It’s May. How did April go by so fast? And yet, it didn’t: it went by fully. It wasn’t so much the velocity as the content. Here’s what I mean; my ten things list of what I learned from the April 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge:
- Challenges stretch you. They push you to do better.
- I adore participating with others. As much as writing is a solitary activity, I’m a group-oriented thinker and this suited my approach to writing, and life, perfectly.
- Daily discipline leads to changed habits.
- Sustainable growth is preferable to sudden expansion, because the latter is followed by the inevitable contraction.
- There are some damned fine bloggers out there.
- Optimism takes work.
- You’ve got to give to get. Social media is less about the media and more about the social.
- One blogger complained that it was too much work, she didn’t really gain new friends, and that her sales didn’t improve. I think this misses the point. To me, the Challenge is about the collective outpouring of effort focused around a common, shared, goal – to see if we can write 26 posts in a row and witness each other’s birthing pains. It’s not about “gimme,” it’s about “let’s.” Together, we are stronger: but together begins with me, reaching out of myself and visiting other places, other blogs, even other countries.
- Cultural sensitivity is key when blogging. I’ve met folks from India, New Zealand, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East… The world is a big place, but the internet builds bridges.
- I am so grateful to the unsung heroes that did the early work of the internet, from 1969 and its beginnings as ARPANET/DARPANET, to the development of the Network Information Centers at places like Stanford Research Institute, to CERN and the World Wide Web. We stand on the shoulders of giants, my friends, and we are the better for it. When I feel down about the state of the economy or world peace, the internet quite literally reminds me that life will find a way. We humans are communicative creatures and the internet brings me hope that we will stumble on a way to find peace with each other, a common understanding and respect. Yes, even with lolcats.
What did you learn from participating in the Challenge, either as a reader or also as a participating blogger?