Reflections on A to Z 2022


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

Visitors to this blog in April.

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.

GRATITUDES

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!


23 thoughts on “Reflections on A to Z 2022

  1. Congratulations on completing the challenge and thank you for your visits and comments during the challenge.

    I agree whole heartedly with “My problem (well, part of) is that I really want to hit publish the minute I have finished a post.” I definitely have that problem and so find it difficult to prepare too much ahead of time.

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  2. Dear much-loved cassmob, thank you for another A to Z. Well done! As you observe, you are recording much of our personal and family history. Good to know that it is accumulating in Pandora’s Archive for our descendants to find.
    I am reminded of a scene from the BBC’s long-ago “To The Manor Born”, in which the blow-in new owner of the manor says to the ancient gardener “Why are you planting those seedlings, Old Ned? You’ll never see them fully-grown.”
    To which the gardener replies “One day my grandson will look up at this hill and say ‘Old Ned planted those trees.’ “

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  3. Congrats on reaching the end this year! Yes I can understand on the less lengthy post… I seem to write on and on with my posts… guess I just have so much to say! Yes I loved discovering also how to make my blog name much easier to leave as Travel Genee graciously showed us. I’m sure after s little rest we will be busy again.

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  4. I loved your memories and don’t think it appeared to be bragging at all. I did wish I had been to some of the places you mentioned that I didn’t get to and related to ones I had been to. In fact next year I might include a few experiences I haven’t written about before, including travel. I too intend to be brief, or briefer anyway. The short cut for the blog address sounds interesting. I went to TravelGenee but couldn’t find it. All the best until next April where I hope to meet up with you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your supportive comments Linda. One thing I think Covid taught me was that we’d done very well with travel and while there’s multiple places I’d be happy to visit, I can cope if life is more restrictive…I think. I’m very glad we did a lot while we were younger though…partly a lesson learned when a close friend died in their 30s.

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  5. I loved reading about your adventures and WOW moments!! I don’t “know” you at all but felt like I did “know” you better after reading your posts. I never felt like you were bragging that you had been places!!

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  6. Hi Pauleen, I loved reading about your WOW moments. Like you, I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit BC and loved your travel memories. Roll on the next trip! Doors are a thing in my travel pics too but your Zanzibar ones are spectacular. Thank you! Maybe by next year Great Aunt Charlotte will be blogging…

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    1. Hi Charlotte, thanks for visiting. Do you think everyone likes doors or are genies especially curious about them. I do hope Great Aunt Charlotte makes an appearance soon on a blog.

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  7. Congrats on finishing! Even though I answered that I hadn’t been to most of the places you’ve traveled to and in fact have only been abroad to Norway, I didn’t feel like you were showing off. Different lives, different experiences. I’m sure some of the things I’ve done you avoided. LOL. I doubt I’ll be doing any traveling beyond visiting my children who reside within a 5 hours drive as the aches and such of old age and covid anxiety have got me grounded.
    Also agree about the inability to write short posts. I managed a few short for me posts this year but an interesting post is worth reading. No point in doing a bunch of uninteresting short ones. So, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kristin for your wise perspective. I am always in awe of your family’s achievements and political activism. I confess I’m much less confident about travelling now for various reasons incl Covid etc, but so glad that we didn’t wait until retirement to do it.

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  8. Pauleen, I admire you and all the A-Z bloggers – there’s no way I could commit to that pressure. Even reading the increased blog posts I receive from everyone I follow that does it while the challenge is on, is pressure enough for me to read them all. 🙂 However, it is giving me a kick to get back to my blogs that have been sadly neglected these last couple of years – I wonder if grandmotherly duties might have had an effect on that. 🙂 I enjoyed your travel stories and maybe you are right that genie people like doors – I know I do and don’t we all like those virtual doors we open when we begin to look at our ancestors and wonder what is behind them. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Lyn, I agree it’s a challenge for both writers and readers and as a writer I certainly appreciate my visitors. Being a grandmother taking time? Surely not! Enjoy every minute of it – they grow up so quickly, I miss mine so much being so far away. I’m so pleased you’re getting your blogging mojo back.

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  9. Hats off to you for completing another challenge, it’s a hard slog.

    Sorry I haven’t read all of your posts, you know where was!! I look forward to reading more in the coming weeks.

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  10. Thanks again for another mention. I was not offended by the travel tales and you can write more. It is a total waste of time being jealous of other’s adventures and dwelling on how lucky they are to travel. I think it’s better to be happy for them. Most likely the “harder” they work the “luckier” they get, as a wise person once told me.
    I will try to remember to start early next year though short posts are not a problem for me.

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