Reflections on My First Year #AtoZ Challenge

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

This was my first year participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge and I learned a lot. I thought I had done everything in advance that I needed to do. I chose a theme [Golden Age of Hollywood], plotted my alphabet topics, found most of my research sources, even had my first ten posts written and scheduled. What I failed to take into account was Murphy’s Law, or more like laws.

Murphy’s Laws

  1. If anything can go wrong, it will [MacGillicuddy’s Corollary: At the most inopportune time]
  2. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong
  3. If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway
  4. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop [Corollary: It will be impossible to fix the fifth fault, without breaking the fix on one or more of the others]
  5. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse
  6. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something
  7. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw [Corollary: The hidden flaw never stays hidden for long]
  8. Mother nature is a bitch: and not an obedient one at that

golden age of hollywood headerThe first thing that went wrong for me was computer problems. I had used ESET’s Nod32 antivirus for years with no problem, but the last time it came time to renew, I was broke, so I decided to use the free, somehow highly rated, Avast antivirus. It gave me some false positives, but seemed to be working fine . . . until it wasn’t. It let in some malware that attacked both of my browsers (Chrome and Firefox) and kept freezing things up. I’m a more advanced user, but it took me a week to find and fix all the issues.

I managed to get a couple more posts done before some bad weather rolled in and triggered a major fibro flare. On normal days I battle fatigue and pain, but when I’m having a flare, it’s almost impossible to get out of bed, much less to sit in a chair (oh, I miss my recliner) long enough to do much on my desktop computer. I’m truly hoping I can get a laptop soon, which will help. It’s hard to be productive with anything on an 8″ tablet.

By the time I felt better, I was seriously behind and by the time I caught up, I was suffering from serious burnout.Β However, none of this has made me decide not to take part next year. I enjoyed the challenge despite everything and found some wonderful bloggers to follow. And I’m still finding more as I didn’t have the time before to go through the list of participants and explore.

I’d like to give a special shout out to Sarah Zama of The Old Shelter. Her theme of “Jazz Age Jazz” nicely juxtaposed with my theme at certain points and was enjoyable, enlightening, and well-written.

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14 thoughts on “Reflections on My First Year #AtoZ Challenge

  1. Glad you made it to the end, sounds like yours was more of an endurance challenge. I would certainly not agree that you can’t be productive with an 8″ tablet, however, since I’ve used my phone for all that I’ve published on my blog (along with everything else I do online) for four years. I enjoy the way I have to occasionally improvise or discover workarounds to achieve the result I’m after, it makes life more interesting. ;~}

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah! So you did write the Reflection Post!
    You know? I’ve heard of so many fellow bloggers who had all kinds of things happening this April. What about that? Murphy is always right, the cheeky bas– mhm….

    Thanks so much for the shout out, I didn’t expect it πŸ™‚
    But it’s true, our challenges complemented each other on many occasions. I’m happy I’ve found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely a challenge. I decided to add significantly to my challenge, and take a flying leap off the deep end of faith…so I scrambled, and most of my other projects got set aside, but that’s OK – I did something that really scared me, and it’s turned out better than I imagined, so the added stress was well worth the effort and terror. =)

      Glad you made it through. It does get a bit easier to predict possible trouble spots once you’ve been through the process. I hope you’ll be back!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Despite the fact that you got off a rocky start to the challenge this year, at least you finished! That’s always a good thing! πŸ˜€ Yes, no matter how much preparation one does, you really wouldn’t know if that will equal success. That happened to me last year, I was excited about my theme then somehow got left behind and finally decided to just quit halfway. I wasn’t proud of myself but it wasn’t fun so I didn’t push myself. I’m glad that you’re already thinking of next year’s challenge! πŸ˜€
    Amelia
    http://wordsfromsonobe.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I stopped by a time or two, and found your posts enlightening. I had a similar set of issues in 2015; this year, I prepared ahead – but thn extended my challenge, and that put me in a scramble. Next year? Well, I don’t know yet….

    Liked by 1 person

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