Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My friend, Susan Oloier, told me about the A to Z Challenge.  It sounded, well, sort of intimidating and scary to blog every single day. But, if there's anything that motivates me, it's fear.  I've had my death writer blog up and running (if you can call it that) for a few years, but I will be the first to admit that I'm kind of a dumb ass when it comes to blogging.  It's not that I don't know how to write, it's just that blogging and doing it well, is a much bigger can of worms.  First, you have to have content.  Check.  Then you've got to have followers.  Um, I think I had maybe 25 people who followed me publicly at the start of this challenge, but most never said a word.  Heck, I don't know if my followers ever read any of my posts.  If there are no comments, I have no way of knowing.  It's kind of sad, actually.  It's like throwing a really great party and only your mom shows up.

"Great dip, honey!"

On day one of the challenge, I started getting traffic.  And people commented.  So, in return I went to their blog and commented.  You know, the whole "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," kind of thing.  And by doing this, I found a few blogs and people that I really liked.  Some people came back to my blog fairly regularly and it made me feel like a freakin' rock star.  Others, I just saw once and they were gone.  Eh, it's kind of like life.  You win some and you lose some.  I'm guilty of this too.  Don't take it personally.  My head it still spinning from all this reading and commenting and trying to keep up with life at the same time.

I realize that some might find my examination of all things related to death to be kind of a downer, so I get that "following" my blog might be construed as something weird.  But, I'm happy to say that I picked up about 55 new followers.  I have no idea how many people subscribed to my blog by email as I don't know how to check this.  If you do, please let me know.  I am laughably naive in regards to technology.

I did not visit every single blog in the challenge.  Yes, time was an issue.  But if I am going to be completely honest, and I usually am, I am attracted to blogs that are a) humorous, b) informative and c) something I want to be informed about.  It would have been SUPER cool if this challenge had been organized by topics or genre.  I know, that that might limit people in their exploration, but for us folks that have limited amounts of time (who doesn't) it would have been more effective.  Yes, it's fun to pop into five random blogs per day, but some blogs had a very small niche and I felt like, well, I really have nothing to add to the discussion here.

"Just stopping by on the A to Z challenge. Come ready my blog."

Commenting.  Well, I tried to comment as much as I could, but I didn't want to get inundated with emails, so I didn't sign up to see if the blogger responded to my comments.  I apologize in advance if you maybe posed a question and I never came back.  Truly, this experience was like blogging 101 for me, or maybe revisiting junior high on some level.  I felt bad for not reciprocating on some blogs, especially if they commented on mine, but I did interact with people if they showed up on my blog.  And that's where I think a blog becomes interesting--in the discussions.  I am so appreciative of every person that read my words and took the time to compose a thoughtful response.  You all rule!

I had a wonderful time.  I flexed my creative muscles and now I'm looking towards the future of this blog to make it a place that people want to visit.  My plan is to do two posts a week.  That would be reasonable and sane.  On the other three days, I'll visit other blogs.  Slowly, but surely, I hope to gain readership so if and when my book ever comes out, I can say "Death Becomes Us" is in print and you can buy it here.  I'll even sign it and send you a bookmark.

I don't know if I'll do the challenge next year with this blog, but I think I may do it with my next book project about religion.
A is for atheist
B is for Baptist
C is for Christ
D is for....you get the point.

Thanks for stopping by!

30 comments:

  1. I really like that idea of organizing by topic/genre.
    I tried visiting as many of the blogs on the official list as I could, but there were so many of them that were nice and well written, but nothing I would read regularly. Going through them all kind of at random took sooo much time.

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    1. Yep. I think they should have an area for people who write. (which seems to be most bloggers, but not all) Then it should be broken down into fiction, non-fiction, and then specific genres. It might also help to have people give an "elevator pitch" about their blog. Something like Pamela Skjolsvik's musing's: a blog about domestic animals, coffee consumption and zombies. That way people can go to what interests them. "Hey, I like coffee too!"

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  2. I think it's hard to revisit people while still doing teh AZ challenge, as you're trying to visit as many new people as possible, but once the dust settles I think there'll be more consistency (maybe).

    Grouping in topincs was suggested after last year, but I think they felt it would lessen the chance of stumbling across stuff you wouldn't normally stumble across. I don't think it works like that, I'm not interested in randomness, but I understand what they were going for.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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  3. I think I should have tried to visit more instead of revisiting certain blogs. I fear change, so maybe that was my problem:)

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  4. I too am a blogging novice, which is my own fault since I actually started my blog 4 years ago but never let it last more than a couple of months or rather wrote on it more than a couple of months. It was hard to visit blogs, some days I just wasn't feeling it, I wrote my letter post and that was all I wanted to do with it. There were over 1900 blogs listed, that is an overwhelming number to try to visit.

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    1. Yeah, I certainly wasn't able to hit every one. Did you finish the challenge?

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  5. H is for Hell; J is for Just Kidding; M is for Mysterious, O is for Opinionated ... just a few more to get you started...... :)

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    1. I don't know if you get my responses or not, but I just watched "The Descendants." I really liked it. I think it was handled really well.

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    2. I do get your responses - I agree it was handled well. I have Harold and Maude coming over for the weekend!

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    3. Have fun with those two crazy kids:)

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  6. I had the same suggestion about organizing into categories and have seen that on a couple of other reviews. Maybe next year...

    I'm tickled I found your blog, you'll be a great resource for me when I start my mystery novel. ;-)

    Like you, I added a lot of followers. I don't know how many I will keep but I've added even more through Triberr (be sure you have linked your blog so we can share your posts) and by signing up and doing the Insecure Writers Support Group (first Wed of the month).

    To add your blog, sign in, click the down arrow by your name and choose SETTINGS. Then on the left, click BLOG SETTINGS. Your blog's feed is: http://thedeathwriter.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

    Add it, click okay (or whatever the button says) and the next new post you add should show up in the tribe stream. Then the rest of the tribe can share it with their followers.

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    1. I'll do the Triberr thing this weekend when I have some time to actually sit down, read and pay attention. I had a garage sale today and I'm pooped.

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  7. Ok, officially freaked out that we both used the party analogy in our reflections posts...and mentioned dip. LOL (Mine was spinach, btw)

    I am looking forward to learning lots on the ABCs of religion, should you do it next year! But I will be back before then. :)

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    1. My dip is Velveeta with Rotel, a real crowd-pleaser if kept properly warmed in a small crock pot:)
      Thanks for stopping by and for all your support during the blog challenge. I totally appreciate it.

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  8. Just found you! I'm going through the "Reflections" post links, since I am still feeling overwhelmed by how huge A to Z was this year.

    Agreed, I had exceptional comments and really fascinating discussions this year. There are many thoughtful people out there.

    Elizabeth Twist: Writer, Plague Enthusiast

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    1. Agreed. Well, welcome to the death writer blog. Check out the posts, have some dip and enjoy yourself:)

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  9. You're the second person today to recommend breaking the list up into categories, which I think is a GREAT idea.

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    1. It might make the registration different, but I think it would be helpful.

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  10. I didn't find your blog during the challenge, but I'll be taking a look around. Nice to meet you :)

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  11. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but I'm visiting every single one with a reflection post. They're the winners! Congratulations on finishing the challenge, hopefully we will do it again next April!

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    1. Me neither. I've been reading a lot of those posts today too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. You got the point of the Challenge: It's about learning more about blogging and it's about networking. Glad you got something out of it. I'm a big fan of categorizing. I looked into it this past year, but wasn't able to put what I wanted into action. I wanted to keep it simple. I'll be explaining my vision for the next Challenge in an upcoming A to Z Blog post. Maybe sometime will be able to provide us a solution.


    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  13. It was an epic challenge, there were too many people to visit, I think I might pick at the list over the coming months, and see where it takes me :)

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  14. I am pretty sure I did not visit during the challenge as I never got to the bottom on that seemingly never ending list, so hi, nice to meet you!

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  15. Late as usual, I am catching up with all the comments that landed on my blog during the challenge. I was also a first timer doing A-Z and it certainly was a positive, if somewhat draining experience. I will certainly be back next year.

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    1. I'm totally going to do it again. Yes, it was draining, but worth it. Thanks for posting!

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!