First of all, for all my fellow Star Wars fans, May the Fourth Be With You!!!
Another year, and another A-Z Challenge met! It's never easy, but like all things that are difficult, there's a lot of good, bad, and ugly.
Here's the good: It was great visiting new blogs. I purposely sought non-writing blogs this year check out. As a longtime blogger, I feel a little more reassured about being reminded that not all blogs are written by authors and writers. It's nice to see people still using blogs as how they were originally intended: online diaries.
On the other side, it's been wonderful having new visitors come by my little corner of the blogosphere. It's one of my most favorite aspects of the A-Z Challenge. In fact, it's probably my driving force behind doing it.
The bad: In visiting non-writer blogs, I'm also reminded as to why traditional bloggers are pretty much invisible. They don't visit back. Blogging has become an interactive activity the last few years, and so many bloggers don't keep the communication and visiting a two way street. Not one of the 20 or so non-writer blogs ever left me a quick "hello" or anything. Maybe they visited without commenting. Not a bad thing by itself, but it's hard to establish a blog-relationship otherwise.
The ugly: Several of my blogging friends commented that the A-Z Challenge participant list has gotten TOO big. With so many bloggers doing it, it's become pretty daunting. I tend to disagree. I feel growth is great, and having a variety of blogs participating is a important. But I can understand how the massive list can be overwhelming. You can't visit everyone, and visiting every blog was never the intention of the A-Z Challenge in the first place.
Also, I know many bloggers who complete all 26 posts ahead of time. I think that's a pretty darn efficient thing, and there's so many advantages of doing that. Namely, you can spend your time visiting others. It definitely cuts down on the stress. It also eliminates blogging burnout when April is over.
On the other hand, it's an A-Z CHALLENGE. To me, it's similar to NaNoWriMo in that it should be an uphill battle to complete. That's why I never get more than a week ahead. I think having all 26 posts done prior to April diminishes the challenge aspect of this. At the very least, it loses a bit of its luster. It's like finishing a 50,000 words manuscript prior to November for NaNo, but then going back and editing all 50,000 words and waving the checkered flag at the end of the month.
I know a lot of you will disagree, but hey, these are my reflections!
So there it is. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I'm even less certain I will participate in 2016, as the time commitment is a tough one to keep. I'll just play it by ear and see how I feel next March.