A...A...A...what begins with A?!
Oh, wait. I'm done with that. I gotta get off this train.
Actually, there was one more assignment (optional) in the A-Z Challenge. Bloggers could write a reflection piece about their experience with the A-Z Challenge. I thought I'd do that, since I'm drawing blanks about what to write otherwise, because I don't have a letter prompt dancing in front of me.
Here's what I learned during the A-Z Challenge.
1. For all the griping about Blogger (and I've contributed my fair share,) I'm sticking with it. I found non-Blogger sites to be less accessible and more tricky to navigate. I was trying to look at 1800 blogs, and if getting in or getting out took too many steps, I moved on. I'm not saying non-blogger sites aren't beautiful and creative and equally well-done, but writing takes enough time, and my goal for this challenge was to connect with as many great writers as possible.
2. As I moved from blog to blog, I found that clicking the "about me" tab was the most effective way to learn about the writer, even more than reading that day's post. The ABC prompts were fun and great for daily discipline, but didn't necessarily give me a look into the writer's heart. I wanted to know what inspires the author, outside the alphabet.
3. I discovered that I was most drawn to blogs that were uncluttered. I understand that some blogs are designed to promote products or review books, and that's fine. These blogs need logos and icons and stickers and what-not. I simply prefer blogs with less "stuff" attached to the sides. I actually enjoy seeing the various backgrounds and the creative cover pages. Some are awesome.
4. I loved blogs with larger print and short paragraphs. When you love to read and write, it's just kinder on the eyes.
5. I loved discovering that there are many writers in my phase of life, with my worldview and idiosyncrasies.
6. I loved finding that published authors and individuals in publishing have blogs. I love that they take the time to encourage and educate other writers. This was a surprise to me.
7. I learned that for next year's A-Z, I'm writing some posts ahead of time. I was a crazy person, writing daily for a specific letter. I have to get new glasses now.
8. I decided that Q and X should be removed from the alphabet. We could call X-rays "inside pictures" and queens "the King's wife." It could work.
9. I learned that I have to figure out the "scheduled" posting thing, because staying up until midnight to post a post is for the birds.
10. The A-Z Challenge confirmed to me that, after being away from writing for five years, I still love to write. I have to write. It's weird, and I don't get it, but it completes me (in a non-cheesy, non-Tom Cruise-kind-of-way.) Sometimes it's a curse, because it emboldens me to express things I wouldn't (shouldn't?) say. Sometimes it's a blessing, because it enables me to express things I don't know how to say. Thanks to the A-Z Challenge, I fell in love with writing all over again.