Like many things in my life, this was a lot of work, and a lot of fun. And, like last year, I wrote all my posts on-the-fly. This I can't figure out. I knew better, I knew that I had committed to participating again this year and I had months to work on pre-writing these, but it just didn't happen. I needed the pressure of a deadline, it seemed, to both inspire me and to make what I was writing about timely. I had pre-planned my general topic for most of the letters, but that is about all. Must be a function of my personality style, as I mused in one of my posts.
The absolutely best benefit for me in doing this year's challenge was finding five other boat-related bloggers who were also AtoZ-ing. The social benefit of the AtoZ has been amazing -- I've already managed to meet up with one of these bloggers in "real life" and have plans to meet another next month; maybe someday my path will cross with all of them. There is absolutely no way I could have kept on track without the daily support and comments from them. A big, BIG shout-out to (in alphabetical order):
(A sixth boat-blogger also participated, but Little Cunning Plan's AtoZ was informational about anxiety, generally as related to boating, and I didn't find the blog until toward the end of the challenge.)
The second-best benefit was finding the wild, wild variety of blogs out there, as other bloggers stopped by my blog or I stopped by theirs. I learned about old-fashioned printing presses and common themes of diversity in folk tales. I met an author each of whose characters did an AtoZ guest post, and a poet who posted a poem a day that ended with a word for the next day's letter. As one blog led me to another, I read about people who were born enslaved and later were freed, musings about life lessons in India, a series of original recipes for easy to prepare comfort foods, interesting sites in Arizona.
My own writing got a push and I was delighted to see my stats for growing audience too, as we head out for our summer sail. And speaking of stats:
My top 3 most viewed: F is for F.A.Q.s, Flat-Surface Syndrome, and Favorite Things About Living Afloat; H is for The Horizon; and my bonus B post, a Blog Post About ... Blogging.
Most commented: A is for Anchoring Out, Anger-ing Out
Favorite one to write: J is for the Joneses
Overlooked, and wish it got more visibility: R is for Rebaselining
Most surprising (I didn't know it would go in this direction when I started writing it): L is for Leaving ... On A Jet Plane
If we're in a location with solid internet I'll probably play again next year. Maybe maybe I'll get more of the posts written in advance so I have more time to visit other blogs. (But given my track record, yeah, I doubt it).