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Reflections on the A to Z Challenge

The Watered Soul: Reflections on the A to Z Challenge

May 3, 2010

Reflections on the A to Z Challenge

As with any endeavor you undertake, I found a sense of personal satisfaction in not just starting but completing the A-Z challenge. Ecclesiastes 7:8a states, something completed is better than something begun (CEV). And better I am. I decided to join the challenge on a whim after reading about it on Shannon’s blog. As a newbie blogger (just started in February), I’m not exactly sure what gave me the audacity to launch out into such deep waters. But, I have found myself being open to lots of new things in this year and blogging itself is one of those.

Being a part of the challenge increased my awareness of the variety of blogs available. It was quite interesting to visit other participants’ blogs to see how they would incorporate the letter of the day in their post. Many of the challengers were either professional writers or aspiring to be; therefore, splashing around at their blogs was like being a pet goldfish dumped into the ocean. Also, I discovered poets, photographers, artists, mommy bloggers, spiritual blogs, teachers and even a Blabbin’ Grammy, who is a master storyteller. The gamut of blogs is amazing. Many I would not have found otherwise. Each time I visited one, I was exposed to new ideas, concepts, words and inspiration.

Prior to starting the challenge, I wrote down topic ideas for each letter on the calendar but I found that I didn’t always go with my initial thought. For some letters, I was able to get my posts completed early, edited and scheduled to post (which is a feature I discovered). However, the inspiration for the majority of posts came the same day, which added stress initially until I came to terms that it was ok if my posts were not perfect but authentically reflected me. I found blogging, visiting other participants, commenting and replying to comments daily to be challenging along with working full-time. And I sure have a respect for those who are able to post daily or multiple times during the day. However, that is not something I plan to continue but I do see the importance of maintaining a regular posting schedule.

I don’t believe I ever considered quitting but sometimes wondered if I could keep up. The things that kept me going were the determination not to be a quitter and the lovely comments I would receive from those that stopped by. To all of you who came by, I say THANK YOU!  And a special thanks to those that dropped in consistently and left me such encouraging words. You’ll never know how much of a boost of confidence and courage you’ve been to me. In accordance with Proverbs 11:25, I pray that just as you have refreshed me during this challenge, that you will be refreshed. Thanks to Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere who gave me my very first blog award and I will be passing it forward soon. As a newbie, I didn’t know awards existed. Also, thanks to Charmaine over at Wagging Tales who bestowed three awards to me. I’d like to take this opportunity to pass on the Sunshine Award to a few people who have been a great support to me: Lisa @ Bombastic Bandicoot, Bluebutterfly@ Sword of Goliath, Ellie @ Ella’s Edge, Andrea @Arise 2 Write, Rae@ Porch Ponderings by Rae, Bud@ B-E-ing Transformed, Linda@Whit’s End, CeCe@ Thirsty Living and my sister, LaMecia, who always gives me words of encouragement.
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Overall I’m satisfied with my performance in the challenge. As with most things we do, there is room for improvement on my part. I wish that I had more time to dedicate to researching, writing, and editing my posts. While I tried to visit as many of the challenge participants as possible, I would have liked more time to read and comment on their posts. And I found that I gravitated to some blogs more because I found their subject matter more in line with my interests. Since my blog deals with spiritual matters, I’m sure some participants were less likely to visit. I did see an increase in the number of followers but I think it’ll be interesting to see how many continue to follow and/or comment from time to time. From the experience I learned that networking among bloggers is a good means for increasing exposure of your blog and for finding other blogs you like. However, I tend to shy away from the follow me and I will follow you theory. After seeing how beneficial a comment was to me, I plan to be more disciplined about leaving comments on the blogs I read. I liked Arlee’s idea of having a schedule for specific blog topics.

In closing I’d like to give our challenge host, Arlee at Tossing it Out, a big round of applause for a job well done in organizing and marketing a successful challenge that was able to unite so many bloggers across the globe. He seems to have mastered the art of blogging and blog promotion. I wish him much success in his future endeavors and look forward to reading more from him. If you have not already, be sure to visit his blog. I appreciate the opportunity to have joined the challenge with so many talented and creative bloggers.

Find out what other challenge participants had to say:





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23 Comments:

At May 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM , Blogger Bud Ezekiel H. said...

hi Wanda! i have to say that this challenge was a bit overwelming even for me. i really appreciate yours and the other's dedication to our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. it makes/made a difference in my life having brothers and sisters standing alongside me. i loved reading your posts that always reflected Him in your life. "we" have a long ways to go together, sister:) congratulations and thank you for the award as well!

 
At May 3, 2010 at 12:43 PM , Blogger Bud Ezekiel H. said...

btw Wanda, i can certainly understand why you received the comment award!!! you have commented on all of my posts, i think. if not all, then certainly the majority of them. it really surprised me to get your award and Tori's. when all this hoopla dies down after today, i'm surely going to pass them along:)

 
At May 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM , Blogger Kierah Jane Reilly said...

Wanda, I really enjoyed your posts and I'm glad to have "met" you through this challenge. Even though I didn't comment everyday, I did read often!

 
At May 3, 2010 at 1:18 PM , Blogger WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Wanda I would like to thank you for the support you gave me and congratulations on finishing the challenge AND the well deserved award. I enjoyed your blogs and I know you will go far.
Take care. see you soon.
Yvonne.

 
At May 3, 2010 at 1:18 PM , Blogger WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Wanda I would like to thank you for the support you gave me and congratulations on finishing the challenge AND the well deserved award. I enjoyed your blogs and I know you will go far.
Take care. see you soon.
Yvonne.

 
At May 3, 2010 at 1:18 PM , Anonymous Beth said...

Wanda ~ You are a blessing to me. I haven't been the most faithful of commenters lately but I always enjoy my visits to your blog!

 
At May 3, 2010 at 2:02 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

Blessings and prayers,
andrea

 
At May 3, 2010 at 3:29 PM , Blogger Gregg said...

Good job - it was a pleasure to read your blog!

 
At May 3, 2010 at 5:02 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

YOU DID IT!!! :O)

Your blog has been one of my favorites, Wanda. You always had a great Word to give and it truly blessed my soul! I felt a kinship with you because of our sistership in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Thank you for the sweet award -- I appreciate it so much! :O)

 
At May 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM , Blogger Linda said...

Just blogging since February? No way. . .you are too good! I love your insights, your thoughts - and I will keep reading what you have to say. And as soon as I can figure out how to post the award, I will (have a lesson on blogging lined up for Wednesday) and will pass it on! Thank you.

 
At May 3, 2010 at 5:16 PM , Blogger BLUEBUTTERFLY said...

Congrats, Wanda, and thank you...you have refreshed me. In reading this post, I thought about a Scripture in my favorite Book, Ecclesiastes: "Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave,b there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time." Ecclesiastes 9:10-11

Be blessed beyond.

 
At May 3, 2010 at 8:35 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth West said...

Thanks so much, Wanda, for your comments. I appreciate that you took the time to read my blog and I plan to return to yours as well. :)

 
At May 4, 2010 at 12:17 AM , Blogger Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Double congrats Wanda, one for the challenge and one for the awards. Also the one's you passed the awards to are also very deserving just like you. I'll be following you.

 
At May 4, 2010 at 4:07 AM , Blogger Mike said...

Very interesting post. Yes, for me blogging is more about networking than anything else. I've enjoyed reading your posts.

 
At May 4, 2010 at 5:36 AM , Blogger Nf1andprek-whisper said...

hi, I have only visited you once or twice during this challenge and I am upset that I had less time then everyone I started the challenge late, but I finished on time. LOL
It was good to meet you and I will continue to follow you.

 
At May 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM , Blogger Shannon said...

Wanda, so glad you were in this special challenge! I feel I made a new friend in you!

 
At May 4, 2010 at 12:22 PM , Blogger The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Congrats on completing the challenge! I'm sorry I didn't make it to your blog as often as I had hoped! All the best and take care :)

 
At May 4, 2010 at 7:56 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

I've tagged you for a blog thingy if you're interested. Stop by and check it out my friend!

 
At May 4, 2010 at 8:48 PM , Blogger Ellie said...

Wanda,
I found your post the most inspiring of the challenge. You always made me ponder, wise words. I am so happy you were part of the challenge. I look forward to your blog and what is to come! Thank-you so much, for award, It is my first! I love it!!!
Congrats on crossing the finish line!

 
At May 4, 2010 at 10:13 PM , Blogger Wanda said...

Bud, it's been a pleasure reading your posts and I look forward to more.
Kierah, I understand and you're more than welcome to drop by whenever you have time.
Yvonne, you're welcome. I love your work :0)
Beth, that's quite alright dear, I've had a hard time getting up with everyone myself. Unfortunately we only have so much time in day.
Andrea, blessings to u
Gregg, thanks
Lisa, yep we made it, hooray.
Linda, thanks for your kind words.
Bluebutterfly, Thanks and I'm honored that something I said has been a blessing to you. Thanks for that Scripture reference.
Elizabeth, thanks
Debra, I'll be in touch.
Mike, Thanks
Nf1andprek-whisper, congrats to you on finishing what you started and thanks for dropping by.I'd like to visit your blog but your profile is not available.
Shannon, glad I discovered it through you.
Alliterative Allomorph, no worries
Ellie, you're quite welcome and quite deserving. I love your posts.

 
At May 5, 2010 at 1:48 AM , Blogger Carola... said...

Hey! I hadn't heard of the A-Z challenge before, but I have to say, I love it when people do something, unique, like this and set out to take on the challenge, conquer, and appreciate what they have achieved! Its super awesome! And - what a nice blog of 'Thanks!" you are a genuine soul and I really enjoyed reading your appreciation of others!

I popped over to say hi, from Australia, via the Sassy Single Bloggers link-up. Because, frankly, we simply just ROCK! GBU!

 
At May 5, 2010 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Ellie said...

Hi Wanda,
I tagged you, if you are up to it!
I'd like to know what you would say...
Hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday~
I like the look of your site!

 
At May 6, 2010 at 12:17 AM , Blogger Patricia Stoltey said...

I enjoyed the blog challenge so much, but honestly, Wanda, I still haven't visited all the blogs on Arlee's list. I'm determined to get to all of them though.

One thing I've noticed is that some blogs are especially restful and comforting places to visit. Yours is like that. I'm glad you're here.

 

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