Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Whirlwind of Emotions From A to Z

                                                                                                  Julie Kemp Pick

It all began when Rhonda from Laugh Quotes sent me an email about the A to Z  Blogging Challenge. The timing was perfect, as I was approaching a milestone birthday, and this was a welcome diversion.

As a new blogger who first started writing in January, I thought this would be an excellent exercise in blogging boot camp. I'm always encouraging my kids to try new things, and felt that this was the perfect opportunity for me to lead by example. 

Shortly after I signed up, Arlee Bird introduced himself,  and two other participants quickly followed. I had 3  new followers, before the challenge even began, without begging and pleading!  

The night before the A to Z kickoff, I decided to post my first story around midnight. The next day, I woke up to encouraging comments while gaining new followers! I returned the favors, and searched through new blogs with the handy A to Z buttons. Some of my viewers were quick to rush off, while others generously returned. I looked forward to daily visits from my small, but mighty group of faithful followers.

It was like taking a trip around the world with all of the comforts of home. I laughed, cried, and was often humbled by reading the plights that so many of the bloggers went through.  I was expecting the claws to come out, and that the competition would really heat up. Contrary, it wasn't a competition, it was a challenge as the name suggested; a friendly challenge from within, instead of pitting us against each other.

 I want to thank  all of the hosts for organizing this extraordinary event.  I'm especially grateful to Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out and Talli Rolland. Arlee has the amazing gift of drawing you in, pulling you close, and making you feel like you're part of a private conversation; amidst addressing an audience of more than 1000 people. Throughout the challenge, Talli Rolland always made an effort to drop by with  encouraging remarks. In the midst of  temporarily losing her blog, she still kept up the morale without missing a beat.

I'm still reeling from this adventure, that has brought in more than 50 new followers, as well as, insightful tips from all of the hosts. I'm so proud to be  part of such a warm and engaging community. My hope is that we'll continue to knock on each other's doors, and be invited to come in and stay awhile.   

A to Z Blogging Challenge


  1. It has been a fun and rewarding event. Drop in any time.

  2. There is an award for you on my blog.

  3. Congrats on gaining all those new followers and completing the challenge.

    You're so was an adventure!

    The Madlab Post

  4. Definitely an adventure, and also definitely worthwhile!

  5. @ RJR - Congratulations on a job well done! I'm glad to have met you, and look forward to keeping up with your stories!

    @mybabyjohn - I will definitely drop in! I think you've stuck with me since the very first day! I really can't thank you enough! One minute I'm sad it's ending, and then you cheer me up with a special award! Thanks again for everything!

    @Nicole - Thank you for finding me! I look forward to visiting you!

    @Shannon - It was fun meeting you through the challenge, and I will continue to pop in on your blog!


  6. We did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

  7. Wow Julie, this is a wonderful reflection post. I am glad I got you into it, and I am thrilled it has been such a good experience for you.

  8. @Elizabeth - Thank you so much for following me, and for the amazing award! You are an incredible artist! I'm looking forward to seeing more of you!

    @Rhonda - You really did give me an exceptional gift! I probably should write another reflections post devoted to you! Thanks for keeping me in stitches along the way! Julie

  9. What a sweet, optimistic post!

  10. It was fun, and I'm glad I met you. I'm going to try and get to the blogs I didn't get to yet over the next couple of months.

  11. Congratulations for making it the distance. I've enjoyed following your posts, and will continue to check in with you.

  12. Well done! First time here, glad to meet you.
    Moody Writing

  13. @Angela - It was a great experience except for the times when my computer would freeze up. I enjoyed meeting you and will check in on your outstanding poems!

    @M Pax - I'm glad I met you too! Now's the best time to do that, so you can go at your own pace. I'll try to do the same.

    @Susan - Thanks for all of your enthusiastic comments! I will check in on your engaging blog too!

    @mooderino - Thanks for finding me, and I look forward to reading your blog!

  14. What a great post! I especially loved your thought that the Challenge was like a trip around the world with all the comforts of home. What a great way to put it!
    I'm glad to have discovered your blog, and look forward to continuing to check in. :)

  15. Glad you gained so much! That was our purpose. Sorry I couldn't make it by more often, but I see you have a ton of new blogger friends now to cheer you on.

  16. @Julie - Thanks for all of your positive reinforcement! I'm so happy to know you, and will make a point of visiting your terrific blog!

    @Alex - Thank you for co-hosting this outstanding challenge! Due to the tremendous turnout, it is perfectly understandable that you couldn't spend a lot of time with everyone. I really appreciate the times that you did stop by! Thanks for the tips you provided throughout the challenge. I look forward to learning more from you. Julie

  17. it certainly was a challenge filled with emotion.

    congrats on making it through to the end

  18. Hi, Julie.

    I just wanted to let you know I have given you the Stylish Blogger Award on my blog, as you already know I love your site. :)

  19. @baygirl32 - Thank you and congratulations to you as well! I'm so glad you stopped by! I'll come visit you soon!

    @Julie - Congratulations on your stylish blogger award, and I really appreciate you passing it on to me! You are a true blogging champion who spreads sunshine wherever you go!

  20. This reflections post is a thrilling read. Your description of the Challenge as a "Blogger boot
    camp" is an apt one. Sounds like you caught on quickly and learned the lessons intended by the Challenge.

    I'm so glad you had a great experience and shared it with us today. Thank you for Blogging from A to Z.

    Don't forget to pick up your Winner's Badge at my site.
    Tossing It Out

  21. What a LOVELY reflection!! You aptly and wonderfully stated the thing...the thing that Lee has. It's a gift for sure and how darn lucky are we that we get to share in it :)

    Congrats for completing the challenge and for gaining more followers. If your reflection is any indication, you deserve it :)

    Cheers :)

  22. @Lee - You are a fine teacher-the Master Po of blogging! Thanks again for everything! I will be tuning in for more of your life lessons on Mondays!

    @San - Welcome! Thanks for the kind words, and for following me! I look forward to getting to know you by following your blog!

  23. Congrats on finishing the challenge! That's great, and you were even a new blogger! Welcome to our world. I didn't get around as much as I would have liked, so Shannon @ The Warrior Muse and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!
    Tina @ Life is Good