REFLECTIONS of the #AtoZChallenge 2014

26 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2014, Blog-related, Writing/Blogging


A post a day for 26 days. I never thought I could pull that off!

The A to Z Challenge first entered my consciousness in 2013, thanks to some friends who were participating. It seemed much too daunting at the time, yet I was intrigued and promised myself to give it a try this year.

On Feb. 11, Vidya Sury told us about the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal BlogFest. What a grand idea! Pick a theme and link up with like-minded bloggers. I went with “Travel and Culture”, having many experiences and photos to draw from.


I fully intended to start writing posts early and get them all pre-scheduled. Yes, well, we all know what can happen to the best-laid plans….At least I did get A to P written before the start but was scrambling after that. Next came the Facebook Group started by Corinne Rodrigues, where a master list of participating blogs was established and divided into groups. This gave me the opportunity to reconnect with some people I had met previously in The Writer’s Post (Facebook) Group and also meet several new ones. I chose to also explore outside the group and met even more great bloggers!

This challenge proved to be beneficial to The Den’s exposure, as the blog’s views and visits doubled for the month. Even picked up a few more followers! Thanks to everyone who took the time to drop in, especially these frequent commenters:

Laurel Regan of Alphabet Salad

Sammy d of bemuzin

Carol Graham of Battered Hope

Mary Purpari of Musings

Cathy Graham of Cattitude and Gratitude

Srilakshmi Indrasenan of I Am S(t)ri

Rajlakshmi of Destiny’s Child

Kathy Combs of The Giggling Trucker’s Wife

Michele Truhlik of Angels Bark

Nabanita of Random Thoughts—Naba

Beloo Mehra of Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

Special mention to my Twitter friend, Guilie Castillo of Life in Dogs and to Arlee Bird, founder of the A to Z Challenge. He took the time to visit my humble little blog and it made my day! Without him, none of us would be here.

There were a few glitches with comments. Some using Blogger weren’t too familiar with the WordPress system here and voiced their concerns. Similarly, I have read comments from WordPress users who had difficulties commenting on Blogger. To avoid these compatibility issues in future, may I suggest you set up a one page “Blog” on the other platform, with all your links and your current blog’s RSS feed? This is what I did and had no issues with Blogger. Click here to see the page. These accounts are free and will only take a few minutes to set up.

How to Start a Blogger Blog

How to Start a WordPress Blog

I did have some problems when my own comments on others’ WordPress blogs started disappearing, either to be found in spam folders or not at all. Talk about lousy timing! Thankfully, this was resolved quickly.

Debbie’s feeling bummed out!

Despite a few minor setbacks, the A to Z Challenge was a positive experience and I would definitely do it again! Next time though, I will make sure to have ALL posts pre-written and scheduled. There were more than a few tense moments during the second half!

Although it’s finished now, the new friendships will endure.

Click HERE to link up to other “Reflections” posts

Follow Debbie Doglady’s board #AtoZChallenge 2014 THE DOGLADY’S DEN on Pinterest.

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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26 thoughts on “REFLECTIONS of the #AtoZChallenge 2014

    1. Thanks and please, enjoy the posts at your leisure. 🙂 I’m cutting back a bit these days but will always try to respond to comments.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the travel series and I enjoyed your posts as well. Thanks and see you around the Blogosphere! 🙂

  1. Great reflection, Debbie. You were so cool anc calm thru the whole alphabet (other than that freaky comment snafu), I would have never guessed it wasn’t all smooth sailing (cruising?) behind the scenes!

    1. The latter half of April was difficult, because I only managed to write A to P posts prior to the challenge start. Next time, they will be ALL done! As for the commenting problem, I was impressed how quickly that got resolved . WordPress support forums are good that way.

  2. Congrats Debbie. Great travel blogging you did! I enjoyed every post! I felt like I was there experiencing each city and it was wonderful, considering that I don’t get to travel much! Was a nice escape.
    And thanks for the sweet mention in your reflection post! I appreciate that. I also appreciated all your comments at my blog. We’ve become friends through this challenge and hoping that continues.
    You mentioned the Facebook group: I didn’t even find out about the FB group until the very end, like on the day of U or V! Not sure how everyone else found out about it but I’ll keep a lookout next year. It was a learning curve getting used to Blogspot blogs, coming from wordpress, but it was manageable. Or became manageable.
    I’m so glad this was a positive experience for you. Do you know what your theme is going to be next year?? I don’t know that I’ll go with a theme. I might, but I’m so scattered anyway, it just seems natural to fly by the seat of my pants. 🙂
    See you around the Den! <3

    1. Hi Michelle; Glad you enjoyed the travel series. 🙂 I enjoyed your posts as well and am glad we became friends along the way. My theme for next time may well be no theme, to allow for more variety. Not sure about that yet. I found out about the Facebook AtoZ Group through some bloggers whom I knew previously from another Facebook group, “The Writer’s Post”.
      This is going to be a tough act to follow! LOL

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Wow, what a learning experience that was for ya and thanks for sharing it with us. I’ve thought about doing a challenge but I chicken out at the last minute because I think I won’t have time for it…you know there is ALWAYS something going on over here 😉

    Congratulations again on such accomplishments! You go girl :).

    1. Thanks Corina! 🙂 I did have a difficult time with it, towards the end. Still, it was something I wanted to try and I’ll probably go for it again next year, but refine the strategy.

  4. I am thinking about starting to write my posts for next year. We should all do that and be ready to roll and then all we would have to do is read and comment on other blogs. But…..that is not the real world, is it? 🙂

    1. Hahaha! That’s what you call getting a great head start. You might just have something there, Carol. 🙂 For sure, I am determined to get all the posts pre-written next time!

    1. Thanks! 🙂 I’ll definitely be better organized next time. The latter half of April was difficult. Cheers!

  5. Thank you, Debbie. I was considering a follow-up on the challenge, too. I didn’t quite finish it, although I had hoped to. Life just managed to get in the way–or should I say Rent and the Landlady? I got up to “U” and then “Y”. It was very therapeutic, though. 😉 Well, 2015 will be another year. Thanks for your great travelogue. Mary

    1. You almost made it, Mary. 🙂 Best wishes for next year! Glad you enjoyed the travel series. I might just go eclectic for the following one. Thanks for visiting.

  6. Congratulations Debbie! And thank you for all the lovely trips we took with you to all those places 🙂 Thanks for the kind mention, appreciate it very much. See you around 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed the series and I appreciate your interest. Thanks and see you around the Blogosphere. 🙂

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