This was our first year, as we debuted our blog in August. When we started blogging we were incredibly insecure—check out Robin’s first post! What if we write something stupid? What if there’s a typo? A grammar error? But we held virtual hands and took the plunge and I have to say it’s been a wild ride.
Robin was the one to urge us to participate in The Challenge and it did require we post more entries than normal, a daunting undertaking for some of us who are already sometimes stretched too far. But we hung in there and it turns out we learned a lot and had a ton of fun. It was a challenge, however, because we usually write on a topic that strikes our fancy that week and having to come up with an idea for a particular letter of the alphabet gave us pause more than once.
One thing we all agreed on is that the diversity of blogs out there is incredible – from photo essays to poetry to personal revelations to practical advice. Some started a story on day one and finished it on the last. Others used it as advertisements for their books, sort of a marketing month, which introduced us to new authors and reminded me how passionate we are about our projects. We made lots of new friends and became followers of blogs we loved, and in return, we’ve found new followers too.
The design on some sites knocked us out…the colors, the graphics, the photos, and we hope to bring some of these fabulous aspects to our site in the coming months, to make it better and more user-friendly. The difficulty in navigating some sites gave us pause, and a good deal of frustration. The first few days of commenting we shared the same laments: Do we use Twitter or our email address? Facebook or Google? Some comment areas asked for personal email addresses, handles, URL addresses and we often walked away from a site that proved too difficult to navigate. Some blog posts consisted of only a few words and didn’t seem as though the writer put forth much effort. On the other hand, I loved the guy who did a six-word-story every day, especially since I’d recently written a post about it myself. But I couldn’t navigate his site well enough to leave a comment and I sorely wanted to.
Many spurred me to get involved, to discuss the topic they presented, or praise their creativity and talent for writing. The variety of ways people approached the letter of the alphabet was as broad as the writing horizon itself and the creativity of many writers awed and inspired me. Of course, what I found lackluster might have thrilled others, so I won’t say that certain blogs were lackluster, just that they didn’t strike me as one I’d like to revisit. To each his own…
In the end, Robin, Heather and I know we made real connections with like-minded writers and forged new friendships that will last well after the challenge has ended.
So, thanks Robin, for getting us into this amazing experience. We had a blast!