Monday, May 9, 2016

A to Z Challenge Reflections


This has been by far the most challenging challenge I have done for A to Z. I was posting on two of my blogs, the MopDog (where my theme was Crazy Hungarian Cartoons), and this one, where I did Diversity and Representation in Traditional Stories. I started both blogs with one week's worth of posts scheduled (A-G), and tried to schedule a new one every day, but between writing the first chapter of my dissertation, wrapping up the semester, presenting at a conference, traveling home to Hungary, and preparing for launching my new book (this week!) I was barely pantsing it by the end.

On top of all this, I was a co-host once again this year. A million thanks to my amazing Minions of Might and Magic for helping me out!

In short, here is the summary of my A to Z experience:

The Good

1. I MADE IT! All the way, on both blogs. Yay!

2. I gained followers, my visit numbers jumped through the roof, and I got dozens of amazing comments every day.

3. I created a lasting resource of diverse and unusual folktales, fairy tales, and myths, that I hope storytellers will find useful in the future. I plan on updating these 25 posts regularly whenever I find a new story that fits one of the themes.

4. I discovered some really cool blogs, really cool themes, and amazing people. I am really happy to see that all of you are out there, busy typing away, and supporting each other!

The Bad

1. I did not have nearly as much time to visit as I would have wanted to. I made a point of re-visiting everyone who commented the day before, every day. Sometimes I did not have time to do more than that.

2. I did not get nearly as many re-visits as in previous years - people, somehow, seemed less engaged this year. By this I mean I got re-visits from people I already knew, but very few of the completely new blogs I worked my way through on the list ever returned. But this is just my personal experience.

3. Because of my limited time and energy, I did not have enough time to track down people who were not easy to re-visit. Many commenters didn't leave a signature, and clicking on their Google+ profile for the life of me I could not find their blog. Please, please, please, people, I would LOVE to return your visits, don't do this to me... 

The Future

As things are cooing down a little, I'll be going back to the blogs and themes I bookmarked, and reading the posts I missed. So if I didn't return your visits over the last week of the Challenge, I promise I will get back to you. It might take a while, but think of it as a late Christmas (Easter?...) present.

All in all, it was an extremely exhausting month, but I really enjoyed it, as usual. I was happy to see how many people found my theme useful, and all the interesting discussions it managed to spark. Thank you again, to all of you, and I'll see you on the road! :)


  1. I had started commenting on your posts but then fell off. I'll come back to comment on the rest when I can. Yours was among my favorite themes and can't wait to see what you do next year. Will be moving you up my blog list so I won't miss you next time. Congrats on reaching the end and I pantsed quite a bit myself.

  2. You did an amazing job. And I joined because your blog sounded interesting, so am looking forward to reading your regular posts.

  3. I loved your posts and your theme. amazed at the degree of diversity you showcased. I had no idea that old tales had it to this extent, all bad stepmothers and evil witch stereotypes generally pervade. I did not manage to read all your posts, so will come back as and when.. Thank you for co-hosting and doing it brilliantly! Congrats on the book!!

  4. I really enjoyed your a-z posts :)

  5. I too had difficulty reading new blogs and commenting on some of them. I would love to go back and click on many of your links when I have more time.

  6. It sounds like it was a harsh month for a lot of people. Life happening, you know?
    It was the same for me too, and I really regret that I couldn't do all the networking I had planned to do. It was a fantastic challenge nonetheless. I agree with you all the way :-)

    Oh, that's very strage. I would have thought your challenge would have been very succeesfull. I mean, it's a very unusual and intersting subject.
    Hey, I'm a bit angry! Why didn't people show more support????

    For what it's worth, I really really enjoyed it. It was fantastic!!!

  7. I ended up adding both of your blogs to my blogroll quite early in the A to Z, and admired all the time that went into your posts.

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  9. i know the feeling when i got sent to google+.

    i loved your themes on both blogs this year. i had fun. i visited older ones even if i didn't comment on all of them. time was not my friend last month. or this month.

    hope to see you again next year.

  10. I really loved your theme and found your posts incredibly informative and interesting. And now knowing all your were up to in addition to this, I'm even more impressed. Here's to some deep recovery and ease. Like you, I plan to continue to work my way through posts at a more leisurely pace. There's still so much wonderfulness to absorb.

  11. I enjoyed your theme so much this year and the comments/discussion too. I'll be checking back. I tried to remember to use my signature, but sometimes I hit publish before I remembered to add it. Not this time though :)
    But they won't take it!

  12. You really did have a lot going! I'm surprised you managed it all. Congratulations on an admirable job with so much on your plate.

    Thanks for hanging in there and helping to keep operations running.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  13. 2 blogs as well as co-hosting? Are you insane? I would have lost my mind. Congrats on completing the challenge - twice!

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  14. Congrats on making it through and doing all the extra work at the same time. You had a super busy month! I had the same issue with trying to hunt down blogs from commenters. Quite a few of them didn't have any links to their own blogs on google+. Why one would do that, I have no idea.