I knew April was going to be a difficult month. My full time job was going to be getting our house ready for the market and there was not going to be time for researching blog posts or coming up with clever (worthwhile) subjects. But I did not want to forgo the famous A to Z Blogging Challenge, which I have come to view as my April habit. The only solution was to blog about what I was going through and knew best. It turns out that it was not only the easiest subject to write but it also helped me to vent a lot of frustration and angst.
I didn’t go in for every bell and whistle offered. I skipped the daily logos, opting for the general one which stayed on my sidebar. I didn’t use a lot of hash tags, which I would have if I had been more familiar with Twitter and other social media sites. I thought the master list, and the daily lists were easy to use and not at all time consuming. I posted often on the night before since the list was always open at the earliest time zone. I never missed a day. It was probably my easiest year.
My theme was not one that garnered as much interest as other years, but I did find a few friends and appreciated them all. I had interesting comments and I think I answered them all. I was able to read some, but not nearly as much as I wanted to. I have a catch up goal of doing two or three a night for the next month. I like that the lists give each blogger’s theme or category, although I don’t just read the categories that match mine.
Our house prep was timed just about right to fill up the month, and I’m happy to post one last picture on my theme. We are finally listed for sale! The video and photos are awesome and we are hoping for a buyer soon. I’m sure I will probably blog about that too, so stay tuned…
There are two aspects to what I’ve learned. The first is about the value of a writing challenge. Without the challenge I probably wouldn’t have learned that I can write six times a week for four weeks on my blog without dying, not even close. It’s this kind of discipline that I will have to ascribe to if I ever want to write, oh, a book perhaps… You don’t know until you try, and now I know I can do this and probably more.
The second thing of note came through the theme I chose, that of recording family stories. Memory alone can not be relied upon to preserve a record of meaningful events. Some things have to be written down in a record or they will be forgotten or remembered wrongly/imperfectly. Reflecting on things as they happen also helps cement events and lessons learned in one’s mind. That’s why this reflection I’m doing now on the challenge is helping me. I’m giving what I’ve learned some structure and planning how to use it in the future.
And speaking of the future, one realization that makes me sad is that I do not remember ever sitting down and having a one on one conversation with any of my four brothers when we were young. I find that really strange, since we enjoy talking with each other now. We lived our lives watching each other but I can’t recall the challenges they went through growing up, nor do I think I shared my ups and downs with them. We were only two years apart from each other. Was that difference so much that we couldn’t identify, or was I just too busy and wrapped up in myself to notice them. Now I am eager to record some of our conversations, the subjects of them and what we thought. I’m sure this will prove interesting in the future as our thinking evolves and we ourselves change and grow (old).
And of course it goes without saying that I respect and am thankful for the community of writers that I’ve met, whether seasoned in the craft or new to it. What we do together and for each other is important. Thank you all.
To all of you who moderated, administered the rules and checked up on us – you did such a good job! It really helped to know that you were watching and reading, as well as doing your own writing. You rock!