Yes! I am a Survivor of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge! I was able to write a blog post for each of the letters of the alphabet, and only one was posted a few hours late!
I first learned about the A to Z Challenge in March of 2012. I was too late to officially sign up for the challenge at that time, but the idea of blogging A to Z intrigued me, and I set about making up my list of possible A to Z blog posts. I started out strong for three days, then life caught up to me and I ended up completing a grand total of 5 A to Z posts last year.
This year I was a bit better prepared. I don't have too many outside obligations besides work right now, so I signed up officially and started writing my drafts and looking for a theme. Of course I love to read, so I thought I could share a few of my favorite books that I have read recently. Back in January I noted that one of my goals for this year was to do more quilting. Now my intention was really to finish a couple of quilting projects that I already have started, but I decided to add to that and sew up some new quilt blocks that I have never tried before. I knew that there was no way I would be able to come up with 26 different quilt blocks, but I thought I could maybe do 8 or 9. I've also started trying to keep a daily record of the good things in my life and God's tender mercies and blessings, and thought that I could keep up my tradition of Thankful Thursday posts here and even add in other posts about some of my favorite things.
So, my theme for the challenge became Books, Blocks, and Blessings. I created a spreadsheet of possible blog topics for each letter under each of three different headings, and went to work. A lot of my posts were prepared well ahead of time, but the different quilt blocks took a lot more time to prepare. I did quite well at first, but soon I really was needing to write a new post almost every day in addition to trying to find time to do the sewing. I ended up only finishing 5 of the quilt blocks, but blogged about others that I still want to finish. Hopefully I will have enough to sew up a little sampler quilt before too long. I was able to share some of my favorite books! And I was able to write about some of my blessings too. It has been a motivating challenge and a good exercise in consistency and planning ahead.
Of course, Blogging From A to Z isn't just about writing the posts, it is also about finding new blogging friends and encouraging them on the challenge journey too. I admit that I love finding and reading new blogs, and it could almost be called an addiction for me. There have been many nights this past month when I stayed up waaaayyy too late at night reading just one more blog and then another, and trying to figure out the best way to comment and follow all of the different wonderful blogs. I have found some wonderful new friends out there and have appreciated all of the encouraging comments from new friends who have found their way here to Creation and Compassion. Unfortunately, this just may be the reason I may not fully participate in Blogging from A to Z again in the future. Though I wish that I had unlimited time to visit all of the wonderful bloggers who have participated, I know that I do not. I was only able to visit a very small fraction of those who participated and decided it was better to visit a few on a more regular basis than to visit more bloggers only once. I already follow many wonderful blogs and never have enough time to read all of their posts that I would like. So, though I have had a wonderful time blogging and sewing this past month, next year I will most likely just be a visitor rather than an actual participant.
I extend my heartfelt thanks to host Arlee Bird and all of his many dedicated assistants, and most of all to all of you who have participated, written thoughtful lovely posts, and who have befriended and encouraged me in the challenge. I hope to see you around the blogosphere!