Reflections on A to Z 2016

I made it through the month!!

Thanks for following along and reading about some of the wonderful places I’ve been (or in a couple cases, where I want to go).

I just heard about the A to Z Challenge a few months ago and am glad I signed up to tackle it. As the title would indicate, it was a challenge, but having the goal and a rough plan kept me motivated to complete it. Since my website is still new (as of mid-March), a learning curve took some time away from writing, so I just scraped by in meeting my personal goals (and I believe the content shows this).

My purpose (aside from completing the challenge, of course) was two-fold: to try my hand at travel blogging, and as a writing exercise. I was a bit concerned about whether I could keep up with a daily writing assignment without neglecting other projects. I knew that some letters of the alphabet would be a special challenge and, to be honest, was ready for this month to end as I approached the last few posts. I am happy that I succeeded in this goal and in the process have written much more overall than since I first started a blog.

I learned a few things last month, both personally and professionally. I had never taken a look at my vacations overall, and see that there have been some common themes. The outdoors is one (not a surprise since we enjoy camping), and in particular, National Parks. I hadn’t noticed before how many of my travels involve historic sites, whether by design or coincidence. Perhaps I just take note of the historic significance of places more than others might.

Interacting with several other bloggers was a big plus. As always, comments make a difference. The encouragement is a big help. Although I tried to read other A to Z Challenge blogs, I didn’t get to see as many as I would have liked. I am going to go back and read some over the upcoming weeks, but would have liked to have had time set aside to do this in April. If I do the challenge again, I will have to adjust my schedule to allow time for this.

My daily writing process evolved over the month. I had committed to posting about travel daily, but I was not willing to give up my other writing, so I had to schedule things more than I had in the past. Travel stories really require visuals, so I had to step up my game where pictures are involved. This took up time as well, and I took advantage of the fact I was perusing photos to better organize my digital collection. I have also started paying more attention to what I see in life, thinking about what visuals may be useful to have on hand at a later date.

I also noted a shift in my work process overall. I have started to think about scheduling more and creating a calendar for my content in advance. I am starting to look for inspiration rather than waiting for it to find me (and filling more notebooks with thoughts that don’t fit what I am working on currently). I know that I need to create a better schedule for myself to maximize my time.

Things to do better: Pre-writing more would have improved some of my posts. Pressure to get them up on the appropriate day resulted in some lackluster writing. My other blogs were a bit neglected; better planning and scheduling could help this. I also need to better organize and label my photos to make the process go faster and smoother.

Overall, the Challenge was a great experience. I think it has had a beneficial effect on my writing in general (writing more frequently tends to do that) and has potentially opened a new avenue for me personally. Meeting new people is always a plus, and I look forward to reading more of their work as well. As to next year, I’ll say definitely maybe.

Thanks again for taking this trip with me!



Author: Kimberly Yavorski

Kimberly is a freelance writer who loves to learn about new things and then write about them. She is rarely caught outdoors without her camera. Links to her work can be found on her website

3 thoughts on “Reflections on A to Z 2016”

  1. Great post – I think we shared several realizations in the process of participating in this challenge for the first time. I didn’t mention in my recap but you are absolutely correct about scouting for images for posts. Ditto how some posts felt forced or not quite polished to my usual standards, but the deadline waits for no writer LOL.

    BTW I started a Listly of challenge recap posts before I realized the challenge admins were doing something similar on their website. I’ve added your post. Enjoy!

  2. Sounds like you got a lot out of the experience and I share a lot of your findings about your writing and seeking inspiration and not waiting for it to come. I have done just that and plan to write a book series. I think I am a probably maybe for next year, though.

    Rosa Temple writes…

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