Reflections of… A to Z 2012

It’s time for my reflections on the A to Z challenge 2012. It’s hardly surprising that my mental soundtrack is the theme from the series China Beach which I’ve been re-watching on cable TV.

Anyway, what are my thoughts on A to Z, a week after successfully completing the series? I barely made it into the start of the series, prompted thanks to a post by my geneabuddy, Julie, from Angler’s Rest. With my single-minded obsession on family history, there was no doubt in my mind that my posts had to have a genealogical theme. I chose to write on places of relevance to my family history, not just from the distant past but also more recent history of our own family or that of our parents. Added to that was a dash of straight travelogue but there were relatively few alphabet letters that ended up just being about my second obsession, travel. In essence it was a blogging version of Around My Genealogical World in 26/30 days.

My plan was to write posts which I could incorporate into a blog-to-book publication which I could give to my children. I’ve already done the first pass of editing on that project but taking a breather for a day or two.

The downside of posting, apart from the timeline, was that there was so much I could say on these genea-places and although that made most posts quite long, I opted to go for it based on my overall goal. I particularly admire and thank my mates who hung along through what was a pretty hefty journey. They gave me the added commitment to keep going all the way to Z.  Feedback from some of my readers commented on how much they had learned about Australia and Papua New Guinea. With such a specific focus it’s no real surprise that most of my dedicated supporters came from the Geneabloggers community. However I also had support and positive comments from other A2Zers along the way.

If I have any regrets over the series, it’s that starting late meant I was on the back foot a lot of the time. Consequently I didn’t get to as many other blogs as I’d have liked, but I did find a few that I thoroughly enjoyed and will keep an eye on. I also want to keep dipping into the other bloggers’ posts over the coming weeks. I’ll be starting with Julie’s ABC Award list.

Would I do it again? Yes, if I had a theme I really wanted to follow and also if I had time to support others more effectively. It was fun and I learnt how to do new and different things. I also completed my goal and have a sense of achievement. Thanks to the A to Z coordinators.

My A to Z posts can be found through this link.  My highest rating post (ever and in this series) was V is for the Valiant of Villers-Brettoneux.

16 thoughts on “Reflections of… A to Z 2012

  1. Pauline, great post & it was lovely to have your company as we wandered through the alphabet. It is a huge undertaking & a real sense of achievement to reach the final line.

    Likewise, I found it hard to keep up with everyone’s posts, new blogs & those I follow. It was difficult to keep the posts short, but overall, I loved it & the interaction with other bloggers. I wonder if there will be a heavier profile of geneabloggers next year – team Geneablogger as nice ring!


    1. Great idea re Team Geneabloggers..but a theme?? Thanks for the inspiration to start the project and to keep going throughout. I really appreciated your company, as well as the opportunity to read your insights into Australia. Have you seen the Family History through the Alphabet challenge from Alona? I’m not sure I’m ready to get into another A to Z challenge right now -needs time to re-engage. On the plus side it’s a weekly not a daily challenge. Haven’t made a decision yet.
      You can see I can’t even keep my comments short, let alone my posts…oh well.


  2. Well said, and I was one of your avid readers — both genealogy and travel-wise. I think it is always important after a major journey to take time to sort it out, debrief, and cogitate. Fortunately, you chose to do that process with your readers. Way to go.


  3. I was another of your avid readers–and enjoyed the A to Z journey. I really like the way you are reflecting on the experience in this post. It’s a nice way to end the journey.


  4. Hi Pauline .. great Reflections post – many thanks for coming by – I enjoy family history and will enjoy reading your posts on Australia, NZ and travel .. and family etc .. cheers for now – while I too catch up … Hilary


  5. I just read the new A-Z challenge by following your link. I was thinking of doing it next year and taking the time between now and then to figure out my theme and maybe even write some posts ahead. I really enjoyed following you and Julie this year.


    1. I think I’m weakening and will do it as well -needed a few days recovery time. Glad you enjoyed following. I thoroughly enjoyed Julie’s and also Family History Fun (Susan) but she had to stop mid-way due to personal circumstance.


  6. Thanks for your Reflections as well as your participation in the Challenge of 2012. It was refreshing to see the number of genealogy blogs that participated in this Challenge. It’s a good theme and will make for a good book. If you do the book–even if only for your children–we’d like for you to write a guest post on the A to Z Blog telling readers about it and how the Challenge aided you in putting the book together.

    Contact us at the email provided in the “Contact Us” tab on the blog if you are interested.


    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out


    1. Thanks Arlee. Yes I’m well on the way with my blurb blog to book -drawing breath to bring in higher-res photos. Thanks for the offer I’ll get in touch. Cheers Pauleen


      1. Looking forward to the details of your blog to book.

        As I said, somewhere I am planning on reproducing mine – do I include some extra bits or keep it exactly as it is?….decisions, decisions!


      2. Yes you’d mentioned also doing a B2B (blog to book) Julie. I ended up using my 52 weeks of personal history + Advent Calendar + the A to Z which made for a long book. This isn’t a problem per se but it certainly made the editing process more tedious. I needed to have a rest break as the fine motor control was playing some havoc with my shoulder. Back to it in the coming days when I’ve finished a filing job I’m on.


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