Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Thank you! Reflection for the 2019 A to Z Challenge.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Reflections badge

To borrow from an old commercial, "Thanks, I needed that!"

I just finished my fifth consecutive April A to Z Challenge. I almost didn't participate this year, and registered just a few days prior to April even though I was still unsure about committing.

The problem was... I felt disheartened about film industry standards (a problem I face in my quest for quality films) and wondered why do I watch movies? 

Those thoughts led to my theme: Why I watch movies (as if I need a reason)...  a theme I needed.

Writing posts that focused on why helped me tremendously, plus reader comments and movie suggestions rekindled my enthusiasm for watching films and for blogging.

"Thanks! I needed that!"

Now for the nuts and bolts of the Reflection Post:

This is the first year I used the master list. I mean actually used, not just for signing up. The Google sheet was such a valuable tool, I'm kicking myself for not taking advantage of it in the past.

I copied the list and then tweaked it to my liking. Having my own copy allowed me to:
  • Delete duplicate blog registrations
  • Delete blogs that weren't actually doing the challenge, or I couldn't find their A to Z posts
  • Hide blogs that I visited and didn't plan to return to (topic didn't interest me, blog page difficult to read...)
  • Color code blogs
Next year I want to:
  • Have my posts ready before April
  • Link up on other social media (I might even reactivate the FB account I closed four years ago!)
  • Visit more blogs (I visited a lot this year, but if my posts are ready I can visit more next year!)
  • Leave comments on more blogs
I've already selected a theme (out of my list of 19 ideas) for next year's challenge and I need to watch a whole lot of movies between now and then.

Thanks to this challenge, I'm up for that!


  1. First of all, I'm honored that my blog was a "must-read" for you. I'm also happy you plan on doing the Challenge again next year. (Wow, 19 ideas? I stopped at 1.)

    I enjoyed your posts. I'm not much of a movie guy, but it was interesting how you gave why you watch movies some thought and the posts were interesting. Thanks for joining us this year!

  2. @John ... I'm glad you enjoyed the posts, and grateful for your comments and thoughts on movies. Most of your movie recommendations went on my Wanna Watch list (minus the ones I'd already seen), so I was surprised when you said you're not much of a movie guy.

    Each year while doing the challenge, more ideas come. I love that! Granted, not all of the ideas are great, but I put them on the list incase they spark something else or I see them from a different angle.

    Your A to Z posts are always so interesting. I learn lots of little tidbits! I check in on your blog throughout the year, too, but sometimes don't leave a comment. (I have a habit of wanting to think about what was written, and then forgetting to return and add a comment!)

  3. Trudy,

    Isn't that crazy how we mentioned each other in our Reflections posts? What are the odds of that happening? I am so delighted you shared the same kindred spirit with me that I feel for you and thanks for sharing my little niche with your readers. Super cool! I like how you used the Master List. That's a neat idea! Maybe that's what I should do next year. I did manage to download it but that's about it. Perhaps I can use it in the days to come to discover me and themes. During the blogfest is gets too wild sometimes to keep all my ducks in a row and stressing isn't good. It steals your joy, so I wasn't going to have any of that. :) Anywho, you did a great job with your theme and I enjoyed reading through it very much! Have a good evening!

  4. Thanks so much for listing me as one of your favorites. I am glad that you found some interesting things there. You are the second person who has written about using color coding to highlight your copy of the master list. I copied it and highlighted the ones that I visited but didn't take the extra step to delete ones I didn't like or to specify the ones I wanted to go back to later. If I liked someone I usually just followed them to make sure I'd get the updates. I think I'll use color coding too from now on. Thanks for sharing your tidbits and for linking to others you found. I had forgotten about Linda at Pulp, Paper and Pigment!

    Janet’s Smiles

  5. @Cathy ... We do seem to have a connection, huh!

    I plan to continue utilizing my copy of the master list in the days to come, too. It's been so helpful!

    I'm glad you enjoyed my theme. I felt kinda selfish using a theme meant to help me get back on track, so I'm glad others enjoyed reading the posts. Thank you for your thoughts and movie suggestions!

  6. @Janet ... I loved seeing your creations, and I promise I will be shopping at your Etsy shop soon. I'm still playing catch-up on everything that fell to neglect during April.

    Color coding my list helped immensely. The visual colors gave me an at-a-glance map of sorts... an image of where I'd been and where I was going.

    I initially deleted not only duplicates and dead-ends, but deleted some blogs that didn't catch my interest. Then I realized it was better to "hide" those and not delete them. That way they didn't clutter up the list, but I could find them again if needed. I'm glad I did that, because there were a couple I "hid" that you linked to on your reflection post, so I "unhid" them and highlighted them to return to for a closer look. 😃

  7. The Master list is a fab way to choose blogs to visit. I loved Keith's posts too

  8. @Random Musings (Debbie) ... I hope they continue using the Google sheets master list since I've finally realized how useful it is! 😁

  9. Thank you for this post. I tried to find some blogs on the master list to go and read but got sidelined with other things. I like that you posted a few of your favorite links here so I can go check those out easily without having to trudge through the master list. 8 more days of working and then my days will be free to read blogs all day long if I choose! Susan

  10. @Susan ... I'm STILL working my way through the master list. At this rate I hope I can finish before next year's challenge! hahaha

  11. Thank you so much for being a part of the 2019 Challenge and for the excellent recap of your experience. Glad you found the list useful--you really did things right!

    I'm in agreement with you about the current state of film. So often I'll watch a film and end up being so unsatisfied, but then I'll watch something that dazzles me. It often seems more miss than hit these days, but I guess I try to stay optimistic about it all. Since I do watch a lot of older films (on TCM) I am aware that there were plenty of not so great films made in the past as well. Today's standards can be a bit off-putting though.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  12. @Arlee ... I appreciate your comments and insights. Touching base with all the A to Z bloggers is surely a huge time commitment, so it means a lot to me that you stop by.