more challenging.
What I liked best
The Blogs I visited were motivational and also those related to food and travel. I also enjoyed the fiction and poetry ones. There were several posts that struck me but the post that really touched me was Roshan Radhakrishnan’s story of Frank Stigler, the WW1 German fighter pilot who let his sitting duck target get away. This example of chivalry is extinct in today’s war and I found it hard to keep back the tears as I read out this post .
I have always been an armchair traveller and I discovered a wonderful storyteller in Shalzmojo. From the icy plains of Ladakh to the tropical heat of Cochin, I loved her anecdotes about Japanese dancing at the Camel fair , the unspeakable toilets and her favourite hotels. Her fabulous photographs made it hard for me to hold back and book a ticket to an exotic locale! I looked forward to her posts every day. I was specially impressed by her post for X . Read it and you will find out why. I must thank her for being one of the few who regularly visited my posts and commented religiously too. In fact, I had wanted to give up in the last week and it was only her encouragement that made me hang on. Thanks Shalz.
What worked for me
I naturally gravitate towards posts written by older bloggers and thoroughly enjoyed the daily conversation between Bernadette and her old mother in the Diary of a Dublin Housewife . Bernadette is my new find in this challenge.
Another person whose blog resonated with me was Mayuri whose tales of food reminded me of many shared food memories.
I loved following Debbie D’s musical memories woven with tales of her boarding school days and her budding romance.
Kalpana ‘s stories of a divorce were interesting without being mawkish, Rajlakshmi’s body contorting Yoga had me envying her lithe body. But it also inspired me to re-start my own Yoga practice and even though I’m far from being my old supple self, the thought of looking at yet another mind boggling pose of hers kept me going.
Two young ladies who I’ve been regularly visiting for the past year have been Twinkling Tina and Kohl-Eyed Me. Sadly I couldn’t be very regular with Tina’s blog especially since she was playing the devil and tempting me with eye catching pictures of easy to make no bake desserts.
Sunjhini’s daily tips on Art and Art journalling have been calling out to me since the beginning of this year as I’ve always wanted to be a weekend painter if not a regular artist. So I was glad to read her succinct tips on how to be a weekend artist.
I’m not into literature noir but couldn’t keep away from Shilpa Garg’s Flash Fiction. I also loved Anami’s posts and Sanch’s poetry. Parul’s posts were always enjoyable though some of her posts were a bit to strident
Roma’s up and down romance was a bit of a read simply because I found the names of the hero and heroine confusing. But it did keep my interest and I followed this till the end.
Mithila Menezes is truly Ms. Fabulus whose writing skills are awe inspiring . This year her series on Blogging was something I tried to attempt in the UBC Challenge in October last year. But she did a much better job of this topic which I’m afraid I abandoned out of sheer boredom.
Thanks to Fabida Abdulla, I began to see the old classics in a new light. I have already gone to the library and borrowed some golden oldies.
This is beginning to sound like a Vote of Thanks but honestly, if it weren’t for the encouragement of Anami, Menaka, The Lady in Read, Upasana and many others whose names I can’t recollect, I would have given up this challenge in week 1 itself. I’m sorry for not mentioning you all personally but I truly appreciate your visits, comments and shares.
Thanks for all the love
Shilpa Gupte is a blogger who didn’t participate in this challenge but she was a regular visitor and kept cheering me on with her motivating comments. Thanks Shilpa ! So also, I’d like to thank Dahlia who is a daily writer without being part of the challenge. I discovered her through a comment and was fascinated by her blog. So I’m a regular visitor to her blog now
What I liked least and what didn’t?
Unfortunately I’m technologically challenged and couldn’t figure out the threads and how/where to leave links to my post. Naturally this was very frustrating .
As usual, I found that there were bloggers who didn’t bother visiting my blog or acknowledging my comments . This was very disappointing and disheartening.
My own observations
Well, I stick by my observation that the #A to Z Challenge has very little if any effect on blog traffic and popularity.
Surprisingly the post that attracted the most views was the very first post on Ahimsa or Silk without Violence that had 91 views. On the other hand, I expected my post on Ritu Kumar and the Design Revolution to resonate with bloggers but sadly this post had only 46 views
So if I had to summarise the blog stats in April 2017 , after blogging EVERY DAY and posting regularly I had 1045 visitors and 2234 views .
If this is not dismal, what is?
There is something I’m doing wrong out here :
I do hope someone will give me some positive feedback on how I should/could improve.
My apologies to those whose blogs I have visited erratically. It was hard trying to access blogs on a dodgy wifi on an iPhone screen…..
But thanks once again to every one especially the A to Z Challenge organisers. I don’t know if I’ll join you again next year …….
Right now, I’m going to take a break .