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A to Z Wrap Up

A to Z Wrap Up
This entry is part 27 of 27 in the series A to Z

W is for Wrap Up … Oh, we’re done with the letters?

I swear, the month of April I thought mostly in, “Hmm, that’s an interesting letter. M is for … ” It made me think from a different angle, made me think and write about topics I never would have chosen. In that way, it was difficult, but the good difficult that you learn from. Especially when I got stuck and had to write my letter post for the day. Just like anything: you learn when you’re challenged.

Did the tool (or crutch or device) help you to achieve your goal? Then it worked.

Which sums up my view on contests and challenges in general: if they “force” you to take action you probably wouldn’t have taken otherwise, then they succeeded. I’ve almost become reliant on challenges or contests, however, but maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world. It took MP MacDougall a challenge to lose some serious weight (me too), but now we’re both stuck on those last pounds. But it’s always that last bit that’s the hardest. In fact, this post right here is less “creative and flowing” already as it’s a summary. But again, if it’s hard, it’s probably good for you. I was even thinking this morning that I should challenge MP to the month of May to lose those last tough pounds. I need these challenges, these contests, these new habits to make it happen. Does that mean my willpower isn’t strong enough? That I need this crutch or tool or device to make it happen? Do you hear me complaining? Do I want to write every day? Do I want to lose that weight? I’m not too picky about how it happens as long as it happens.

I talked with a colleague just yesterday and told her I had published 200 Posts in 200 Days. She said she was struggling with 3 posts that were still in draft status. Does she need a contest to make it happen? What’s going to make it happen for her? First of all, she has to want it. She has to want it bad. I could just shrug it off and say to her, “You just don’t want it badly enough.” But that’s not terribly helpful. I could also suggest she start with a single post, just one this month. Just get one done, then think about the others.

A to Z: O is for Observations

See? I can’t stop.

  • Comments: I’m not a huge commenter, so I really enjoyed the push to leave more comments on other sites. Now I see the power of it. It’s a bit of a Duh! moment, but you make a connection, however tiny, with the person who posted. Even if they get lots of comments, you can be pretty sure they’re going to read it. 
  • Blogger: Speaking of comments, I’m a WordPress guy. Happy to use whatever, but I live and breathe WordPress. So when I had to choose between my Google Account and some WordPress login (that usually worked) to leave a comment and then preview it and sometimes it would disappear, I growled at Blogger. Come on guys, you’re owned by Google. Something as simple as a comment should be more straight forward.
  • Statistics: The A to Z Team was awesome at weeding out participants who weren’t, well, participating, but I would have loved some sort of stats or “Most Popular” or highlights or … maybe I also didn’t pay enough attention. Maybe some more categorization that was easier to follow. I realize I’m asking volunteers to do more work, but hey, these are my observations. As for stats on this site, traffic was up roughly double (!) from last month. It’s not rocket science, but if you’re “out there” and commenting and linking and generally being a socialite, you’re going to get people coming back.
  • Connections: this was the most surprising aspect of the challenge. We weren’t doing it alone. We writers are a solitary bunch, so this was a breath of fresh air. Ida Chiavaro was a huge inspiration and kept at her comments, words of wisdom and enthusiasm rolling the whole month. It was great to be hanging out with DeeCoded, Lori over at The Next Step, and I really enjoyed the snappy writing of Cindy Dwyer at A Reason to Write. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch.

In all, it was great fun and a surprisingly “connecting” exercise. Looking forward to the next challenge … just not in May.

That's a Wrap ... a little food writer humor. Yuk yuk.

That’s a Wrap … a little food writer humor. Yuk yuk.

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  1. Tara Tyler Robinson (@taratylertalks)

    great analysis! i actually kept my own stats which i am still compiling. i will post my findings on monday. blogger is dumb sometimes, but more with newer users because of auto safety features… but i feel your frustration! glad you came by! and congrats for the accomplishment, it’s a doozy to finish a to z!

    • Bradley

      Thanks, Tara! Looking forward to seeing your stats. Congrats to you, too. Double congrats on your upcoming book!

  2. Dee

    I do need the crutch, the tool, the challenge, in order to accomplish things. Pls challenge me to lose weight too!

    Thanks for the mention! I’ve had fun hanging out with you too and as you can see, will keep coming back. 🙂

    • Bradley

      I need it, too, Dee. I also need a personal trainer (or a dog that needs to go outside … ), I need a diet challenge (or I’ll just eat peanut butter and burritos all day (not together)), and I need writing challenges to keep me going! But hey, I’m not complaining. I’ll work with whatever works. Sounds like everyone can use a bit of a push, right?



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