Unlike the Titanic, I stayed afloat on the #a2zchallenge

Puritan's Pride Vitamins
Image captured with Canon SD8800 (point n' shoot) camera. Applied Fotor vintage effect.

Titanic exhibit in Pigeon Forge, TN. Image captured with my Canon SD8800 (point n’ shoot) camera. Applied Fotor vintage effect.

I managed to complete the A-Z challenge this go-around. I felt a bit overwhelmed in the beginning and decided the only way to stay afloat, unlike the Titanic, was to combine this blog hop with my regular scheduled hops.  This really saved the day month for me!

When I started the challenge, I decided on a theme ~ Things I am learning A-Z, but that just didn’t go as planned. My intentions were good, but nonetheless I did not follow through, completely. No sweat! On the days that the alphabet prompt worked with my theme I kept to it, but most of the time I incorporated my daily blog hops with the corresponding letter of the day. My object after all was to stay on track and to not stress. For me this challenge  was meant to connect with new bloggers and hopefully increase my following at the same time. I achieved both.

The thing I struggled most with was making sure to visit someone new each day. I like to think, if I had prepared for the challenge before hand then this would be different.  That being said, I learned about the A-Z Challenge only mere days before it actually began.  I did my best, but some days fell short and others I hopped across the list like a frog. Next year, I hope to be consistent with my daily visits.

I learned two key elements I need to change for the sake of my sanity and for a better blog.

One is I need to consolidate my blog hops, freeing time so I can better spend it elsewhere, like writing better. For quite some time, I realized most of my posts are built around a blog hop. There is nothing wrong with that, but I feel like my writing is shallow in substance. I need to challenge myself in this area, seeking new encouragement through hops which spur my imagination to fill the canvas my blog with beautiful words, like an artist.

Second is how important photography is to me. Each week, I participate in a couple of blog hops aimed for shutter bug enthusiasts. With the A-Z Challenge, I found myself using more and more of my photos. I feel inspired to improve upon my photography skills. I want to be the best I can. The bottom line is I want folks to enjoy my experience through the eye of the lens.

Photographed in April using my big girl camera (Nikon D7000 camera). Image captured in a parking lot across the road using my 18-105mm lens, set at 65mm. Applied Fotor old wall effect to photo.

Titanic exhibit in Pigeon Forge, TN. Photographed in April using my big girl camera (Nikon D7000). Image captured in a parking lot across the road using my 18-105mm lens, set at 65mm. Applied Fotor old wall effect to photo.

Looking back, I once read that you should write about the things you know. I believe the same can be said of photography. The things or places I shot feel comfortable to me. That’s what I know the best ~ my area. I think narrating the event(s) leading to each photo shared is the best selling point I can offer my readers and the occasional blog hopper to keep them hooked. Changing past blogging behavior in directing my energies into a creation I can be proud of need to slowly morph over the coming weeks. By April’s end, my brain was turning with ideas of how to move forward. Now, it’s time to take what’s in my head and make it happen!

What blogging revelations have opened your eyes?

5 thoughts on “Unlike the Titanic, I stayed afloat on the #a2zchallenge

  1. Rorybore

    Every time I visit, I am always thinking how much your photography is improving! You have captured such amazing shots and you certainly have an incredibly gorgeous canvas to capture in your neck of the woods. Personally, I want to be transported out of my own place and time when I see someone else’s photos — I want to feel like I am there experiencing the moment with them — and you pretty much usually capture that.

    Many people give blog hops a bad rap — but I say it’s all what you make of it. They are certainly the best way to get consistent visitors to your blog and to connect with a wide range of readers, if you vary the hops you participate in. You can keep it simple and just stick to the Meme — or you can add your own personal touch. That’s what I normally try to do, because my blog is supposed to be a peek inside my world: not just an assortment of blog hops. And I think any “blogging expert” would agree: write what you know, add some pics for visual interest, and be authentic. If you are not the humour blog type – don’t try it: it will seem false and fall flat. If you are not the flowery heart gush emotion blogger; than don’t try to be. You have to find your own voice and niche. People may meet you via a blog hop — but ultimately what will keep them returning is that they enjoy being here — and like what you have to offer.

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  2. Lisa M

    Congratulations Cathy! I thought it was brilliant that you combined things throughout the month. This was my first time too – I think I signed up a week or less before the start. I hope to do better next year, especially learning the best ways to follow and be followed.

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  3. clicksclan

    Congratulations on completing the challenge.

    I think that the A to Z Challenge is definitely a useful tool for helping to get a handle on the way you blog and what you might be able to change in the future to make things better and more enjoyable. Good luck with your blog in the future. 🙂

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