#AtoZChallenge Reflections 2019

Have I really survived six Blogging from A to Z Challenges? According to my website, yes. Go HERE if you want to read more of my A to Z posts. As for 2019 all the posts were up on time, plus a compilation/edit in three acts – Act One here. However, that is not the end of the Challenge – next comes this Reflections post.

The Reflection post is a tradition at the A to Z Challenge. It gives all us participants a chance to look back at what worked, what didn’t, what we’ve done, what was learned, and where we hope to go from here. At the end of this post, I’ve added a list of direct links to other people’s Reflections. 

But wait. My theme reveal was my downfall. What hurtyn chooses to write a 26-part episodic short story that will read like a novella? Well me. And that was my first mistake. Second was when my keyboard died on me mid-March. Okay, I got all my posts scheduled in time – with a few days to spare at the end of April. But I’m now struggling in a quagmire of emails for fascinating A to Z posts.

Next year, I’m starting in February – or choosing a simpler theme than I’ve ever done – maybe.

Anyway, this year, in honour of the Challenge’s Tenth Anniversary, the brilliant A to Z Team produced a list of ten questions we could use for our posts. Here are my answers:

1. What did you love about the challenge this year?

First, the Challenge kept me writing – the commitment I made, plus the comments. So, there’s more tales to spiel.

Second, I read some great informative pieces [The Great Raven], amazing poems [Liz Brownlee] & [Life In Poetry], great facts [The Old Shelter], invaluable writing tips [Operation Awesome], engrossing tales [Tasha’s Thinkings] and folklore [The Multicoloured Diary], plus, so much more – like the theme I downgraded from ‘Music’ [Wolf of Words].

2. What would you change about it?

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And it isn’t. I’ve read one intriguing suggestion that we reduced the pressure and make it March-April – might help or increase/spread the stress. Even us that prepare badly.

3. What was the best moment for you during this year’s challenge?

Making my ‘O’ post for A to Z and the April WEP/IWSG post around the theme of ‘Jewel Box’ work, even though my overall theme had nothing to do with jewels. But it was Crime and the comments approved of the episode.

4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment?

It’s hard to choose one, from those that persisted with my short story/novella – like Ronel Janse van Vuuren who looks forward to the Arson posts [WEP/IWSG Challenge] and Liz Brownlee, to those from sites I read consistently who were regular commentators – including the Ninja Captain, leader of IWSG. Okay, two made me blush and amp up my fiction writing:

“Wow, I don’t know if it just comes naturally or you did it on purpose, but I loved the numerous uses of D words, then C words, then B words creating a kind of reverse A to Z musical crescendo as the clues to the plot pile up !” Susan Rouchard

“Very interesting, Roland. I picked up on snippets of alliteration sprinkled here and there. (I love alliterative writing).” Michelle Wallace

5. Will you do the challenge again?

Can I stay away? Am I addicted? Of course.

6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?)

Well organised as always. Hosts so good some dropped by to check my glass was topped up and I was enjoying the canapes. I didn’t need to hassle them once – even for some ink for my pen. And yes, I filled out the survey.

7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy?

I chose the wrong theme to attract many new followers, but I signed up for a few new sites. My writing has probably improved, but my site has only been tweaked – I may make changes/updates over the year ahead. But those new sites are expanding my horizons.

8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?)

I was on the Master List but didn’t use it – so, I can’t compare it to last year. In fact, I’ve got a backlog of A-Z blog emails/sites to visit – apologies to those awaiting a visit and a comment.

9. Any suggestions for our future?

Not anything practical at the Team A to Z’s end. At mine – get organised earlier.

10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? A picture with your A to Z shirt, if you ordered one?

Congratulations and thanks to you all: J Lenni, Jeremy – I loved the badges and used them –  Jayden, Zalka and John, plus last but vitally they key, Arlee for making all this possible ten years ago and counting.

What have I missed/evaded? What questions do you have?

To find, and hop to, all the blogs officially participating in REFLECTIONS, click the following LINK TO REFLECTION LIST:

13 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge Reflections 2019

    • That’s more sensible than my panic approach, Jemima. I compile the theme and specific letters some months ahead – like May onwards.

      I wanted to mention you among my regular followers but my list got so long I had to cut it down – sorry,


    • I can see how your excellent posts could take that long, Alex – jammed so full of information. I spent that long or more. But I justified mine as creative writing time – part of my retirement leisure time.


    • The official Reflections runs until May 17, so if you want to do it, you still can, Sue.

      Azure Spark will emerge as standalone or part of my WIP, ‘Fevered Few’. FF is set in 2016, but contains Sparkle’s earliest cases – and more.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks Roland for your reflections. It was very interesting to see what a seasoned AtoZ six-time blogger like you had to say about the challenge. I see that our opinions don’t differ much.
    Thanks for mentioning me , Thrice ! No less. We also appreciated the same blogs.
    You’ve been busy on Goodreads too…I saw, I, unfortunately had neglected my friends there somewhat…
    Have a pleasant weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think a consecutive story is kind of a risk as it means people can’t just jump in on the days they visit you. Having said that, if you end up with a publishable novella out of it, it’s probably worth it

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ooops! Roland, it appears I had missed your Reflection post!

    I didn’t do one this year, because my AtoZ was so reduced by the fact that I didn’t have time to do a good job of networking, since I was constantly running after my posts. But you did such a great job with yours. I’d subscribe to most of what you said.

    Yes, I think writing stories (especially a continuous one) during the challenge is one of the hardest way to do it, an one of the hardest way to attract new readers – I wonder if that’s the reason why, after last year burst with stories, this year there were so few. But as far as I’ve seen, you did a great job, and when it is a great job, it does work 😉

    Well, now I’m off to read your revised version 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Enjoy the revised story, Sarah. It was a challenge to write. I feel the A to Z networking was reduced everywhere. Did we all over-commit? I still have a file of AtoZ posts to read during the next few months. On my Road Trip? Some of the posts are yours – apologies.


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