My Reflections #A2ZChallenge 2015

2015 A to Z Reflections

2015 A to Z Reflections

When I signed up for the April 2015 A to Z Challenge, I was totally caught unaware. This was my first time taking the challenge like this one and as I mentioned in my theme reveal post that the only thing I knew was that I wanted to write about women. My idea was to do something meaningful in terms of my writing and choosing of topics and that’s why the theme was picked. Having said that, I had heard from veterans in the blogging space that planning and scheduling posts would be crucial to the successful completion of the challenge. With that idea in mind, I began well by sorting out the topics that I wanted to write about and that was a good head start. But then I wrote every single day and luckily in my favor all my posts were published on time per the schedule. Phew! Looking back, I feel like patting myself on the back!

The Challenge: The more you plan, the better this challenge gets in terms of visiting other blogs and learning from others. Though it was difficult for me, I burnt midnight oil to catch up on posts and comments. Yes, it is ideal to pre-schedule and I wish I was able to do that but I also enjoyed the fun of writing daily.

The A to Z team , kept a great vigil and hopped over to comment and encourage. That was really good! I wish that the twitter chats would have been planned at a time that was decent for folks from India to attend. I could not participate in any of them.

Comments & Stats: Oh my God! I have never received so many comments on my posts in a matter of one night. This is the most record-breaking stats and comments ever. From all over the world, fellow bloggers and readers poured in to share their love and thoughts. Never expected that. Humbled and so happy!

I made it a point to respond to each comment on my blog and visit as many blogs as possible. Yes, I could have done much more, but I will leave that to better planning next time.

Drafting & Scheduling: As the challenge progressed I realized that writing crisper posts will be better to grab attention span of my readers. While 1500+ bloggers were enrolled in the challenge and if each wants to read at least 20 posts each day, it’s hard to expect more that a 5 mins reading time because anything beyond that would be a lot of time investment apart from writing and doing other things.  So, whenever I had a lot of content, I shared embedded links within the post for readers to read per their interest and kept the word count within 500 words. It did work!

To cater to global audience, my posts were published at 00:05 hours each day and this helped my get the viewership while I was still asleep. This worked well and it is going to be an approach I will follow.

Blogs and bloggers: During the theme reveal post and otherwise, throughout the challenge I was awestruck by the various blogs around and the amazing writing skills of bloggers. From poetry to verses to flash fiction or 55 word fiction, there were so many great themes and blogs. Unfortunately, I could not read a lot but the ones I did were simply amazing. Even if I attempt to mention all of them here – I will not be able to do justice to all. So cheers to all those bloggers who I met and will stay in touch!

Inspiration: My takeaways were something that tops the charts. I felt how we are divided by nations but united in thoughts. I realized how bloggers come from different cultures but every one wants a better world. I witnessed that women speak more of issues pertaining to women and men choose to keep quiet. I realized a sweet love story always brings a smile and firms the belief that love rules. I saw how every one loves Yoga! Pictures are important and through this challenge I witnessed how bloggers focused on great content and relevant picture. I was amazed when bloggers used as few as 4 lines to convey so much. I met a daughter who lost her father and how her each post was a tribute to him – heart warming and emotional. There was a lot of variety and a lot of passion. Something that we don’t see every day.

Sharing is caring: Writing and scheduling was not the only thing in the challenge. Sharing over twitter or FB brought a lot of more readers from all over. The hashtag and those retweets were a way to say we all cared for each other and the one sense of community prevailed.

Final word: As I wrap up this challenge, I wanted to share that though there are things that I am not proud of, there are many things that I am of being an Indian woman. Yes, we face cases of honor killing or acid attacks but we also have daughters who are making their mark in each field. My posts throughout this challenge spoke of a lot of things that may not be good to hear and that is a reality but another reality is that Indian women are ready to change. With hope and faith, things are already on a path of betterment and I am sure they will be better in days to come.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement. This challenge wasn’t possible without your love!

53 Responses

  1. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing your first challenge! Very nice reflections post too. I got to visit your blog during the month of April. Just popping over again today from the Road Trip.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

  2. aseemrastogi2 says:

    I really love the way you plan these challenges Parul. The fact that you plan and are able to achieve what you set out for is fantastic in itself. You are inspiration to each one of those bloggers out there who aim to pen down their thoughts and look out for readers. Keep going. Here’s wishing you many more such successful challenges. And one thing is for sure, you keep coming it with beautiful posts consisting of amazing topics each day whether its a challenge or not :).

  3. Thanks for visiting Sue’s Trifles on the A to Z Road Trip. I am enjoying exploring your blog, but had trouble finding your A to Z posts. A tab might be easier for visitors than your survivor badge as a link. Sue

  4. Loving your theme 🙂 I think it’s really interesting seeing what everyone chose for their themes!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip

  5. Mary B says:

    Just now getting around to visiting. April was a busy month for me. Visiting from the Reflections Linky. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!


  6. shanayatales says:

    Since I have read each and every one of your posts, I can say that you have done a fab job with your AtoZ. So glad to have connected with you. AtoZ was a wonderful ride. I can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

  7. I really enjoyed you A to Z posts…I missed a few in the end but I am catching up. 🙂 Great going and hope you join in next year too! 🙂

  8. shanx says:

    A wonderful month on this space both in terms of the powerful content and the challenge that you easily carried 🙂 Congratulations Parul! And, I am so proud that not one post was for the sake of challenge and you kept your part to bring the message out and clear in a very vivid and simple thoughts of yours! Thanks a lot! 🙂

  9. Debbie D. says:

    Congratulations on having such a successful challenge, Parul! 🙂 Your topic was an important one and you are an excellent advocate for women’s rights. Your posts were enlightening and I’m glad so many people read them. Thanks for your frequent comments at The Den. Cheers!

    • Thanks Debbie for your support throughout..It meant a lot to have like minded women like you who encouraged me by sharing their thoughts.. 🙂 Glad to have met you as well. See you around!

  10. Shilpa Garg says:

    You had a very powerful theme, Parul and that connected and resonated so much with all of us! Kudos to you for sharing and bringing to light some burning issues that need to be addressed and sorted. Congratulations and well done ♥

  11. Vinitha says:

    I’m so glad that we got connected, Parul, not just because your atoz posts were awesomely unique and worth reading, because I take pride in saying that I know you a little more than as a blogger. 🙂 Your posts always had food for thought and atoz was no different. I’m sure you put a lot of time in coming up with topics and in researching, perhaps more than anyone else who did Atoz. You deserve more than a congratulations for giving us thought provoking contents to read on throughout the month of April. Keep rocking dear!!

    • That’s so sweet of you to say Vinitha! Yes, meeting each other and getting to know a bit more is all the more great experience. Coming over to my A To Z, I am glad you got some food for thought! Mission successful 🙂 It got hard when I had to write those posts after work each day but the encouragement from the community made the effort worth it. Thank you for stopping by each single day and sharing your thoughts. That kept me going! 🙂 🙂
      Hope to see you again some day!

  12. Being able to go from start to finish itself is a big achievement, everything else not withstanding. Kudos to you for that 🙂

  13. Kaddu says:

    You’re so right there. Planning and scheduling will make this challenge so much more fun! I didn’t do any of that, so I couldn’t visit as many blogs as I wanted to, as often as I would have liked to.

    You chose a strong theme. At the moment, I’ve nothing positive to say about being a woman in India, except perhaps the fact that we’re still alive and have a voice (if only on our blogs) speaks a lot about our guts.

    Glad to connect with you though. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and our respective blogs! Congrats for completing the challenge! Happy blogging! 🙂


  14. Congratulations on completing the challenge! Very well written posts but I could not comment on them all.. God Bless!

  15. Roshni says:

    Congratulations on successfully completing the challenge! I’m sorry I missed all your posts but I’m happy to know that it was a lot of fun!

  16. senK says:

    Congrats on your completion of the challenge too! I loved your topics and could always marvel at the amount of passion you put in the writings. 🙂

  17. the little princess says:

    I couldn’t read all your blog posts during the challenge, but i do hope to catch up with them sometime….and i do agree that a little pre planning would allow you the liberty of doing a blog hop…added to that it was a wise idea to keep the word limit in mind, like you said, with so many blogs to read, it would be practically impossible for people to read long posts…glad to have found you though!

  18. kokilagupta says:

    I have entered on the letter Z ..ahem-ahem … but that’s enough to make me comeback and read all at leisure … Loved this one ‘the wrapping up post’ its a great post for those who want to take up the challenge next time 🙂
    Congrats for passing the challenge with flying colours 🙂

  19. Alex Hurst says:

    Congrats on making it to the end! I loved your challenge, but am very happy to be back on a regular schedule, now. Haha.

  20. bienumv says:

    You. Are just amazing blogger. With u being around how we lost. Game of blogs difficult. To figure out.

  21. Lata Sunil says:

    Your posts were very insightful. And it helped to focus on women issues. I really liked them all. Content-wise superb. Congratulations Parul.

  22. Mee Magnum says:

    Though the #A2ZChallenge completed a few days ago, I’m still discovering new blogs as I work my way down the list. I’m glad I found yours! Very impressive blog! I’m going to have to read more of your articles now!!

    –Mee (The Chinese Quest)

  23. Parul, I am not at all surprised by the huge increase of readership on your A to Z challenge given the theme you wrote about! And kudos to you for (1) doing that and (2) completing the challenge: congrats on both counts! 🙂 I enjoyed your writings and look forward to reading more from you. 🙂 Oh, and I also would have loved to participate in the twitter chats though they were at times that didn’t work well at all for me. 😉 <3

  24. Your posts were really worth pondering on Parul…meaningful and well thought through. Good to have you around and hope to read more of you. Congratulations on a successful completion of the A-Z.

  25. While I can’t say I’ve religious followed all of your (or any one else’s ) A-Z posts, I reckon you did a splendid job. Because, I loved whatever I’d read. Here’s to many more challenges, Parul 🙂

  1. March 21, 2016

    […] was the first time I attempted the A to Z Challenge and my experience was wonderful. Towards the end of the challenge, I knew I will keep coming back to participate. […]

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