A-Z Challenge, Challenges by Sarah

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge

This was my first time participating in the A-Z Challenge. I must say, I completely underestimated how much work it would be, but boy oh boy, what a sense of accomplishment I feel now I’m finished. My theme was “Anxiety” and some had doubts (myself included!) that this topic was broad enough to carry the load of 26 letters. But it was. Above and beyond.

What I discovered from exploring Anxiety from A-Z, is that it isn’t all bad! While it can be debilitating, soul-crushing and interfere with many aspects of life; it also brings with it, motivation, incredible friendship and support, and a determination to, if not overcome it, at least develop the skills to manage and live with it.

I was at first, reluctant (and a little embarrassed), to share my struggle with the blogging community however, this was overcome early on in the challenge with the wonderful, supportive comments I received on my posts. Some even chose to share, or reveal their own experiences, which reminded me, I am not alone in this journey.

For the challenge, I chose to write using the Haibun poetry form. Haibun appeals to me because I can combine short prose (usually my musings) before adding a Haiku to add to and support the prose. I enjoy Haiku immensely because of the restricted syllable count and the brevity of the poem. Every word needs to count! I feel I developed my skills writing Haibun through participation in the challenge, and believe it was the right form for the theme.

In terms of traffic to my blog, I didn’t notice a huge difference. I gained a couple more followers and had a few regulars who stopped by my posts, which was so lovely and something I truly valued. However, my main purpose for participation in the challenge, was not so much for increasing my stats, but rather, to try and express all the feelings and confusion surrounding my anxiety at the moment. As mentioned in my posts, my anxiety comes and goes. It just so happened it was peaking when I started the challenge, and interestingly, receding when I finished. Coincidence? Or cathartic? Who knows! Whatever it was, the writing around this theme from A-Z has helped me start to make some sense of it all.

I wanted to thank those who regularly visited and commented on my A-Z posts – in particular Iain Kelly at http://iainkellywriting.wordpress.com/, and syncwithdeep at http://syncwithdeep.wordpress.com/. I truly appreciated you stopping by and checking in throughout the challenge. It helped keep me motivated and know that someone was out there reading!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading other A-Z participants’ posts. It was so interesting to see the variety of themes and approaches people used. It certainly broadened my knowledge and appreciation for the wonderful writers out there.

I would definitely participate in the A-Z challenge again. Thank goodness I have 11 months to think of a new theme! Thank you to the organisers at the A-Z Challenge for hosting and facilitating the challenge. I know it would’ve been a lot of work coordinating it all and ensuring things ran as smoothly as they did.

Below, I have collated a “round up” of all my posts for the A-Z Challenge:

A is for Anxiety
B is for Broken
C is for Comfort
D is for Depression
E is for Excellence
F is for Friendship
G is for Gratitude
H is for Hope
I is for Indecision
J is for Jitters
K is for Kindness
L is for Lonely
M is for Mindful
N is for Nagging
O is for Objective
P is for Psychologist
Q is for Quiet
R is for Ruminating
S is for Self-Talk
T is for Terror
U is for Understanding
V is for Various
W is for Wellbeing
X is for Xenial
Y is for Yield
Z is for Zest

As always, thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to read. If you like what you see please drop me a “like” or comment to let me know.

5 thoughts on “Reflections on the A-Z Challenge”

  1. beautiful reflections Sarah! hope to see you again next year! btw, i have nominated you for the Liebster Award. pls check my post!

    Liked by 2 people

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