#AtoZChallenge Reflections Post: Have I Thanked You Yet?

Reflections on Blogging A to Z Challenge
A to Z Reflections 2014

If you’ve been to this blog in the last month, you know I’ve been part of the A to Z Challenge. We usually do a Reflections post to wind up, to give us cohosts feedback, to thank those who made this challenge worthwhile for us. If you haven’t participated in the challenge, please scroll down to the bottom, and help answer some of the questions there πŸ™‚

My A to Z Challenge on this blog was a disaster for me personally.

I scheduled none of the posts, thought I could write fiction based on random pictures and prompts at the drop of a hat. I was traveling through half of April, not in the best of conditions, and most days I almost didn’t write the story. But some of my blog friends made this all worthwhile, so I’ll simply devote this post to them.

Β Joseph W Richardson, who gave me his pictures to do whatever I wanted with them. Huge risk, and I really hope I haven’t let him down in any major way.

And to all the folks, whose comments kept me going: I wrote most of the stories half asleep due to exhaustion, or in a lot of pain, or majorly depressed– I got a fair bit of death-related news this month, arranged for funeral anniversaries in the family, battled exhaustion and sickness. All these stories would have been impossible if not for the comments I received from you.

I’ll mention and link to a few of the kind bloggers below, the ones who gave me courage during the tough times– if you haven’t visited them, you’re missing out.

Dan Antion and Paul Ruddock: They’ve read and tweeted all my AZ posts, and left me some beautiful comments. Gave me prompts, besides. I cherish these friends, and you should visit them to see why.

Peter Nena, Keith Channing and Patricia Lynne: I met Patricia during the first challenge, and will never forget her post, all about her getting married! Peter has been a blog buddy for a while, an excellent horror writer,Β  but Keith is a new friend– I loved his travel posts, and his comments.

Rosie Amber,Β  Sammy D., Jacqui Murray, Davey Northcott, Susan Scott,Rajlakshmi,Lisa Buie Collard, Vishalbheeroo, Beloo Mehra, HarliQueen, Sonia Lal, uniqusatya : Their comments spurred me on, especially when I found what good writers they themselves are!

Β Michelle Wallace : This lady went back and read, commented on all the older stories through April– I can’t imagine the sort of time and effort that must have taken.

David Prosser, S D Neeve: David shared almost all of my posts on twitter, and both these bloggers left cool comments.

I have to thank my fantastic #TeamDamyanti for the A to Z Challenge, Guilie, Anna, Samantha, Csenge, Vidya, Jemima and Mary— they did all kinds of bloggy things to keep me afloat during the challenge, and gave me some beautiful prompts!

And lastly, I have to thank my cohosts: Lee, Alex, Tina, Jeremy, Nicole, Stephen, Heather, AJ, MJ, Pam.

Lee, Alex, Tina, Jeremy, Nicole, Stephen, Heather, AJ, MJ and Pam – See more at: http://amloki.blogspot.sg/#sthash.flv7NsI6.dpufThey made this whole shebang possible.

Through the month of May and then the months after until I cover each of these bloggers I’ve mentioned above, I’ll be reblogging their posts or linking to them, as a small token of thanks for the support they’ve given me. I’m sure I’ve missed a few names, and to them I sincerely apologize…I’ll be sure to link to everyone though, sooner or later, through this blog, or my other one, Amlokiblogs.

I’m also thinking of linking to more of my visitors — this would be for all those bloggers who’ve visited me during the challenge, or before and after. I’ll try and include 3 links with each of my future posts, under a new regular section: Bloggers I Recommend Visiting.

I’m happy my posts receive their fair share of comments and visits– but I think growth is enjoyed best when the entire community grows together, and everyone else receives lots of comments and visitors, too!


Did you participate in the A to Z Challenge? Have you met any of the bloggers linked above– how many of them do you know? Have you participated in any other blog challenges? Did you read any of my A to Z stories this year?

Lee, Alex, Tina, Jeremy, Nicole, Stephen, Heather, AJ, MJ and Pam, without – See more at: http://amloki.blogspot.sg/#sthash.iyNrIz9Z.dpuf
co-hosts Lee, Alex, Tina, Jeremy, Nicole, Stephen, Heather, AJ, MJ and Pam, – See more at: http://amloki.blogspot.sg/#sthash.iyNrIz9Z.dpuf

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !


Add Yours
  1. Trisha

    Sorry you had such a terrible month πŸ™ I am majorly impressed that you got through it, all things considered! Congrats on that achievement. xx

  2. TaMara

    This was the 2nd year I participated in the challenge. Last year I had most of my posts written and ready to publish by April 1. This year was more of a struggle. I’ve had a LOT going on in my “real” life, which is also why I’m just now getting around to the reflections posts LOL. I was one of AJ’s wHooligans this year, which was fun. I’m hoping to get to do more blog reading this summer now that we’re done with school.

    TaMara @ Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  3. Jemima Pett

    I’m still working my way through the tail end of the Challenge posts and the Reflections. I can’t believe you were doing all that and were still writing your short stories!! I take back anything I said that wasn’t super-supportive. You’re truly amazing Damyanti, and you work far too hard. I hope things are calmer now and you’ve had a chance to get your turmoils settled.

    Thank you for including me, I really value it.


  4. Genevive Angela

    Hi ! nice to connect with you… this year i did miss your posts ! as I was managing to post and comment, remembered some of your posts last year challenge, with lovely pics.. sorry to hear about your situation… hope to connect with you and visit some posts ! You have always been encouraging and I do appreciate that quality.

  5. mad_cat

    This challenge was a lot for me and having finished it was great and connected me with more writers, but also left me mentally fatigued and still trying to come back from it. Despite knowing what will happen to me, I plan to do it again next year.

  6. Proactive Indian

    I had composed all 26 posts well before April 1. (Of course, I did replace a couple of posts and edit a few posts before publishing.) This gave me enough time to visit over 500 blogs. I got to know some amazing bloggers, including you, many of whom I’m now following, and also acquired quite a few new followers for my blog.

  7. echoesofthepen

    Many thanks for the mention. It a pleasure reading your daily posts, and many others I discovered along the way, so a great experience all round.

    Sincere regards,

  8. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156)

    Considering all the obstacles you made a Herculean effort to finish the challenge with style. Bravo!!! If I hadn’t read this post I would have never known all the challenges you faced and met. You are a rock star!

  9. Citizen Dread

    I just discovered your blog and the brilliance of the AtoZ Challenge. I perused several of your posts and was struck by the vividness of your compositions. Well done! I look forward to future pieces!

  10. hilarymb

    HI Damyanti – life can be tough when we don’t expect it .. so pleased you coped and that you’re already playing it forward for your new found friends, co-hosts and minions .. good for you …

    Cheers and good luck with all the stories .. another book on its way … cheers and have an easier May – Hilary

    • Damyanti

      Hi Hilary, I don’t know how much it would mean in real terms to those I link to, but I’m just thinking of doing whatever I can to promote the blogging community. My site is 6 years old now, so I’m sure a link from this blog will help in some small way, at least in search rankings πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your kind words, though I don’t know if I have the energy for a book, yet.
      Thank you for all that you’ve done for the AZ.

  11. B. M.

    i did read a few of your stories, haevnot read all.. as i was away from blogging for a long long time. myself trying to get back..
    and yes a good idea to mention bloggers so we can get to read good stuff for sure πŸ™‚
    and congrats once again on finishing the challenge


    • Damyanti

      It’s official then, we send you enough chocolate to cover you :). Thank YOU SIS, for being there. I know I needed a lot of handholding this April, and I know who was providing most of it πŸ˜‰

  12. Sue

    Oh My, your dedication to the Challenge during difficult times was monumental and much appreciated. I hope the days, weeks and months to come will be kinder to you. Thank you for your Google+ recognition of my posts and your comments as well. I love writing from prompts and enjoyed the posts I read of yours. It is not an easy way of writing as one might think, especially when written as creatively as yours.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

    • Damyanti

      Sue, thank you for your kind words, and I enjoyed visiting your posts just as mush as you seem to have done mine. Hope to continue this exchange and friendship through the year!

  13. Stephanie Scott

    While you made this seem a bit chaotic, you sure connected with a lot of bloggers, so that’s inspiring! I’ll visit a few that you linked. Thanks!

    Here’s my A to Z wrap-up post. I also have an End of Challenge book giveaway going on for either contemporary romance or contemporary YA.

  14. Michelle Wallace

    Damyanti, thank you for the mention. πŸ™‚
    I LOVE your writing. Always have.
    I don’t think that you are aware of the fact that you’re the person who introduced me to the freewriting technique, and the wonderful book From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler.
    It was a joy (not an effort), to scroll through and play catch up. I really didn’t want to miss any of your pieces.
    Thank you for 26 outstanding stories!

    • Damyanti

      Michelle, I’m so grateful for your support and your kindness. I write what I can, when I can, and can only feel thankful it resonates with you. That book should be on each writer’s desk– it taught me a fair number of things about writing, about writing from a place of image and emotion, and not from thoughts and ideas πŸ™‚

  15. lisabuiecollard

    So cool! I have pinned your site because I love the way you write. I’m so sorry to hear how hard April was for you. It makes me admire you even more because of the power of your writing during such a difficult time. I am honored you mentioned me in your thank yous. I’ve learned so much lately about blogging and the blogger universe and am happy to have you as a part of it. Good luck to you in all your endeavors, and, I’ll come visit again soon! Oh, started following you on Twitter also…!

    • Damyanti

      I’ve followed you back on Twitter!
      Thank you for the fantastic comments. As a small gesture of thanks, I’m recommending your blog as a site to visit, in my next post πŸ™‚

  16. ccyager

    Hi! I discovered your blog only in the last few weeks so I missed most of the challenge. I like what you’re doing here, and I plan to visit the bloggers you mention. My goal for the year is to broaden my blogger experience as much as I can without cutting to much into my normal writing schedule. Cinda

    • Damyanti

      Cinda, all the bloggers I’ve mentioned are very much worth the visit. thank you for taking the time and effort, and wish you much success with your goal.

  17. Lisa

    Thank you so much for following my blog on wp. In my info below, I have left my website. For the moment, I am straddling two different domains – one being a wordpress domain and the other my actual website. The wordpress site is a few days behind my website on my reflections but I get more traffic there, so until my website gets more traffic, I keep posting in both places. While I missed the whole A to Z challenge, I am taking a writing class and have challenged myself to write 365 days in a row. It is blogs like yours that give me the confidence to know that I can. I look forward to reading more of your posts and being a part of this community.

  18. Cecilia

    well done on completing the challenge. I was involved in another challenge concurrent with the a to z which really put pressure on. You did an awesome job considering your other life challenges. Hope things are easier for your for the rest of the year.

  19. jlennidorner

    Your posts were fantastic. (Asleep or not, you did very well.) I’m glad I found your blog. Sorry you had a difficult month.

    Stopping by after the #atozchallenge to check out your reflection post!

  20. Sha

    A big kudos to you too!!! It was hard for me to even push out posts when I’m dead tired from working so I can certainly understand how much it took for you to take the time to post all the stories!!! Just give me a little bit more time to get through them all first…hahaha…:)

  21. the curtain raiser

    You made it look seamless and effortless and that is a mark of a true champion. You were also all over Twitter with the Challenge. An amazing effort and achievement. Kudos.

    • Damyanti

      Lol it was anything but seamless and effortless– you’re just being kind. That’s why I love having blog friends :). Thank you for your comments throughout!

  22. vishalbheeroo

    WoW! Vishal is elated to find his name, Damyanti and hugs from the heart. It awesome when super talented writers like you keep encouraging me and the others. How I wish I could write as awesome as you did. Your posts were superb and dunt think it was messy as you churned out 26 beautiful stories as you kept raising the bar higher and higher.
    For my reflection, I am gonna draw from ur post and take the name on Team Dayanti as a kinda thanksgiving. Is it okay?
    It feels awesome meeting you:)

  23. Beloo Mehra

    I am now even more in awe of your writing now that I know what all you were going through while composing those wonderful stories. Each of them was so unique and captivating. I might have missed some, hope to catch up on them sometime soon. What an accomplishment, Damyanti this has been for you! And thank you so much for the kind mention. It is very kind of you indeed.

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

    • Damyanti

      Thank YOU for such unwavering support through the challenge, and I’m glad you liked the stories. Hope to keep vsiting your blogs through the year and see you on mine.

  24. lynneinpborough

    Please take time to look after yourself now, you write beautifully and had a stunning AtoZ, I might have missed a couple, but all I read were wonderful. You demanded so much of yourself and I’m glad you had such a fab team of helpers. Each AtoZ throws different challenges at us while we blog and cope with all that life throws our way and you had more than your share this year. Take care xx

    • Damyanti

      My team is what what pulled me through the challenge as did the kind comments and encouragement from fabulous blogger like you. I hope to keep visiting your blogs πŸ™‚

  25. greyzoned/angelsbark

    I’m so sorry that April was such a horrible month for you. My heart goes out to you. What a huge weight of responsibility you must have felt dealing with all you were dealing with. If it’s any consolation, I wouldn’t have known so much was going on behind the scenes. I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself. We are our own worst critics. Ease up on yourself. Ya did good! And I loved the challenge! It was my first year. I met so many cool bloggers and read so many awesome blogs. I just wish there had been more hours in the days so i could visit even more blogs. But I’m going to keep going back to the list and visit those who participated in this fabulous challenge. I can’t wait till next April! Come by and visit when things settle down and you have a chance: angelsbark.wordpress.com. Hang tough. Better days are ahead…

    • Damyanti

      Thank you for your really sweet words.

      I’m so thrilled you loved the challenge, and I’m happy it helped your blog. Please do write about your AZ experiences on your blog– the reflections post linky list is up, and you could enter your link to it as well.

      There will a post challenge road trip– watch the main AZ blog πŸ™‚

  26. Rosie Amber

    Hi Damyanti, thank you so much for the mention, I loved the whole tour and tried to get to your blog everyday. Your writing reflected the raw feelings you were often going through and although hard for you made the pieces very good. You tried all sorts of styles too. David Prosser, Susan Scott, Harliqueen, Patricia Lynne and Sonia Lal are all familiar to me, I recommend them all. Your own support of others throughout the tour was much appreciated.

    • Damyanti

      Thank you, Rosie. I’m glad you liked the pieces, and you did a very good challenge, supporting so many authors! My TBR list has grown a mile high thanks to your posts :). Yes, all the bloggers that you named are excellent– highly recommended!

  27. Keith Channing

    Thank you for mentioning me, Damyanti – I feel honoured. Based on what I read during April, either you do your best work under difficult circumstances, or I shall have to read every word you write now, to see what you do when things are easier for you. I shall anyway, to draw inspiration for my own feeble efforts.
    Thank you

    • Damyanti

      Keith, you’re embarrassing me now. I’m glad to have found a new blog friend in you this A to Z :). Thank you for your comments, and I hope to keep visiting you through the year.

  28. sdneeve1

    Hi Damyanti,

    Thank you for the kind mention, although not needed; it was my pleasure to read your stories. Sorry to hear of the rough time you had while participating and co-hosting the challenge. It goes to prove what a strong person you are, let alone a great writer.

    Wishing you a more peaceful future, and I look forward to visiting you again soon.

    Sarah. xx

    • Damyanti

      Thank you. It just goes on to prove I’m just very fortunate to have friends like you. Thanks once again for your kind wishes, and I look forward to visiting you as well.

  29. uniqusatya

    Hey,Thank you for the mention.Its my pleasure to have met you even before this challenge πŸ™‚
    And my!! I must say,though you were exhausted,your creativity was ON all the time that gave us all those wonderful stories

    • Damyanti

      Thank you– I don’t what creativity I have, but I just kept on keeping on :). Like my friend Tina Downey says, Keep on swimming….!

  30. FarmerFi

    Hi, I really enjoyed the posts of yours I read last month, particularly as I find that sort of creative writing very difficult. I think it’s a great achievement and from a reader’s point of view, not a disaster at all. I’m even more impressed now I know you had other challenges to deal with at the same time.

    • Damyanti

      Paula, yes, thank you, things have returned to somewhat normal now. Thankyou so much for your comments on my blog, and for visiting and supporting me.

  31. Vidya Sury

    πŸ™‚ I loved the A to Z Challenge last year, and loved it this year even more thanks to being on TeamDamyanti. It was hectic, but it was such fun! I loved your stories – I am guilty of not commenting on each one, but I read them all!

    As usual, the adrenalin is still pumping hard and I’ve got loads of drafts sitting in my head/computer. πŸ˜€ Love you, Damyanti!

    • Damyanti

      You were an asset to our team, Vidya, and it was my pleasure to work with you all.

      I’m looking forward to your posts in the coming weeks and months! πŸ˜€ I love you, too!

  32. jazzytower

    To be honest I didn’t get to as many of the stories as I would have liked. I didn’t get to as many posts as I would have liked. My days just felt so chuck full and trying to keep up with my posts was a challenge. However, it was my first time and I really felt gratified when I did complete a post. I would surely do it again. In the meantime I have some catching up to do.

    • Damyanti

      Congratulations on completing the challenge– I know hard it can be. Thank you for commenting on all the stories that you did, and I’ll try and return your kindness in some small measure in the coming days.

  33. davidprosser

    Your thanks were not needed. You paid in full for my participation in your challenge with the quality of the stories you wrote. Considering the difficulties you labored under during the challenge, it’s amazing you had the strength to finish. But, you certainly had the courage.
    It’s to my delight that I’m following you and I hope that from now on you labour under easier circumstances.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Damyanti

      Thankyou, David. You shared my posts so consistently, and left your comments– that was one of the things which made me realize that maybe my stories were worth something, that I should just push ahead with one more story.

  34. Willy Nilly

    When I think of all the hard work to meet the challenge on top of the personal story we don’t see, I truly am amazed by what I read. I thought you delivered very well. I know some of the stories actually took a moment for me to return to reality. Sometimes our greatest accomplishments are the ones we completed way outside our comfort zone, with our best skill sets sucking wind, and when it was over, all we had was enough energy to say, “Thankfully, it’s over.” Then comes the victory parade. Woooo-Hoooo!

    • Damyanti

      Thank you so much, and I’m glad some of my stories resonated with you. I think whatever stories came to me, they came through the blessings of the readers. i know for sure that I can only take credit for the goofups I made πŸ™‚

  35. shail

    I loved your stories. I have not been able to comment often. I had my share of troubles during the challenge. But I am glad to have completed it successfully with all others out there. I have come across some really good blogs which I will be visiting again.
    Thanks for visiting and tweeting my post links too πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti

      Thank you for stopping by when you could, Shail, and sorry to hear of your challenges.

      Congratulations on pulling through– and if you do write a reflections post, please add it to the linky list which will appear on the AZ blog in a few hours.

    • Damyanti

      Thank you so much Liz. I struggled this year because I was stupid enough to enter two blogs and schedule posts only for one of them πŸ™‚

  36. plazos

    The A to Z challenge was terrific, creative, spontaneous, maybe not always what you wanted it to be, but isn’t that what fuels the magic. Personally, I really enjoyed reading your posts, esp. paired with the photos. No easy feat. Kudos. πŸ™‚

  37. nikewrites

    I did participate in the A to Z Challenge for the first time this year. What fun! I did most of the challenge out of order because even though I planned what each post would be for each day, I had a hard time keeping up, and I fell out of love with the topic I selected. I have a greater respect for those who blog daily and have a full life to contend with. I thought once a week was a challenge, but this took the cake! I don’t think I’m familiar with any of the folks you mentioned above, but I’ll be sure to get acquainted! And I have much A to Z reading to catch up on, including your posts!

    • Damyanti

      Looking forward to your Reflections post!

      As long as you completed the challenge, it matters little that you did it out of order πŸ™‚

      Yes, please read the folks I’ve linked to, it would be worth your time, I promise.

  38. Tammy Hopkinson, MBA

    I would have to say that it was a wonderful experience and one that I truly enjoyed. It was interesting to see what types of articles everyone came up with for the 26 letters of the alphabet.

  39. Sammy D.

    Damyanti, I’m so sorry to hear about your personal troubles during April, and that you think your A to Z was a disaster. It might have been from your perspective, but certainly not that of your readers. If that is you stressed and unprepared, I hate to think what gruesome, tricky thrillers you would throw at us when you bring your A game! You DO know how to write a bewitching tale or two!

    From my perspective, and that of my readers, this was a HUGE success. My hat is off to you and all the other bloggers who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes to pull this off. Many, many thanks for all your support.

    • Damyanti

      Sammy, God knows if I would have been any better were I less stressed. I try to replace talent with perseverance, is all.

      A to Z was mostly a success due to my cohosts and my team. They’re the kindest, most supportive bloggers you can find, and I hope you’ve made their acquaintance :).

      Thank you for being such a kind friend throughout!

  40. Bruce Goodman

    I read each, each day! I thought they were wonderfully creative, and I can’t believe they were not thought about and written well in advance. No wonder you were exhausted! Congrats!

  41. ISpontein

    Yes, I read some. They’re good. I rarely read posts having more than 700 words.
    And I’ve participated in a few prompts, no challenges, not At o Z either.
    I’ve bookmarked this post, I’ll visit them later.
    And you’re right. It’s more enjoyable when the whole community grows.

  42. Arlee Bird

    I didn’t read all of your stories this year, but what I did read were pretty phenomenal as always. Disaster in your eyes is unmitigated success for many other bloggers. If only we could see the quality of what you see as your worst work in the content of blogs across the realm of online writing–we’d all be dazzled.

    Thanks for being a spectacular asset to the Challenge and a good friend to all of us on the A to Z Team.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    • Damyanti

      Lee, you’re kind, as always. I hope I have matched up to your expectations as a cohost and blogger, I’ve looked up to you ever since I met you during the second A to Z challenge, when I signed up and promptly forgot! :0)

    • Damyanti

      Thank you for reading what you did. I wish the pieces were shorter too– but it takes longer to write shorter pieces. I drafted all of the stories in WordPress, cutting and trimming as much as I could. Yes, some were a tad too long.

      • philsblog01

        Hello! Just to clarify-I didn’t mean the stories you wrote should have been shorter. I just mean I wish you focused on shorter stories so I could have read more. If a story was too many words, I just could not have the time to read it, so I am not judging it. The ones that were shorter I was able to read and enjoyed! Hopefully that is clear!

        • Damyanti

          hey πŸ™‚

          Yes, that’s clear. I was only saying that a) some of those stories needed to be shorter and b) I should have prescheduled my posts so I could have written shorter stories (blog readers don’t usually read long posts). The shorter the story, the longer it takes to write– their simplicity is very deceptive πŸ™‚