#A to Z Challenge Reflections Post

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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.

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 .

Image for BellyBytes

 

Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

23 Comments

  1. SHALINI BAISIWALA
    May 8, 2017

    Congrats on doing it and I would never have guessed from your writing style or blog design that you are a Grandmom!!!!!!
    Thank you for your kind shoutout to me – I am so humbled and delighted to have been able to egg you on !!! I am also blown away with how much you loved my posts – thank you for such awesome words of praise!! I am flying high now!

    You know what I missed out on your blog the most – pics of the sarees in a more personalised form – maybe you could have also made a saree pact of sorts and worn the saree, along with a few more women (friends and family), taken a pic and then posted that. Or even dug out album pics of when you had worn these sarees, complete with the jewellery!! That would have made your posts stand out like anything for me!!! I missed your personal connect with the sarees/textiles – this is just my opinion and hope you take it in a positive frame pls!!!!
    SHALINI BAISIWALA recently posted…#Reflections – My first and I loved it | #AtoZchallenge 2017|My Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      I loved your positive feedback…. I will try and ‘personalise ‘ my posts . Perhaps that’s what they lack….. unfortunately I’m very camera shy and rarely like being photographed let alone publicising my face! But perhaps you are right … Thanks so much !

      Reply
  2. Debbie D.
    May 9, 2017

    Congratulations on completing the challenge! ☺ I enjoyed reading about the beautiful fabrics and regret that I fell way behind and missed a few. Will try to make up for that in the near future! Thanks for the mention and for your frequent visits!
    Debbie D. recently posted…REFLECTIONS | #AtoZCHALLENGE 2017My Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      Thanks

      Reply
  3. Corinne Rodrigues
    May 9, 2017

    Hi Sunita – I’m sorry I wasn’t around this challenge to read your posts. However, I really applaud you for working through it. You’re a braver soul than me. I have zero intention of doing the A to Z again.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…The Windmills Of Your Mind #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      Thanks Corinne for this insight. After yet another pointless exercise I’ve decided not to attempt this again. It’s far better to put my limited time to good use. I will concentrate on my content writing instead

      Reply
  4. Mayuri Nidigallu
    May 9, 2017

    Thank you for the mention, Sunita ji.
    My knowledge was enriched thanks to your posts. I am not someone who wears a saree much, but your posts have tempted me enough to look out for a Paithani soon:)

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      Well I hope you do !

      Reply
  5. Eva
    May 9, 2017

    I’ve mostly enjoyed your posts, and I’ve learned from them. I’m sorry that you didn’t achieve your objectives with the challenge. Some things you can improve:
    -Answer all the comments.
    -Visit back (all/more) people who visit you.
    -Learn to leave your link (It isn’t so difficult, just a copy & paste…)
    -Not complain every other post that people don’t come to the blog.

    Probably, the best advice is to blog just for fun, as someone else wrote. But of course, everyone has their own motivation.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time of writing such interesting posts.

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I completely agree about the whining and will either stop whining or stop writing!

      Reply
  6. Geets
    May 9, 2017

    I barely had any idea about fabrics or interest in the same for that matter, but reading your blog everyday which enlightenment for me!

    Happy to have connected with you 🙂

    Cheers
    Geets recently posted…The Month that went by… #AtoZReflectionsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      Thanks Geets. I’m glad we connected too!

      Reply
  7. Ishieta@Isheeria's
    May 9, 2017

    Congratulations on completing a wonderful AtoZ 🙂 I visited ir-regularly, like pretty much everything i did in April, but i enjoyed your posts and the knowledge shared. I hope you will continue to write, as i enjoy your other posts as well 🙂
    Ishieta@Isheeria’s recently posted…Numerology Predictions – May 2017My Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 9, 2017

      Thanks for your encouraging words. I am now currently re-reading all the posts I missed in the mad rush to meet the AtoZ deadline!

      Reply
  8. Random Musings
    May 10, 2017

    Sorry to hear you didn’t get what you wanted out of the challenge. I generally find the more I comment/visit others, the more interactions I get on my own blog
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…Ultimate Cheese: 5 Songs to Cheer You Up InstantlyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 10, 2017

      Thanks for this insight. I will definitely keep this in mind . But I’ve had a few mentions so I think I am less disheartened ..perhaps I was being unrealistic and childish in my expectations

      Reply
  9. Jet girl
    May 10, 2017

    Congrats on the challenge! It’s funny but now that it’s over I have more time to go back and re-visit some of the blogs I really enjoyed. this is my 4th year I think? the new format stressed me out a bit, even though i did better at pre-writing my posts than in other years. The last week my husband and I went out of town and I totally lost track of replying to comments and reading…so now I am catching up with all the reflections posts!

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 10, 2017

      Well I’m ‘glad’ that there were others like me ! My husband was actually jealous of my blogging and with my grandchildren demanding my attention for the better part of the day it became really tough . But like you I am now grabbing moments of my time to re visit the blogs I liked and read them at leisure.

      Reply
  10. Shilpa Gupte
    May 11, 2017

    Hey, first of all, thank you for the mention! Muaahhhh…
    Secondly, I must say, hats off to you! I know you are busy as a bee, and yet, you not only participated in a challenge, but completed it and also visited several other blogs, too! Wow! I think, instead of ruing the fact that your posts didn’t receive many views, you ought to rejoice for having completed such a big feat!
    I know, though, that we all blog for people to visit us and leave encouraging comments, but when that doesn’t happen it leaves us brokenhearted. But, is there anything we can really do about it? Blog and write because YOU enjoy it, sweetie! And, from what I read in your latest post, you are an old timer! You have been blogging since 10 YEARS! Whoa! You should be above it all! Just enjoy the journey…someday you will surely get what you want! And, remember, there are people (like yours truly) who are way behind in the race! 😀
    Hugs!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…On the temporariness of life.My Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 11, 2017

      Thanks so much for this message . It made me feel good the whole day long .

      Reply
  11. Deepa
    May 15, 2017

    Congrats on finishing one more A tOZ and although I was not that regular on your website.I did enjoy few post which I read. I was skeptical of participating too but as it was my first time, I wanted to try it. Not a bad experience and learnt a lot. I feel reciprocation is very important in blogging.
    Deepa recently posted…What are Micronutrients and their Deficiencies in Kids?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Bellybytes
      May 15, 2017

      I’m glad you enjoyed the few posts of mine that you visited. The Challenge is a learning experience and even for me , I learnt a lot …. so perhaps next year ?

      Reply

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