Joy. Triumph. Success. (This is not me)
As a writer I got:
--Clarity about what I'm doing with my blog, and why.
--proof that I can write daily, and not in any trivial amounts.
--practice meeting deadlines.
--ideas (like schedules) to make it easier.
--new blogs and connections for more inspiration and instruction.
As a blogger/marketer:
--huge increase in daily traffic to my blog, though I don't expect it to remain so high.
--increased my followers from 21 to 51 (thank you to all of you who joined! I know many did it just because that's what one does during the A to Z; I hope you will all find something worth sticking around for).
--learned how to use the scheduling feature so my blog can keep going when I'm away, and so it can go live at the same time each day.
--discovered several blogs that will help me with what I struggle with the most--marketing.
Sometimes it's more like this--needing something to hold me up at the end of a 100-mile ride. (This is me)
What does all this mean for my blog and my readers? Well, I have a design in mind now.
--I will continue with Mystery Mondays, as much as I can. I'll be reviewing at least two mysteries each month. On Mondays when I don't have a mystery to review, I'll be writing about writing. Or backpacking. Or both.
--KidLit Wednesdays. Three times a month, with the other Wed. being for the Progressive Book Club. Again, I can't promise I'll always have a review on schedule, so I might write about something else some of those days.
--Flash Fiction Fridays. Yup, I'm sticking with that one. I like it, and it's good exercise. So you can look forward to weekly bits of fiction from me. Really going to try to make this one happen.
--And I'll be writing ahead so that the blog still happens (if maybe a bit less often) when I'm out on the trail this summer.
And what does it mean for me as a writer? Somewhere in this month I think I really turned a corner in how seriously I take my work. I think that's the result both of having deadlines (real jobs include schedules and deadlines), and of having more followers. I've noted before that having an audience gives writing a reality it gets no other way.
Finally, A to Z left me with a moral dilemma. Part of what the Challenge is about is finding and following new blogs. And we all love new followers; I'm grateful for each and every one I have. Yet. . . there seems to be an unspoken rule about following and following back, and I'm having trouble with that. My rule from the beginning was to follow blogs I want to read on a regular basis. Now, I see people who are following a couple hundred blogs. Maybe that's okay. You follow them, you skim the topics when they post, and go to the ones you want to read. I'm kind of doing that already. But one thing I refuse to do, is to follow a blog that is on a topic that doesn't interest me, not even if the writer is kind enough to follow mine. Nothing personal, just that there are a lot of things out there worth blogging about that I'm not into. Makeup, motorcycles, restaurant reviews. . . so if I didn't follow you back, it's not that I thought your blog was bad. It just didn't ring my bell, and I'm trying to keep my feeds reasonable. Am I doing that right?
And maybe it's really more like this, at the end of A to Z or the end of the trail--we have to figure out how it all fits back into our lives (or our cars). Looks like more than could ever go in, but we find a place for everything, and it works.
Please click on over to the next post to see more reflections--I didn't fit them all in one.