A few days ago, I met a professional photographer who told me that he never took photos between 10 AM to 4 PM because the lighting is bad then. I left his gallery with "Never between 10 and 4" embedded in my brain, but still with disbelief. It being nearly 6 PM, I went crazy taking photos. Dang, if there wasn't a magical quality of light in the photos. I truly did not bank on it happening in my photos.
So, what does that have to do with my evaluation about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April that I completed. Beats me. All I know is that I wanted to use the above photo for this post before I even wrote it. Maybe by the end of the post, the metaphor of taking photos will show itself.
This was my second year doing the challenge. I found it more enjoyable than last year. One reason was that I did not link up both my blogs to the challenge, even though I post to the other blog, Take 25 to Hollister, every day. I chose to link up The View from the Top of the Ladder because I've been undisciplined about writing since last year's challenge.
I drew pictures to illustrate some of my posts. That's another reason this challenge was more fun for me. I'm one of those people who is scared of drawing and hardly draw with the intention of drawing. So, I was very pleased and encouraged by the positive comments that fellow bloggers wrote about my illustrations. Will I continue? We shall see.
This year, I had no expectations of myself, which included going all the way through the alphabet. I told myself that I can withdraw from the challenge at anytime that I felt stressed about any aspect of my life. About all the pre-planning I did was create a list matching letters to dates and jot down possible topic ideas that came immediately to mind for the first week of letters. It helped that I focused on a week-by-week basis.
Last year, I assumed I would have a lot of visitors—and comments—because of the number of participants, so I was disappointed when only a handful dropped by and commented. I was also let down last year that there weren't return visits from bloggers, and I visited more than five blogs most days. This year, I had no expectations about visitors—if any, or how many, would drop by, and if they commented about what I wrote. Every day, I visited a bunch of new blogs as well as revisited blogs with which I felt a connection, without a care if the bloggers came by mine. That was very freeing. And, you know what? I met some wonderful bloggers.
Participating in this challenge provides me the opportunity to visit a wide variety of blogs. I learned so many things through this year's challenge, from art techniques at Sweetbearies Art Projects to genealogy at Yeakley–Jones Family History, actors' bios at BB Creations, 1930s slang words at Rumer has it..., self-acceptance at The Trans-Gentle Wife, medicinal herbs at Wanna Buy a Duck, insider things about Hawaii at Maui Junglalow, and places to eat in New York City at Buttercup Counts her Blessings. And, the storytellers. Oh my. They are enchanting, in particular, Sue Elvis Writes, Kathryn O'Halloran, and Sarah's Brand New Chapter.
My thanks to the organizers of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I appreciate all of your efforts and time put in to this event.