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06 May 2015

We Survived The Blogging From A To Z Challenge!


Wow - I can't believe it is May already! April sure went by fast - in part because we participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, which meant things were super busy in bloggyland. Not only did we post every day (except Sundays) during April, but we also discovered a lot of new blogs leaving lots of comment love along the way.

So what did I learn as a result of the challenge?

1 - Writing most of my posts in advance was a godsend! 

I simply cannot imagine how it would be possible to write each post on the fly daily. We were so busy during April that I just wouldn't have had the time or energy. Plus, I was never sure if I would have reliable internet access to upload my posts. And as we travel around quite a bit, I couldn't even be sure that I would have a place to plug in my computer to charge it up.  

2 - It's much more fun to do with a buddy!

I want to do a shout-out to Jaye of Life Afloat, who dived right into the A to Z Challenge at the very last minute. Incredibly impressive to see someone write all of those posts on the spur of the moment and it was so much fun to have a partner in crime during the challenge! I loved checking our her blog every day to see what she was writing about.

3 - Themes are the way to go!

I really enjoyed checking out other people's blogs and seeing how they handled the challenge. While I just wrote about a bunch of random nonsense, other people tied together their blog posts with a theme. I thought that was great - it unified things and made you want to come back each day to see what they were going to do with the theme next. 

4 - I fell down checking out other blogs :-(

When the challenge first started, I would dutifully check out new blogs every day. But as the month wore on, I didn't visit as many new blogs as I would have liked. We had a big event happen during the month (buying a new sailboat), which took up a lot of time and limited my internet browsing. I do wish I could have visited more blogs and left more comment love.

5 - Some of the stuff I wrote was crap.

This isn't really new. I don't always write the most interesting and scintillating blog posts, but generally I'm okay with what I write. However, during the challenge, I felt like there were some posts that really didn't hit the mark. But I had to publish them nonetheless in order to complete the challenge. 

6 - It was fun!

Overall the challenge as a blast and we want to thank those of you who stuck with us during April despite the appalling lack of quality content and complete absence of any proofreading. Although, I guess that isn't really any different from how things usually work around here. 

So the big question - will we do the challenge again next year? Not sure. What do you think? Should we? Maybe we've inspired you to sign up for next year's challenge!

A TO Z RECAP

Here's a little recap of our A to Z posts with links in case you missed any and want to check them out.

We shared a little bit about ourselves with E is for Ellen and S is for Scott. Scott wasn't the most cooperative blog subject and did his best to avoid answering about himself. But if you want to know how many pairs of shoes he has, be sure to check his post out.

We did some recaps of our travel adventures. We shared some of our favorite posts from our time living and sailing in Aotearoa in N is for New Zealand Sailing & Cruising. Writing that post made me a bit homesick for flat white coffees, the beautiful waters of the Hauraki Gulf and Whittaker's chocolate. G is for Greetings from the USA looked back on the first four months of our road trip through the States, first in a tent and then in our 13' Scamp travel trailer. You really appreciate what a beautiful and diverse country this is when you drive from coast to coast. We loved our time visiting the National Parks out West on our road trip and couldn't help sharing what a magical time it was for us in O is for Outstanding National Park Moments and W is for Wildlife.

We did some specific posts on our USA adventures. Check out what watching a rocket launch is like in Titusville in U is for Up, Up & Away. If you're thinking about heading down to the Texas-Mexico border, have a look at B is for Big Bend National Park for an overview of our time there and C is for Christmas in Boquillas, Mexico for the scoop on making the border crossing from Big Bend. If you're planning a trip to Key West and are a cheap and cheerful traveler like we are, then have a look at K is for the Key West Garden Club - a wonderful and free place to visit. 

We also took a trip back in time and wrote about the time we took a cheesy Saharan safari in Tunisia (T is for Tunisia). That's what's wonderful about looking back at old pictures - remembering the great times you had on your travels.

I tried my hand at some more "reflective" posts. I started off the challenge with some musings on what it really means to be adventurous (A is for Adventurous). Then there were reflections on how lucky we are to have this opportunity to do nothing (D is for Doing Nothing). One of the things we've been lucky enough to do is travel. Travel has a way of challenging our beliefs and ultimately making us realize how much we all have in common, which I tried to articulate in X is for Xenophobia. For those introverts out there, you might want to have a look at I is for Introverts and Blogging. Let us know if any of it rings true for you.

Of course, life didn't stop while the A to Z Challenge was going on. So, we did our usual monthly recap in numbers (M is for March) and an update about what we had been up to (L is for Life Lately).

We discovered a lot of similarities between RV living and cruising on a sailboat (check out R is for RVers and Cruisers). Full-time RVers and cruisers are nomadic people without a fixed abode. We wrote about the challenges in answering the question, "Where do you live?" in H is for Huh. The RV and cruising communities are full of the most helpful people you'll ever meet - like the time our neighbors at the Jolly Rodger Travel Park came to our rescue (J is for Jolly Good Neighbors).  

For those RVers out there looking for an interesting place to stay near Bradenton, Florida - check out our take on Linger Lodge in Q is for Quirky.  

For our boatie readers, we did a lighthearted and probably factually incorrect post on sacrificial zincs (Z is for Zinc). For our non-boatie readers, we do mention vampires in the post, so it isn't all boring sailing stuff.

And then there were the oddball posts - P is for Polar Bear Spotting and F is for Fish. I guess you could say that V is for Vultures was a little weird too.

One of the best parts of the challenge was all of the bloggy love everyone showed us. Especially those folks who gave us suggestions about what to write for the letter Y (Y is for Yikes!)

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!  
 

15 comments:

  1. Thanx for the shout-out! I definitely wouldn't have been as cheerful about this challenge if I hadn't known you'd be checking in and faithfully reading -- and commenting -- every day. I most loved your reflective posts, A is for Adventurous was awesome!

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    1. It was good fun and so much better doing it with you!

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  2. Xenophobia...seems several of us used that word for our X day. Popping back around to say thanks for the sweet supportive comments to all who visited. Even those who don't knit or crochet can support the blog..which helps the cause with visits and comments. After all, those who work hard with their yarn like cheerleaders.

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    1. Your blog is so interesting - I'll definitely be back to check it out regularly!

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  3. Considering how many bloggers dropped out at some point in April, putting something up every day, even if it was "crap" (although, that's eye of the beholder, and I bet you're being too critical) is a major accomplishment. Visiting all the other blogs is hard. That's what did me in. I'm all for not keeping to a theme (my blog was business as usual, just adhering to the letter of the day), but everyone else seems to love them.

    Congrats on making it through.

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  4. Wow, great recap! I wasn't as great at visiting other blogs as I could've been either. But I'm not punishing myself. The linky is still up, and I want to visit as many blogs from A to Z as I possibly can. It may take 6 months, but I will know, eventually, what blogs were on that list!

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    1. Such a great goal to visit all of the blogs on the list! I'm truly impressed. Thanks so much for stopping by our - really appreciate it. Now off to visit yours :-)

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  5. Congrats on making it to the end. A blogging buddy is a good idea, as is doing much in advance.

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    1. Thanks Rhonda! You were my inspiration to do the challenge!

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  6. Just now getting around to visiting the blogs in the challenge. April was a busy month for me. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

    Mary
    www.JingleJangleJungle.net

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  7. Hi Ellen and Scott - well done on completing the A-Z .. you achieved so much during April ... buying the new yacht and reassessing life. So much information for travellers in your post ... loved the Z for Zinc one. As Rhonda says having blogging buddies is what blogging is about .. though your blog - could fall under the original category of a web - log .... perhaps?! Thanks for visiting me at I .. and apologies for not coming across earlier ... I for Isles of Scillies ... I'll see you around though probably not til mid-September - then I shall return to blogging with full intent ... enjoy your summer ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary - have a great summer and look forward to your return to blogging in the fall.

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  8. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Thanks for visiting me along the way too. I'm popping over again today from the Road Trip/Reflections linky.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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We'd LOVE to hear from you! If we're out on the water cruising, our internet access will be limited and it may take a while before we're able to respond to your comments and pay a return visit to your blog, but please know that we will once we can get connected.