Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 A-Z Challenge Reflection Post

In February of 2015 I wrote a post explaining that I needed to take some time off.  Even before that, my blog list has a stop-and-start quality about it that shows I was struggling.
I didn't post at all in 2016.
I posted twice in 2017.
This is my 28th post in 2018! Woot!

I miss blogging. But...
How do you restart a blog that has lost all of its approximately 100 readers?
WHY do you restart a blog that was never that popular anyway?
Now that I'm such a different person, what would the purpose of my blog be?
Can I justify spending so much time on blogging?

Enter the A-Z challenge! Hundreds of potential readers. Hundreds of blogs that might help me find my way...I'd forgotten how much work this challenge is! Getting each day's post out there was only half the battle. Each day I would scan the day's master list looking for familiar blogs and then I would try to go to some random ones as well. There are some extremely talented bloggers out there!

I didn't even think to look at the A-Z Facebook page until I was doing the survey at the end. That might have simplified the whole process a little bit. Next year!

About my topic
I reviewed podcasts. It was great! It wasn't until about the letter R that I realized I was sick to death of podcasts, so I call that a success! I've got a pretty great podcast list now. I'm ready to take a break from adding and deleting podcasts, but a podcast list is meant to be a fluid thing, I've learned.

(Bizarrely, a pillow fight my daughter's fiance was involved in is mentioned on the podcast from Great Britain called No Such Thing as a Fish. When I told him, he said, "Of all the things to be famous for!"  If you are interested, the episode was #214, No Such Thing as a Criminal in a Fabulous Hat.)

About networking
Podcasts are exactly like blogs! There are a few super popular ones, and a zillion more that flounder in spite of great content. I've been noticing this really interesting spite of their seeming to have nothing in common, a lot of my favorite podcasters appear as guests on each other's shows. Just today John Green from Dear Hank and John was a guest on Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, and they also had Gretchen Rubin from Happier on a couple of weeks ago. Those 3 podcasts are all in my top 5 favorite podcasts and they cover widely different topics. I learn from this the rather obvious lesson that networking must be important.

So what now?
I'm going to keep blogging. I'm not sure how much time I can spend promoting my blog, but I also know I'll feel a deep emptiness if I'm the only person who ever reads what I write, so that needs to be thought about.

One thing I'm really interested in is blogging about some of the challenges some of the self-help podcasts I listen to give. I had this idea while listening to Happier with Gretchen Rubin, episode 166: Watch Old Video Clips. What I do for that one will probably be my next blog post, and I will see where that takes me.

This was successful for me! I've learned that I want to keep blogging, and I have at least a temporary category for what I will write about. I think once a week is a do-able goal to begin with. I've made some friends whose blogs I plan to continue visiting, and I hope you'll all come back and see what I do here. Thank you for helping me sort through some very difficult questions. Good luck to you!


  1. It's been great getting to know you Melanie and to read about all those podcasts I knew nothing about previously. I can't believe that the mad month of April is over and I can cruise along just writing two posts a week - luxury!

    Leanne |
    AtoZ Reflections and Farewell

  2. Hi Melanie,
    I have been thinking for so long to do podcasts. After reading your posts I have become a little more determined. Hopefully, time permitting, I will start off on that.
    Blogging is not just for others to read. It also serves as a constructive and engaging activity for the blogger, irrespective of whether someone has read and left a comment or not.
    Wish you the best in your effort to restart your blog.

  3. I just listened to the John Green episode of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. I wanted to check out the podcast after your recommendation and I really enjoyed it. I need to go back and start from the beginning though. The A to Z challenge is a great way to reconnect with blogging. I know it helps me get back on track. Weekends In Maine

  4. I’m glad you decided to keep blogging. Doing so benefits all of us. The podcasts were very informative. There a few that I’ll go back to for a second or third listen. Now I just need to figure out how to follow outside of WP.

  5. I, too, was a very infrequent blogger until the #AtoZChallenge. After that, I found another blog hop (Got Goals?), and then at least I was blogging once per month. I've since added the IWSG blog hop so now I'm up to two per month. Yay me, lol!