It was my friend Sheryl's fault that I did the A to Z challenge this year. Obviously, the theme was all my doing, but I don't think it would have even occurred to me to participate if not for Sheryl's random comment.
So thanks and blame both go to Sheryl.
A great many of the bloggers who participate in the challenge are hardcore professional-type bloggers. They use the challenge as an opportunity to build their business profile, to sell something. Others use it as a way to develop or advertise their self-publishing projects.
None of that interests me.
It probably should, but it doesn't.
When I write, I am better able to deal with my depression.
And when I write regularly, I write better.
My theme focussed on things weird, bizarre and off-centre, but participating in the challenge helped me feel more connected, less adrift in a sea of strange.
Some of the people I care most about don't bother to read my blog.
Some look at it occasionally and tell me they only like the funny ones.
This month, I heard from a couple that they weren't interested in my posts because my theme was too gruesome and (despite my research) the posts were a bit boring.
But some complete strangers stumbled upon Wendy Off The Rock and responded in kind to my humour and my sense of the absurd.
They made me laugh.
I looked forward to their witty and thoughtful responses. Thank you:
D A http://dacairns.blogspot.com
Mind you, a few of the comments others left made it pretty clear they hadn't read my post at all (too many words?). They just looked at the pictures and left a note with a link to their blog for me to reciprocate the visit.
Which I did.
I visited 5-10 other blogs most days during the challenge.
I learned some new things.
And was prompted to introspection by a great many self-help suggestions.
But not much made me laugh.
I also found that the way we posted this year (without a Linky List) meant that the different global time-zones of participants were way more obvious, and it was more difficult to pop back to other blogs for a second visit. I don't necessarily want to sign up to receive regular posts from ALL the other blogs I visited.
I'm a picky bitch.
Anyway, I achieved my aims for the April Challenge.
I wrote regularly, which stimulated my creative bits.
You rewarded me by stopping by and listening.
You kept me connected.
I sometimes felt a bit hamstrung by my choice of theme.
But I got over myself.
And I giggled a lot.