My third year of doing the A-Z Challenge is in the record books and I made it, I survived! In years past I had no earthly clue what I was going to post from one day to the next. Each day seemed like an accomplishment. I racked my brains for something to write about and wrote whatever came into my head. I visited as many folks on the A-Z sign up list as I could, returned comments to those who visited me, and all in all had one hell of a great time.
This year was different. This year I joined an A-Z support group on Face Book. They were so organized that they had a big ole theme reveal before the kickoff of the challenge. They organized us all into teams and made a spreadsheet which I followed like a Bible throughout the entire month. I planned a month chock full of haiku, 55 fiction, and zentangle art. I had posts ready to go long before the day so all I had to do was post, share, and comment my happy ass off. That is exactly what I did. I also made sure to answer all of my comments and return the love. I admit that I am still working on answering and returning comments on the last few letters. On the downside answering comments and visiting blogs constantly became a chore and sucked the fun right out for me. I had it so planned that very little was left creatively to be done. On the upside I do believe I created some of my best work during this challenge and my little piece of real estate here in the blogosphere saw more traffic, leaving more comments than I would have ever dreamed possible.
Another great thing came out of this year’s A-Z challenge. The artist that had just recently begun to make reappearance in my life came back full throttle. I had an epiphany of sorts realizing that I love that artist side of myself. When I allow it to emerge, I discovered my soul was reborn. My heart soared. I discovered a happiness and sense of wellbeing that my life has sadly lacked. It is a part of me I should have never given up. On the upside sticking to art, poetry, and 55 fictions for an entire month worked well for me. I enjoyed creating all of it immensely. Given the response my work received during the month of April, I got the message loud and clear that I am doing exactly what I should be.
When the A-Z was over, I walked away from my blog. My husband came home. I enjoyed life and a much needed rest. I celebrated another birthday. I got away, enjoyed the beach
and had fun. I went into the A-Z Challenge this year filled with anxiety and dread…and survived. I feel like I climbed Everest. I cemented friendships, feeling closer to my fellow A-Z participants and blogging friends than I ever have. I even managed to make some new friends along the way. Would I do it again? If you would have asked me after I posted Z, my answer
would have been a resounding “hell no! I will never subject myself to this frenzied chaos again!” But then, after 6 days to let the dust settle…I realize I am nuttier than a fruitcake…and hell yes, I know I would do it again. I will probably be one of the first to sign up when April rolls around. This year I learned that I thrive in chaos. Being organized and having it planned makes me bat shit crazy and stresses me out. I need the adrenalin rush being clueless gives me. On the other hand, it was nice being posted first thing in the morning with nothing else left to do but read and comment but then a steady diet of reading and commenting is exhausting and soul sucking. For me, finding a balance and striking a happy medium is essential for survival in future challenges. When the dust clears, lessons were learned and I had the time of my life.