"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

05 May 2015

Reflections on the A to Z Blogging (2015) Challenge

The organisers of the A to Z Blogging Challenge (2015) have asked me to offer some reflections and feedback on the exercise. For those of you new to my blog and/or to the Challenge, participants were asked to write a blog entry every day throughout the month of April (excepting Sundays) beginning with the letter A and working your way through the alphabet.

The Challenge began in 2010, although this was my first go at it and I'm proud to say I finished. The Challenge attracted over 1500 entries and I understand several hundred dropped out for any number of reasons. Believe me, it's not as easy as it looks. There were many nights I thought I was going to have to quit too, but somehow I kept going. There's something about a daily deadline that sharpens the mind and gets those fingers tap-tap-tapping.

Now I've heard it said that the perfect is the enemy of the good. I'll be the first to admit that not everything I wrote was brilliant but at least I wrote something. And some entries, I don't mind boasting, I thought were pretty good. And so did a few readers. Thanks Hilary, Somali, Cortney, J, Barbara, Stepheny, and the many others who stopped by and lent their support and comments. It's always nice to know that there are people out there who actually read what you write.

We were encouraged, of course, to visit our co-participants and read their blog entries too. It was at this point that I felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of blogs one could visit but I took the organisers' advice to begin with writers whose names were posted on either side of your name. I was number 405 so I got to know the low 400s fairly well, but occasionally branched out into the high 300s and even jumped to random numbers or quirky sounding titles like "Jenn Lost in Chaos" (313) or "The ABCs of Alt Sex According to Whipped Dreams" (1211). And when I was feeling less vigorous I found satisfaction in blogs like "Still Life, With Cats" (my neighbour at 404) and "Memoirs of a Homemaker" (363).

I can't fault the organisers of the Challenge. The website http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ explains everything in detail. Signing up was easy and there's lots of inspiration to get you started, including regular emails to help keep you motivated.

Will I have a go next year? Yes. Will I do anything different? Hmm. I read that many veterans of the Blogging Challenge begin preparing their articles months in advance so they simply have to upload them each day. Why didn't I think of that? Because I only found out about the challenge days before it was due to begin. But will I prepare ahead of time for 2016? I'd like to think I will but on the other hand having to come up with something each day fired up my creative juices. I loved the challenge and afterall, isn't that what the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about?

Ask me next year.

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"We have received only very positive reports of your workshop, and must thank you for being so flexible and responsive both before and in the course of implementing the workshop. It has been lovely to work with you. . . . We are hopeful this project will give rise to future storytelling endeavours, and would be very happy to work with you again if the opportunity arises!" Muireann Crowley, At Home in Scotland, University of Edinburgh, May 2014 ("Storytelling, Research and Public Engagement" workshop)

Michael Williams is a a storyteller of compelling skill. He is also a fine human being who engages in all situations and draws people into the warmth of communication and shared experience." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Scotland

"Michael's understanding of storytelling within a leadership and business context has helped us provide a great service in helping leaders determine their personal and organisational destiny and legacy. Working with Michael is inspiring and fun; and pulls you to be fully engaged from start to finish." Norton Bertram-Smith, Managing Director and Leadership Consultant for On Purpose.

Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

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