The 2014 A-Z Blogging Challenge was the longest writing challenge I have ever committed to. I am happy to announce that I successfully completed it, the challenge far exceeded my expectations, and I met and exceeded the personal goals I set for myself.
I learned so much about myself through this challenge. I know now that I possess the ability to write consistently every day. In the past, I have typically been a binge writer, so being diligent in writing every single day, writing at least XX words per day, was a challenge for me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me develop a fantastic regular writing habit which I have been maintaining.
On a normal basis, I didn’t find the challenge to be daunting and truly enjoyed writing every day. Even on the days where I was struggling to find a topic that I felt passionate about writing on, I still felt that everything I wrote was from the heart and not forced, and I genuinely enjoyed the process and the finished product.
I was very fortunate that my husband was very supportive in this challenge. He didn’t feel that I was in any way sacrificing our “alone” time for the challenge and truly wanted me to succeed in this endeavor. This support helped me avoid the feelings of being “burnt out” or in any other way discouraged. I found that support of my family is incredibly important, and I’m so happy that going forward I have that as I pursue future writing projects. Although I’m not blogging every day, the habit of daily writing has happily been maintained. I have set a blogging goal for myself of at least one blog post per week, which I know I can easily continue going forward.
In addition to developing a regular writing habit, I set a number of goals for myself with regards to traffic to my blog. I hoped to reach at least 100 likes and 50 follows at the end of the challenge. I revamped and really started my blog in March of this year, with a meager 6 followers (all of whom were family and a few friends) and next to no likes. At the end of this challenge, I had 76 blog followers and over 200 likes. I also reached over 1,000 views/hits which was an awesome number to see! My best day had a record 72 views and my best post had 20 likes which was a huge accomplishment for me. 🙂
Thank you to everyone who helped me achieve and exceed these goals! It is so rewarding to know that there are people out there who like and appreciate my writing!
Aside from these number-based goals of mine being met, the best thing that I learned about myself was what my readers like and where my writing niche may be. Surprisingly, my darker pieces got the most likes and comments. My poems Crash, Tears Fall on Berber, Sunlight and Rum, and Yellow Hat and Cut Marks all got the most traffic and resulted in the most conversation. I was truly shocked that my more depressing and psychologically dark work got the most appreciation. Shocked in a good way!
I had never thought of actively focusing on the darker side of my writing, and pursuing that as my niche and a potential genre (psychologically dark and twisty), but I’m taking a stab and it and am floored at how naturally it is flowing.
All in all, this challenge was so rewarding for me. Developing a regular writing routine, discovering a new area of writing, and meeting all of my goals has proven to be the writing-related self esteem boost that I needed to continue working on my creative pieces. I look forward to next year’s challenge and again, thank you all for your support and admiration!