#AtoZChallenge 2016 – Reflections

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]
I am proud and happy to say that I survived the #AtoZChallenge for 2016. Not everyone made it to the end – I think the last time I checked, about 2,000 blogs had signed up for the challenge, and on the current list are 1,344 blogs. (And if anyone would like to gift me with the #AtoZChallenge Survivor Mug for 2016, I would be forever grateful. This was my hardest year yet, and it’s a cool design by Jeremy over at Being Retro, who provides all the artwork for the challenges. For Free.)

This is my third year participating in the challenge, and my first year with a theme: #dSavannahDefects, aka “What’s it’s like dealing with #InvisibleIllnesses”. Or, in short, {some of} what’s wrong with me.

I was quite nervous about writing on this topic, and asked a few of my loyal readers what they thought before I began. The consensus was: write about it. So I did.

If you missed it, or want a recap, here is what I wrote about each day (with a handy link to each post):

For those of you interested in stats, I wrote a grand total of 29,788 words for the challenge! for an average of 1,103 words per post. The longest post was N is for…, with 1,829 words, and the shortest was O is for…, with 219 words. (That number does not include my Theme Reveal post, which clocked in at 640 words.)

Since my main goal in doing the challenge was to make mysdsavannah_defects_noballself write, I’d say I was pretty successful. (And by the way, accepted wisdom says that a novel starts at around 40,000 words, so I almost wrote a novel in my month!)

Other stats regarding blogs of course are page views; I got 1,411 in April, much higher than the last two Aprils / challenges, so I must have been doing something right with my theme.

More important than the stats, tho, were the new bloggers I found and followed, and the new viewers who found and followed me. I’m eternally grateful for everyone who stopped by and commented.

Based on those comments, I need not have been worried about my theme – what I wrote seemed to have resonated with people.

I’m also excited to announce the winners of my book giveaway contests!

For Defect to Discworld, our winners are Thora Burcham Fowler (The Wee Free Men), Alana Mautone (A Hat Full of Sky), and Juli Jovanovska (Wintersmith). All three books are by Terry Pratchett. Thora and Juli wish to defect to England and Alana wants to find her way to Australia. Hopefully you’ll all make it there some day!

Sorchia DuBois won the Defect to Newford contest and will receive a copy of Widdershins by Charles de Lint. She says that of anywhere in the world, she would like to go to: “Scotland–the Highlands–or Skye–or Islay. I’m a bit obsessed and have been for a longish time. Started with Robert Burns and continued through sir Walter Scott and on to Outlander.” As long as you take me with you! :)

Thank you everyone for playing!

So, what happens next?

Well, I of course plan to continue blogging, and will continue to write on topics that deal with #InvisibleIllness and health and the like. You have not seen the last of #dSavannahDefects!

I also plan to edit some of the post already written and submit them to The Mighty – I’d love to become a regular contributor there, and my theme fits right in. (Cross your fingers for me!)

I also am looking forward to getting back to working on my fiction stories. (And I still need a better name for Point Fair – any ideas?)

As I announced in my last post, I am also looking for editing clients, and have one on hand to get started on (hooray!), and one that is coming down the pipeline – just waiting on my writer to feel like it’s ready to send to me and my green (not red) pen.

I’ve partnered up with fellow author and editor Chris Votey on a new venture – Madness Editing Services. We both have strengths the other doesn’t have, and we think it will be a good thing for editing clients – like I said in that IWSG post, two heads are better than one!

As for the #AtoZChallenge … I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to do it again next year. I’m just sooo sooo tired, and with all my stupid illnesses, the blog was pretty much ALL I could do all month. But we’ll see. I may forget the pain of doing it, and participate again, because it is a fun, difficult, worthwhile thing. I love the connections I made, and the challenge of writing every day. (I have mentioned I work best on a deadline, yes?)

And once again I’ll leave you with a darling drawing from the wonderful girl over at Dharma Comics, which you can buy on all kinds of awesome things in her store:

Dharma Comics - I'm Beeing


More ramblings / other posts you might want to read...


About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
This entry was posted in #AtoZchallenge2016, #dSavannahDefects, community, giving to others, health. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to #AtoZChallenge 2016 – Reflections

  1. Ruth says:

    WhooHoo! Mug is on it’s way and if you get more than one then even better!!! I caught & stopped myself from grumbling about the lithe spunky girl who cut me off going thru the parking lot and then parked in the handicapped spot with your whisper in my ear, “she might have an invisible illness”. So thank you for making me kinder.

    • dSavannah dSavannah says:

      Aaaw! Thank you!!!! :)

      Yes, the lithe spunky girl may have been having a good day whilst suffering from an invisible illness. There are days I myself am spunky … and of course, I don’t look sick.

      However, invisible illness does NOT give her an excuse to be discourteous!

      And you’re welcome. I didn’t know that was possible.

  2. Pamela says:

    Hooray to all of us that survived the month and thank you so much for your bravery in posting about invisible illnesses.

    • dSavannah dSavannah says:

      Hooray to us! *throws confetti*

      Thanks for reading. I really, really, truly appreciate it.

      I don’t know that I’m particularly brave to write about it. I felt strongly it needed to be said, and my story shared, so others in my situation know they are not alone. Tho, I suppose expressing myself so openly does take some bravery… and again, I was a little nervous doing so.

      Thanks again. I’m glad we’ve “met”!

  3. Sorchia D says:

    Yipeeee! I enter contests all the time and seldom win anything–which is fine by me since I just like to read blogs and meet peeps–but I’ve won two contests just this week. You can come with me to Scotland as long as we both remember–What happens in Scotland, stays in Scotland :) Best of luck in your writing and editing endeavors and Job Well Done on the A-Z blog!

    • dSavannah dSavannah says:

      Woo-hoo! It’s finally your lucky week! (Don’t forget to send me your mailing address so I can ship your book.)

      And, I give you the secret handshake to seal our deal.

      Thank you!!!! (And your blog is on my list to go devour.)

  4. Elaine LeDoux says:

    I am amazed at your dedication to push all the way through the A-Z with all the pain and exhaustion always nipping at your heels. Amazed, but not surprised! You are one tough chickie and I adore you. Glad to hear you will be editing….never let your talent get lost, you have so much of it! Congratulations! So proud of you. By the way what a great picture…..I see you will be receiving a mug so enjoy! Love you!

    • dSavannah dSavannah says:

      I am amazed as well… #AtoZ is pretty much all I got done this month. I look forward to getting other work done, as well as editing. And my writing. :) And thank you for the encouragement!

      Adore you too, my dear friend! xoxo

  5. Congrats on crossing the finishing line!
    Lots of awesomeness here at your blog!
    Some awesome stats…and a grand total of 29,788 words!
    Well done on writing words that amount to “almost a novel” in the month of April. :)
    Congrats to those who won books. Fingers crossed for you becoming a regular contributor at The Mighty! I don’t know what the site is all about, but I’m guessing it has to do with illness.
    Good luck as you get to grips with your fiction stories again. I’ll have to check out the post, to find out why you want to replace the name Point Fair, then I’ll get back to you.
    Good luck as the editing clients start rolling in.
    Congrats on the collaboration with Chris Votey. That’s awesome. :)
    Sounds like you have your work cut out for a long, long time!
    Don’t forget to make a schedule.
    Take care.
    Writer In Transit

    • dSavannah dSavannah says:

      Thanks, Michelle! It has been great meeting you through the challenge! I’m excited I won one of the books… I just wish I could have visited your blog more and won more! :)

      Yes, The Mighty is a site dedicated to teaching people about illnesses. I just need to gird my loins and my courage and submit my stuff. After all, I’ve already got posts from this here challenge!

      Well, I don’t like Point Fair because… it doesn’t seem right. But I can’t seem to think of something better.

      I do have my work cut out for me! But I’m also trying to rest, relax, and take care of myself in all of it. Stress over my to-do list is a big issue for me.

      Thanks again for reading my blog!!! xox

  6. Betsy says:

    Great summary. Certainly, it is one way to see all you accomplished. Way to go!

  7. Way to go Savannah and loads of wishes for your upcoming ventures.

  8. randommusings29 says:

    Congrats on completing the challenge, great theme! I love finding new blogs too. Love the picture at the end, really cute and a fab message :)

  9. Congrats, and thank you for raising awareness of “invisible disabilities”. My father had one (a TBI). It’s rough when you “look normal” and people JUST DON’T GET IT. I received my prize from theTerry Pratchett giveaway today – thank you. Best of luck in the coming year. I hope you have the energy to participate next year as so much consciousness still needs to be raised.

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