Mindful Living

Reflections #AtoZChallenge 2016

Vidya Sury AtoZChallenge 2016 Reflections

It is time to look back at this year’s April A to Z Challenge.

I almost skipped writing this post, but didn’t want to break the tradition, even though I don’t have much to say.

This year, I wasn’t as involved as I hoped to be.

2013, the first year was good and I wrote on the fly traveling through most of April.

2014 was interesting, too. I went without a theme.

2015 was different in many ways. I actually wrote around a theme “letters to my son

Then came 2016 – I saw the sense behind picking a theme. Easy enough, or so I thought and chose to write about Mindful living. What I didn’t realize was how time-consuming it would be to put the posts together.

I planned posts yet got caught up with life’s priorities – travel, births, deaths, health fluctuations, worry, slow to non-existent internet, work, a broken laptop and all those other things that make living interesting.

Even though I knew I would be busy through April, I was crazy enough to imagine I could manage the A to Z Challenge with 4 blogs.  I could only do it with 3 – and my health blog got knocked off the list for not posting for a week, which is the elimination rule. I did not stress over it as I focused on what I had to do.

I was on schedule with Life Hacks for Happiness and Life Hacks for Diabetes – I even had the posts ready and scheduled – gasp

It felt good to read some posts from the AtoZChallenge Reflections link up – many bloggers reported a spike in traffic, comments and connections. Do check out the linkup – even if you didn’t do the AtoZ Challenge, you might enjoy them and feel inspired.

I am too lazy to check blog stats unless I absolutely have to. But I was curious this time, and amused to discover that:

  • I did not have a spike in traffic– on the contrary, April was a dull month –with fewer visitors  compared to other months.
  • Comments were sporadic.
  • For my part, I tried to reciprocate, visiting those who commented here .
  • There was no increase in subscribers – on the contrary, I had a steady stream of unsubscribes.

However, none of this worries me because I did not start with any expectations. And I am aware that unless one gets into a frenzy of posting, visiting, commenting, reciprocating – nothing happens.

So what did I enjoy about the A to Z Challenge this year?

  • The writing – that is always wonderful.
  • The theme I chose – mindful living – is my favorite topic and I attempted to preach what I practice.
  • I have loads of post drafts. Yay me!
  • April was more than the A to Z Challenge for me – I had a lot going on offline and enjoyed it all thoroughly.
  • The few comments I received – each one is precious and I hold it close to my heart.
  • I received emails from non-bloggers who read my posts and I feel privileged to have touched lives through my posts.
  • I read a lot of blogs and it is always amazing to see the variety of themes.

Very special thanks to those who were kind enough to read my blog and share my posts on social media.

At the end of the day, I’d answer the question “Were you happy?” with a resounding “yes!”

So that’s all that really matters.

Will I participate in the A to Z again? Sure.

Will I do the A to Z with four blogs? Probably not, but who knows. One can never tell with me – April 2017 is too far off to make that decision.

Did you participate in the A to Z Challenge this year?

Was it your first year?

Did you enjoy it?

What was your experience? Do share in the comments!

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Dahlia
    May 14, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Hi Vidya! Loved the header pic – so cute 🙂 I am glad to have met you on this challenge and I can completely identify with all the things than can go wrong upping their ante! Great opportunity to practice ‘mindfulness’ wasnt it 😛 April was a very happening month for me as well and I spent a week at the hospital giving company to my father and later at home. It was a very stressful 2 weeks (fingers still crossed), and I am glad I had the posts pre-scheduled otherwise I would have never been able to manage the challenge. Even then I did need to put in some time each day for the final touches and edits. Yet it was the challenge which kept me distracted and sane while I coped with the stress of real life.
    Dahlia recently posted…Sizzling hot…My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      May 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Yeah, I fell in love with that pic too and it seemed to convey my sentiments exactly! I am happy we met, too! I loved my theme, as I mentioned, because it is a great way to live.

      I hope your Dad is feeling much better now. I admire you for planning ahead with your posts! I also noticed you had an ongoing serial story listed in the sidebar of your blog, which I plan to read in one sitting 🙂 Hugs and thank you for your support, Dahlia!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Yatra to heaven on earthMy Profile

      • Reply
        Dahlia
        May 21, 2016 at 8:56 am

        Yes he is better thank you (and touch wood!) And I admire you for four blogs (among so many other things) – amazing! I am thrilled that you noticed and do hope you will drop in. Perhaps you might like to try out the short stories first. If I may suggest – No Place to Run (that’s the one on which we had our first major interaction on) Take care 🙂
        Dahlia recently posted…The Wait for the Waiting RoomMy Profile

  • Reply
    Guilie Castillo
    May 14, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Wow, Vidya… Four blogs. FOUR. I barely managed to keep my head above water with *one*!!!!! And your content was awesome, as inspiring and beautiful as only you can be. You did GREAT! Stats notwithstanding (and, really, who cares about stats????), you need to consider April a huge success. As you said, you were happy—and that’s all that matters 🙂
    Guilie Castillo recently posted…#AtoZChallenge Reflections on the #Dog Rescue SeriesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      May 14, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      You, Guilie, are too kind! 🙂 Hugs! I am doing marathon catchup on blogs whenever I can. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Ah, now let me sit back and wait for your book around the AtoZ posts!

  • Reply
    Susan scott
    May 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Your posts are always of such quality Vidya, each of them enlarging me in some way 💕 I know I’ll be going back to them to re-read and digest more thoroughly. Well done for keeping your head above water in spite of it all! My computer also went on a go slow towards the end. My experience of the A-Z was also good. It’s always great to connect with people we’ve grown to know and those who are ‘new’. I agree stats matter nought. That is not the reason we write …
    Hope you’re having a great weekend! 😀

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      May 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      That’s so very kind of you, Susan! My offline saga continues and I am loving it! And yes, stats do not matter. Being happy does! Hugs! I am grateful for your love and support!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Dear Mom #MothersDayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bellybytes
    May 15, 2016 at 2:29 am

    So that’s what happened to you last month! I hope you are better now. I too didn’t find the A to Z making a difference to my blog in terms of traffic. Though my comments sky rocketed. Overall I’d say April was a stressful month for me too and the only good thing about the AtoZ was that it gave me a clearer idea of what blogging is all about

  • Reply
    Archana
    May 17, 2016 at 11:21 am

    It was my fourth year of the AtoZ challenge and I enjoyed every bit of it. I found that bog traffic petered out as the month ended but then, it doesn’t bother me as I have always written for myself. I really admire you for handling four blogs simultaneously! I had contemplated two this year but it remained just that- a thought! Hope you are doing well health wise now. Cheers!
    Archana recently posted…Ramganga River (Wordless Wednesday)My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      May 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      You made a smart decision, Archana – April does get stressful as the daily posting for the AtoZ can be stress-free only if we plan months ahead. I guess everyone who participates starts off with enthusiasm which wanes a bit as the month progresses, simply because the AtoZ is an addition to our existing activities.

      Thank you so much for coming by!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…How I Learnt To Connect With My Teenage SonMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    May 17, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I was so busy that I fell behind with following posts and I felt so bad and then I thought…the purpose of this A to Z is to ultimately have fun. If I stressed and felt guilty then the fun is gone and that’s just not right. I really hoped people understood and knew I would visit even if it was later. So I know I fell behind with your posts Vidya and you were on my mind. Actually, I tried to find a way to look at some of the posts I missed but I couldn’t go back to where I left off. I don’t know how to locate them here..I know it is my lack of knowledge for sure. I enjoyed every post you wrote. I learned from it and hope to keep them in mind each day.
    Birgit recently posted…Mock squid soup…film society!My Profile

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