Summing It Up

The Blogging A to Z Challenge has a nifty little tradition called the Reflections Post.  It’s intended to sum up your experience with the Challenge.  It’s an outlet for us  to tell what we gained during the Challenge and maybe to let off steam just a bit.  Ok, how on Earth did we survive it?!

I’m going to be so excited to attach this colorful badge to my side bar…that is if I can remember how! I have to look it up every time which is why my side bar doesn’t change very often!

What did I think about the Challenge?

Last year, I dove in with little preparation and chugged along day by day coming up with interesting topics and handling them in an amusing way most times.

This year, several days, even early in the month I found myself thinking, “What on Earth was I thinking, why did I want to do this again?!”  This self-doubt dogged me through much of the month.  I HATE to not complete something.  That issue has dogged me throughout my life, not completing something I start.  (You should see all of the journals I’ve started and never gotten even half way through.)  I wasn’t going to let that happen to me with the Challenge.

I thought my posts were riddled with the written equivalent of a public speaker saying, “um…er…ah…” when the thought isn’t coming.  But I seem to have come up with topics which, though a bit less than cheery sometimes, gave me some pause.  Perhaps the pause was what I was looking for.  With that pause I was able to think things through, on many occasions during this Challenge.  Because of the pause, I was able to clearly see what I wanted to do, what my motivation is and how I can accomplish things.

The wonderful thing, and I’ll say this over and over, even though I’ve said it before, All of You, my readers are so supportive.  It seemed that every day when I posted something where I was feeling less than confident, less than able to handle things, your comments bolstered me.  Many of you had instances to share where you had the same doubts or anxieties. It’s amazing how we can all be so different , yet so similar in many ways.

It’s almost as if I spent a month in therapy.  Boy, was this cheaper than actually going to a therapist! It helped me to work out a lot of things that needed working out.  I’m feeling much clearer and more focused (Am I not ALWAYS searching for focus?!)  I feel I’m on my way.

I have to share with you a wonderful and supportive thing that happened throughout the Challenge.  Each day, my best friend, Gail would send me an e-mail after reading my post for the day.  In the e-mail, there would be a photo of a cat that somehow referred to the Letter and topic of my post that day.  How could I NOT complete the Challenge?  I wanted to keep getting my e-mail kitties every day! Thanks, Gail!

Summing up, I would give the Blogging A to Z Challenge, an A-Z +.  I had to use my brain and think hard, but in the end I think I made the grade.  I know it worked on the inside which is where I needed it to work.  Thanks to all who came along for the ride and Thanks to the organizers of the Challenge.  Yes, I’ll be back next year!

Happy Friday!


16 responses to “Summing It Up

  1. congrats on completing the challenge, fran – i enjoyed reading your summary, here. i am so glad that you feel clearer after the month of “therapy,” (!) and that you felt the support of your readers. community really is a wonderful thing. it’s actually very cool that the process this year differed so much from last year…and now we shall see what you come up with for april, 2014 (haha, THE PRESSURE as you have eleven months to prep!!). happy weekend!!

    • Thanks so much, Cathy! You are definitely one of my supporters and I couldn’t be happier or more grateful! Actually, that’s how we found each other, wasn’t it? Anyway, it is wonderful, I’m feeling that I have a much more solid footing and I may actually try to come up with some ideas for next year. Therapy is good!! Have a great weekend!

  2. Strange you should feel unsure, Fran. I thought you did a great job with the challenge! I’m eagerly waiting to see what you’ll do next!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

    • You’re so kind, Rob. I guess I just naturally doubt myself…it’s part of my charm! 😉 I will keep chugging along. This entire blog thing is so much more fun than I could ever have imagined. Stick together and we can have a great time!

  3. Amazing for you to come to completion of what could have been an intimidating task…and probably was at times!! You are to be congratulated for your introspection – with – feelings and words. I am proud to be counted among the lst of friends – even though I am a rather new one. Let me know about other challenges – maybe we can travel the road together – OR CREATE A NEW ONE FOR OTHERS TO TRAVEL WITH US?!?!?

    • I like that idea, Martie! I think it takes a while for the word to get around on one of these, but what the heck. I found the Snapshot Saturday by looking for book blogs. I love it and I try to post every week. That might be a fun thing for you to connect with. At Home With Books is the “parent” blog. I’ll be linking tomorrow so you can check it and link up if you like. That would be very cool!

  4. I had no doubt that you would finish. Even if you felt like it was harder, you always have a go-to attitude that brings out your best. You really inspire me. If you can do the NaNo challenge, this is a cake walk!

    And blogging is like therapy. It had really helped me find an outlet for my creativity that has literally saved my sanity some days. Blogging is awesome. The readers are the frosting. Congrats on “gittin ‘er done!”

  5. Weighting For 50

    Congrats Fran!!! Have a wonderful Friday.

  6. Congratulations on finishing the challenge Fran and learning a lot and finding some inner happiness along the way. I’ve got faith in you.

  7. congrats on completing the challenge 🙂

  8. Your blog wears the Survivor badge well!

    Congratulations on making it through April with us and thank you for the good report. A-Z+ I like that!

    Glad you plan on returning next year.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    • Lee, thank you so much! I learned a lot this year during the A to Z about myself and about writing. It was for the second year a very positive experience. You won’t be able to keep me away next year! Thanks again!

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