Reflections From My First A to Z Challenge

 I did it! I survived my first A to Z Challenge for April 2016. I’ll admit I had second thoughts.

April is, traditionally, a very busy time of year for me. My youngest daughter’s birthday is the third week of April. Each year I travel to Washington DC to celebrate with her. Other life issues came up this April, as well, but I bit the bullet and said, “You can do it.”

I learned a lot of things and met some great people, but a few things stood out for me. Here are my reflections.

My Top 10 Reflections on the Challenge:

  1. Preparation is the key to success. The minute I committed to the challenge, I began planning my topics.
  2. Themes varied widely among participants, but everyone I was able to visit taught me something.
  3. Reciprocity leads to new friends, resources, and opportunities.
  4. Reading the blogs of some many people helps you hone in on the types of blogs that support your interest (whatever that may be).
  5. There are as many styles of writing as they are voices and new ideas abound – if you’re willing to explore.
  6. Expectations and deadlines are the perfect incentives to write.
  7. Writing on a daily basis improves your organization, planning, and skill.
  8. You can’t form a habit overnight but writing for 26 days straight will take you to the half way mark of establishing a solid writing habit. Read more about creating new habits here.

According to Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, it takes, on average, 2 months for a new behavior to become a habit – 66 days to be exact. Tweet This.

 9. Blogging, reading, visiting, responding, and sharing is time-consuming and may limit the time you have available for other works in progress (WIP).
10. Balance is the key. Setting priorities, making a schedule and sticking to it, is a must.

The 2016 A to Z Challenge has been an extraordinary experience for me. Thank you to Arlee Bird for creating this adventure, the hosts, co-hosts and teams who made this journey so enjoyable and successful. Thank you.

I’d love to hear about your experiences. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, and Contently

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Zemanta- The easy Way to Share Related Content

Day 2 6: #AtoZchallenge

Yeah, we made it. Today is the last post of the #AtoZchallenge. It has been a wonderful experience. For the letter – Z– I want to share Zemanta with you.

Zemanta is a browser extension that once installed provides recommended links and photos as related content (posts). It will load automatically as you write, allowing you to click on the specific content you wish to share. Proper credit for the articles and photos are provided by default. Below is an example of a post on Blogging Tips and the related content pulled up by Zemanta.

Zemanta 2

The content will show at the bottom of your post in either title  format:

Related

 

 

 

or thumbnail format based on your preferences in the settings.

Related2

 

 

This extension saves time and gives increases your authority, promotes, links to other writer’s content and increases networking.

To download the extension, click on this link.

I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think. Again, it has been my pleasure to participate in the #AtoZChallenge and to have met each one of you. I look forward to a long and engaging relationship in the Cow Pasture.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, and Contently.

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