My friend, Susan Oloier, told me about the A to Z Challenge. It sounded, well, sort of intimidating and scary to blog every single day. But, if there's anything that motivates me, it's fear. I've had my death writer blog up and running (if you can call it that) for a few years, but I will be the first to admit that I'm kind of a dumb ass when it comes to blogging. It's not that I don't know how to write, it's just that blogging and doing it well, is a much bigger can of worms. First, you have to have content. Check. Then you've got to have followers. Um, I think I had maybe 25 people who followed me publicly at the start of this challenge, but most never said a word. Heck, I don't know if my followers ever read any of my posts. If there are no comments, I have no way of knowing. It's kind of sad, actually. It's like throwing a really great party and only your mom shows up.
"Great dip, honey!"
On day one of the challenge, I started getting traffic. And people commented. So, in return I went to their blog and commented. You know, the whole "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," kind of thing. And by doing this, I found a few blogs and people that I really liked. Some people came back to my blog fairly regularly and it made me feel like a freakin' rock star. Others, I just saw once and they were gone. Eh, it's kind of like life. You win some and you lose some. I'm guilty of this too. Don't take it personally. My head it still spinning from all this reading and commenting and trying to keep up with life at the same time.
I realize that some might find my examination of all things related to death to be kind of a downer, so I get that "following" my blog might be construed as something weird. But, I'm happy to say that I picked up about 55 new followers. I have no idea how many people subscribed to my blog by email as I don't know how to check this. If you do, please let me know. I am laughably naive in regards to technology.
I did not visit every single blog in the challenge. Yes, time was an issue. But if I am going to be completely honest, and I usually am, I am attracted to blogs that are a) humorous, b) informative and c) something I want to be informed about. It would have been SUPER cool if this challenge had been organized by topics or genre. I know, that that might limit people in their exploration, but for us folks that have limited amounts of time (who doesn't) it would have been more effective. Yes, it's fun to pop into five random blogs per day, but some blogs had a very small niche and I felt like, well, I really have nothing to add to the discussion here.
"Just stopping by on the A to Z challenge. Come ready my blog."
Commenting. Well, I tried to comment as much as I could, but I didn't want to get inundated with emails, so I didn't sign up to see if the blogger responded to my comments. I apologize in advance if you maybe posed a question and I never came back. Truly, this experience was like blogging 101 for me, or maybe revisiting junior high on some level. I felt bad for not reciprocating on some blogs, especially if they commented on mine, but I did interact with people if they showed up on my blog. And that's where I think a blog becomes interesting--in the discussions. I am so appreciative of every person that read my words and took the time to compose a thoughtful response. You all rule!
I had a wonderful time. I flexed my creative muscles and now I'm looking towards the future of this blog to make it a place that people want to visit. My plan is to do two posts a week. That would be reasonable and sane. On the other three days, I'll visit other blogs. Slowly, but surely, I hope to gain readership so if and when my book ever comes out, I can say "Death Becomes Us" is in print and you can buy it here. I'll even sign it and send you a bookmark.
I don't know if I'll do the challenge next year with this blog, but I think I may do it with my next book project about religion.
A is for atheist
B is for Baptist
C is for Christ
D is for....you get the point.
Thanks for stopping by!