As you can see, I’ve added the A to Z April Challenge 2012 Survivor badge to my sidebar. I learned three powerful lessons during my 2010 and 2011 challenge experience:
1. Have a theme, even if loosely defined.
2. Keep posts short…very short.
3. Make sure there’s a link in your comment or on your profile that will help a blogger return your visit without having to search for your blog on the linky-list.
This year I learned one more: Don’t spend a long time reading long posts by other participants. Skim, leave a comment introducing yourself, and move on. You can always go back and read more of the bloggers’ posts after the challenge is over.
I met quite a few new and wonderful folks, and became followers at lots of new blogs I’ll now peruse in my Google Reader. Two bloggers I met from other countries were lizy-expat-writer from Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Stephanie of Hookin’, Knittin’ & Livin’ who resides in British Columbia. There’s something about these connections that make me think of a grown-up version of having pen pals….only instead of one or two we can have hundreds from all around the world.
Because I’ve been delinquent about visiting blogs this past year while I concentrated on writing and revising, another benefit of the challenge was the opportunity to reconnect with bloggers I’ve really missed. Ruby at Blabbin’ Grammy is one example. Her A to Z 2012 project was to write a complete story. She put it all together on Saturday’s post for easy reading. I’m so glad I renewed my acquaintance with this wonderful lady. She’s a gem, and her story is too.
Now it’s over for 2012. I’ll look forward to a new challenge in 2013. And I’ll try to do a better job of holding on to old and new bloggerly friends this year.