When you reach the end of the alphabet, what comes next?
First I must start by saying thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog for the month of April, to find out more about me, and my theme of Weird Holidays. I always enjoy the weird, the wacky, and the obscure. This theme definitely fit the bill.
For my first time doing A to Z Blog Challenge, I will say, it was definitely a LOT of work to get 32 blog posts out (if you count the Theme Reveal, the bonus posts of Fictional Holidays, Sesame Street, Bonus Z -National Zipper Day, and this, the Reflection post along with the Road Trip), with countless hours of research involved. But it was fun! And maybe a little head banging against computer at some points.
You don’t realize how obscure a holiday is, until you decide to put it on the theme and then not find much on the interwebs about it. You wonder *WHY* you picked “Yule Cat Day” (Icelandic Folklore Holiday) or “National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day“(January 22), or even “National Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” (August 9), and realize it must have been the 3 am blogger in you. So you switch to something else that’s easier to deal with, like “National Drink Wine Day” (February 18) or “National Odd Sock Day” (November 15).
Now I know you all are scribbling these crazy dates down for your own calendar, or for your own theme for next year. You’re welcome!
What I learned:
I was trying to write shorter posts, and I can’t do that. My research gene kicks in and I’m down the rabbit hole (whee)!
It’s amazing how daunting it is when you start and there’s all the letters laid out for you, and now you’re down to the last of it, (admittedly I don’t write them in alphabetical order, so my last four letters were: P, R, S, and U) and it’s like the little angel/devil on your shoulder is saying “get it done”!
Trying to find Weird Holidays that fit in categories like O, Q, and Y are hard! Some as you can tell, if you followed along, the main word doesn’t start the alphabet. [See Appreciate a Dragon Day for “D” , Embrace Your Geekness Day for “G”, National Ketchup Day for “K”, and National Barbershop Quartet Day for “Q”].
It’s also okay to change your plan for the day before you start that letter. Full disclosure: for “M” I had planned Mari Lwyd (a Welsh Holiday that falls between Christmas Day and Twelfth Night); but changed to “Milk in Glass Bottles Day” instead.
My biggest challenges:
Trying to convince myself that Imposter Syndrome isn’t real. Some things that play through my head on a daily basis:
- I don’t have enough time…
- I don’t have anything special to write about, it would be boring…
- It’s just not good enough…
- It’s got to be perfect. Yes, this is the editorial red pen coming out. Learning you can go back in and fix it prior to publication (or even AFTER) is a big win for me, personally.
- No one will come [“If you build it [they] will come” – Field of Dreams].
Before and After
Though it wasn’t my primary goal, it is interesting to see the increase in traffic my blog has received thanks to the daily posts:
Total For April:
999 views, 600 visitors, 47 likes, 31 comments.
The letter that brought the most views:
Letter U, 23 views.
The day that had the most traffic :
April 24 (Letter U): 79 views, 40 visitors, 4 likes, 4 comments.
April views breakdown by country:
United States: 592
United Kingdom: 27
Hong Kong SAR China: 10
Germany & Philippines: 9
France & Jamaica: 7
Singapore, Denmark, New Zealand & Spain: 6
Austria, South Africa, & Nepal: 4
Portugal, Poland, & Italy: 3
Switzerland, Thailand, Brazil, Iraq, Israel, Ukraine, Pakistan, Zambia, & Nigeria: 2
Japan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Norway, Mexico, Belgium, Belarus, Trinidad & Tobago, Guam, Finland, Lesotho, Iceland & Argentina: 1
Timing of the day:
I tried various times to load the posts into the blog and have found that the 3 am release gets me more of the Europe / Asia bump than the noon release.
Bloggers I followed because of A to Z 2021
- Galeriaredelius : In the Mind of a jewelry maker
- Iain Kelly: Iain Kelly Writing
- Onomastics Outside the Box: Names from around the world (Theme: Dante)
- Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta: Predominantly Books but other stuff too
- Susanna J. Sturgis: Write Through It- Getting the Words Out
- Anne Nydam: Black and White Words & Pictures – Mythical and Imaginary Places Theme
- Weekends In Maine: Craft Projects for the Home
- John Holton: The Sound of One Hand Typing – Top 10 Music fr. Radio Stations by call signs
- Gonzalo Campoverde: Codex Anathema – Gathering Inspiration for Magic Items (Gaming)
- Dara: Black Raven Genealogy – Virtual Graveyard to her Irish Ancestors [Side Note: how could I not follow another Dara? And I am a major genealogy nut as well to boot, so it’s a perfect match]
- Crackerberries : Letters from the Heart
- The Old Shelter: The Great War
- Mary: Jingle Jangle Jungle : Totally Awesome 80s Music
- Gail M Baugniet: Novel Research (novel as in interesting, original, unusual)
- Helen Henderson: Journey to the Worlds of Imagination – Time
- … plus many more…
It’s been absolutely awesome to connect with people all over the world! I highly recommend following some blog hops. You never know what you will learn or have fun with!
Hope you enjoyed the trip down useless knowledge lane, and one day you can use some of these facts and dates in your conversations.
if you’re interested, wander over to the A to Z Blog Challenge page and get a copy of the final spreadsheet for 2021 and see what new stuff you can enjoy!
If you missed any, or all, and want to see what the full month’s Weird Holidays were, check out the Table of Contents page
Thanks so much for being part of my 2021 A to Z journey of Weird Holidays! Hope you will stick around for more adventures!
Wow thank you for sharing the The End of the Alphabet (2021 A to Z Blog Challenge)… reflection post. Great job and this is the first one I’ve read. It was just what I needed…a swift boot in the butt to get mine written. It sure has been fun and thank you for the shout out I really appreciate it.
Congratulations for completing the AtoZ challenge. I’m a little behind with my comments but I sure hope we can encourage each other throughout the year by popping in for a visit now and then. And can’t wait for another round next year.
Have a great day!
Crackerberries: Thanks for all the posts on your theme “Letters from the Heart”. It helped me multiple days to see things from a different perspective and I applaud you for letting personal things out for the world to see.
To be honest I knew the reflection post was going to be hard to write at the end, so I wrote it all along during the month and tweaked it this morning with the statistics.
Looking forward to blog hopping over and continuing to read your stuff this year !
Congratulations on completing the 2021 challenge!
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I’ve never followed an A-Z Challenge participant previously. Thoroughly enjoyed looking in each day to see what you came up with, and boy, were there some surprises! Well done, and thank you for the giggle.
Thanks for following along! I so enjoyed your theme this year and learned a lot of cool stuff. I haven’t ever done the A to Z challenge before but blogs like yours and your support have helped so much! Can’t wait to follow along all year, and do it again next year with you. Congratulations on finishing!
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It’s been so nice to get to know your blog via the A to Z, I have enjoyed reading your posts, always so thoroughly researched and well written. Just as this reflection post is. This was the third time I participated, and as far as I remember, the last two times (2013 and 2014) I did not manage to pull together a proper reflection afterwards. I find it hard to keep the drive and energy past 30 April. I still have a few days to see if I can gather and share my thoughts…
Thank you so much for the shout out, and I’ve found new blogs in your list that I haven’t visited yet, so thanks for the tips! (… and as someone who loves metal, need I say how much I drool over the image of the letterpress letters… 😉 )
Thank you for being a part of my A to Z challenge! i’ve so enjoyed reading yours as well and learning new things. As for the reflection post, I knew I wouldn’t remember anything at the end, so i “cheated” and wrote a bit every day about things I thought about. [Don’t tell!]. Looking forward to coming over this year and following along!
As for the metal letterpress, as a book editor and a wordsmith, I love that image! So I understand where you are drooling over it!
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