April was freaking crazy. I think when I described it as a vampiric month I hit the nail on the head. Now that I’ve had a few days away from it, however, I can see that it was also a very energising month. I think it was good for me. I tend to shy away from taking on too many things at a time, but April pushed me in that regard and showed me that I really can funtion outside of my comfort zone. Now, I’m not going to be signing up for multiple challenges like this again anytime soon (if ever) but I have a strong feeling of accomplishment for surviving it when I did, and I’m finding that very motivating as I move deeper into May. I’m going to take a quick look back at the three main challenges I tackled in April.
The Blogging From A to Z Challenge: This was by far the most time-consuming challenge. Not only did I have to publish a blog post almost everyday of the month, but I had to visit 10 other people’s blogs, take a look around, read thier posts and leave a comment. What’s more, I replied to every comment left on my blog and visited those people’s blogs as well. Now, from what I can tell, a very large proportion of people who did this challenge skipped that part, and frankly, that kinda pissed me off.
The challenging part may have come from writing blog posts everyday, but if that’s all you did, you missed out. What’s more, you took advantage of the people who embraced the challenge in its entirety. The point (at least in part) was supposed to be to meet new people and expirience new blogs, not just sit back in your cozy hole and enjoy free traffic from the Blogging From A to Z participants list. /rant
Anyway, I did meet some new people and added a couple new blogs to the list of places I’ll visit regularly, and I did get to blog about somethings that I might normally not have had an excuse to. I don’t know if I’ll do this challenge again though, because I worry that it was a bit too much. Not necessarily for me (if I were to do it again I would have a theme, shorter blog entries and they would all be pre-scheduled LOL) but for my readers. There were far more comments on my posts at the beginning of the challenge than at the end, and I suspect that’s at least in part because people were tired of hearing from me everyday 😉 So… I’ll consider doing this again next year, but I don’t know. I don’t know.
The Platform Challenge: Robert Brewer offered his readers the first annual Platform Challenge this April, and I participated. It was, by far, the easiest challenge I did. In fact, it wasn’t much of a challenge at all. For me. I know it was a huge challenge for a lot of people, but for the most part the daily assignments were things I’d already done or do regularily (sign-up for Twitter, get a blog, make a blog post…). If you are just starting out in social media/platform-type stuff than this challenge would be great for you. It would push you to jump into the fray, but at a pace that was designed to avoid overwhelming you. If your already social-media savvy and running a blog, however, it will be less helpful. That being said, I did learn a few things and discovered several ways to tweak my blog to be more betterer. Those share buttons at the bottom, for example, and the ability to follow the blog via email from the thingy to the right there (not available on LJ, sorry). So, yeah. I’m glad I did it. I won’t be doing it again though unless Robert puts out an intermediate version.
The April Poem A Day Challenge: This challenge was also hosted by Robert Brewer on the Poetic Asides blog. The idea was a poem a day for thirty days. I finished up to and included Day #26 by the end of April. That means I have four more prompts to write poems for over the month of May. It was a struggle this time around. I think largely because I didn’t have any focus, I didn’t have a theme. Allow me to illustrate:
Day One. A fresh new notebook, a big fat blank spot where theme should go. Not a great start, right? Okay, so, then we have Day Two over to the right there. Happily I have a theme, a theme I really, really like. In fact, someday I will write a poetry collection with a corvidae theme. Alas, that day was not situated anywhere in the month of April 2012 LOL
Day Three. Okay, says I, maybe corvidae is too narrow a theme for this particular poetry challenge. If I broaden it to be ‘Wings’ that can include birds, and planes, and angels and metaphoric wings and… Yeah, so that theme last until about day six when it, too, got crossed out and I went with a big fat question mark for a theme LOL
I think I have a few poem seeds as a result of this challenge that I’ll be able to make grow into something cool, but right now I’m not blown away. Many of the poems feel unfinished, like I had the start of an idea but I didn’t know how to end it. Or there’s the gems where I obviously just wasn’t feeling the prompt, like the haiku I wrote as my rejection poem for Day Eight:
It’s not quite for us
but please submit again
stabby, stabby, stab
Still, it’s a bunch of poem starts I wouldn’t have had without this challenge, and you bet your ass I’ll be doing it again next year 🙂