It was another case of procrastination, thinking I could just chill out for a few days after finishing A to Z 2022. Then the days slipped away and I missed the deadline for the Reflections sign-up.
Now, let’s be serious and think about some of the questions raised by the A to Z team.
The numbers game
It’s nice to think that someone is reading your stories and hopefully enjoying them, but I don’t usually stress too much about the numbers game. What I aim for, is leaving some stories for my descendants as they will be preserved in the National Library’s Pandora Archive. (I also download my posts at least annually via Blog to Print). At the time of posting, I most enjoy getting comments and having an interchange with my readers. Isn’t it disappointing when the blog writer doesn’t respond to your comments? It seems so rude and cavalier to me, like a one-sided conversational attempt that’s ignored. I was very fortunate to have some new friends join me during this year’s challenge as well as share with some longer friends.
I did have a look at the stats for countries my readers visited from and was pleased to see diversity in the locations. My stats for the month were higher, probably simply because I wrote more often. They’ve not gone back to the (for me) dizzier heights of years ago. I also got quite a few more email sign-ups.
Did any blogs make a lasting impression on you?
It’s always invidious to single out particular blogs or blog posts because there are many I enjoy on a regular basis. I’ll settle on one that was new to me and which made me think more deeply about the posts. The Women’s Legacy Project by Nancy Hill is the one that I’ll be re-reading in the current weeks so I can reflect further on the issues raised in some posts.
For self-indulgent entertainment, I thoroughly enjoyed the “blast from the past” with Linda on the Curry Apple Orchard‘s trip through the 1970s and Kristin’s exploration of the 1950 on Finding Eliza based on the recently released US census. It’s so interesting to compare notes on the similarities and differences for our peers in different family structures and places. Linda series made me realise that my 2019 A to Z on Living in Papua New Guinea was, in essence, the story of my own life in the 1970s.
What would/should I do differently?
Firstly, don’t procrastinate and do prepare posts in advance – as many as possible. My problem (well, part of) is that I really want to hit publish the minute I have finished a post. I did have a topic in my head since the 2021 A to Z. However, health issues made me wonder about the wisdom of taking on this year’s challenge and whether I could finish it. I was very pleased to have completed the whole challenge and it has helped to reset my own motivation for the rest of the year. It made for a mad scramble through April as I was rarely even one post ahead of schedule and a few times posting just within the day’s timeline Down Under. Still, it got done.
Secondly, about half way through I really questioned the wisdom of my topic choice which was Special Moments, Magic Memories. Even though I had also written about memories from our Australian adventures, it felt like I was showing off about my global gallivanting. It had never been my intention to reveal personal or family memories in the series, so inevitably the posts were about places where I’d had “wow” moments, and they’re generally more likely not to be in a totally familiar environment. So my sincere apologies if you were offended by the “look where I’ve been” aspects of the stories.
Thirdly, with blogs I really enjoyed I tried to respond to most posts with a comment. Sometimes I wished there was a “Like” button if I felt I had nothing profound to offer. Another minor bugbear was blogs where social media links or similar kept obscuring the text.
Fourthly, I think, at least once, I should try writing A to Z with really short, word-limited posts! It would certainly be a challenge for me. I’d really have to think carefully to have a topic that suited.
Finally, thanks to my friend and genealogy mate TravelGenee I’ve learned to use short codes in lieu of typing longer text eg for my blog address. This certainly saved my fingers! Now, I “just” need to figure out why my blogger link won’t lead to my wordpress blog no matter how I tweak my gmail profile. Thanks to moondustwriter for bringing this to my attention. I had a similar problem myself with a couple of bloggers whose profile links were also faulty and took me to a rather graphic adult site.
Thank you to all of those who visited my blog during April and especially those who commented. Some were participating from A to Z, some are blogging friends and some, like Mr Cassmob, are neither.
Thank you to all those who shared their thoughts and writing across the month. I’ve decided to put some links into a separate post.
Thank you to Anjela who designed this year’s A to Z images and a big thank you to all the A to Z team – you have some stamina!