Three Gifts I RECEiVed FROM the april #atoZchallenge
This was my second attempt at the month-long, A-Z Challenge and I am so very glad I dived into it headlong, despite the initial hiccups and apprehensions. My posts weren’t scheduled in advance. Till the time of the deadline of the Theme Reveal, I was unsure, whether I wanted to participate or not. Thanks to a variety of discussions with my fellow bloggers at Write Tribe and gentle nudges with clarity and direction from blogger friends like Shailja, G.S. Nidhi, Mayuri; I went ahead and took the plunge.
Thereafter there was no looking back. Since my April Anecdotes were a maximum of 600-700 words, I did not grapple with time. I was able to churn out every single post a day in advance and schedule it for 12:06 A.M. Indian Standard Time. Why 12:06 A.M. you may ask? Well, the idea was to go live as the new day dawned and 06, because I’m numerically a number six, by birth and according to the numerology that’s my lucky number too. Yes, I do tend to get superstitious of and on, but trust me not in an over-the-top way. *grin* My Z post was the lone survivor which went live only later in the afternoon on 30th March. I tried not to beat and berate myself for it; though after a few initial failed attempts of trying to avoid the inevitable. After all it was all for a good cause. You can read the back story here. My April Anecdotes were a mix bag of fiction and stories that were partially inspired by the alluring month of April. I had too much fun writing them, trust me.
So, here are the Three Precious Gifts I Received from the Fascinating, April AtoZ Challenge 2018:
1. Diligency and dedication:
My blogging journey had become quite erratic, due to innumerable reasons. But thanks to this year’s AtoZ Challenge, I’m back on track and I hope to stay that way for times to come ahead. Writing every single day, except Sundays inculcates a huge sense of discipline. It’s a great way to stay consistent and sharpen ones writing skills. I promise myself and my readers to post at least twice or thrice a week, and make no compromises whatsoever. Diligency and dedication is always rewarded. Over the years, I’ve realised that giving our hundred percent and committing oneself to every little aspect of our lives be it our children, our work, home management, our fitness routine; can only reap valuable results, nothing less. The AtoZ Challenge is a great platform that teaches us a lesson in commitment, hardwork and dedication.Diligency and dedication is always rewarded. Click To Tweet
2. StrikING a Balance Between Writing, Family, Home and Recreation:
This year’s AtoZ Challenge was unlike last year’s, which was my first. I struggled to find time for my family and home, last year and I wrote and commented, like a woman possessed. My interactions with the family was reduced to the barest minimum. This year, keeping a simple theme and a minimal word count helped me prioritise. But then it goes without saying that I’m extremely proud of my travel stories from last year, which is now an E-book by the name of Travel Epiphanies. A travel book also requires a lot of research and digging out the right pictures from one’s old archives and otherwise. So I’m not negating that journey whatsoever, instead I’m super proud of it, as it resulted in my very first book. Each journey, each destination in life is different and unique, and reaps different results you see.
While participating in the AtoZ Challenge 2018, I had the good fortune of being able to juggle deftly (more often than not) between my family commitments, fitness regime, home management, time with my girls and DH and catching up with friends. I went for my cycling jaunts and re-joined Boot Camp Yellow; the early morning, week day, strength training classes, at 5 A.M. I spent Saturdays watching some wonderful flicks, thanks to Soumya’s recommendation. I managed to return to my favourite hobby: reading. A passion that was slowly dwindling away, thanks to the technology invasion. I spent a little time each afternoon and before retiring to bed at night reading; Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Big Magic and Amit Sheth’s Dare to Run. I also finally lapped up Vivek Shanbaug’s, Gachar Goachar, a must, must read. I also had the good fortune of attending and hosting an energy management workshop at our home during the challenge. I wrote a post on the workshop titled Uplifting Our Energies, in my April Anecdotes. At the same time I kept up with my Buddhism practise, by home visiting members and nurturing them, which is the crux of this practise.Each journey, each destination in life is different and unique, and reaps different results you see. Click To Tweet
3. Explore, Evolve, Learn, Grow and Give Gratitude:
Explore, Evolve, Learn and Grow: The AtoZ journey has taken me on an exploratory journey of words, stories, wisdom, learnings, fascinating interactions, new connections and organic growth. This journey would not have been possible without the untiring support from my fellow bloggers. I forged new friendships and renewed old bonds through this incredible platform. I learnt much from every single blog I read. Though I wish I had scheduled my posts in advance and used time blocking (Shailja’s tips). This would have enabled me to read more blogs and comment more effectively. I still have a few pending comments on my blog to reply to. I’m terrible at this, unfortunately. I did try and reply to every comment the first three weeks, but the last week became a challenge. I’m going to make amends with this habit. I’m going to learn from my mistakes and evolve.:)
Gratitude: I will try to name a few outstanding bloggers I interacted during the course of the AtoZ Challenge. Hopefully without missing out on some. At forty-five amnesia starts to set in, slowly but surely you see. I had thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the following blogs, and also the good fortune of receiving their comments on mine:
Keith’s hilarious tales of his friend Rosey, that helped me unwind and laugh a lot more, Varad’s tales, with a twist that blew me away, Iain’s fascinating stories from across the beautiful locations of Europe, were enchanting to say the least (I hope you are turning it into a book, Iain), Balaka’s slice of life characters that continued to intrigue even when one was done reading the posts, Kalpana’s mesmerising jaunt’s around Delhi, Seema Misra’s, stunning sketches and narratives (I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog Seema, even though a bit late in the challenge), Ramya’s to the point, impeccable book reviews (my TBR became fatter and I was reminded of my old time favourites), Soumya’s fabulous movie reviews (a feast for the eyes awaits), Anurag’s dextrous short, sweet and wickedly delicious story telling, Namratha’s poetry with a cause, were a class apart, Antoinette’s Stories served around the Table, around her food memories that took me back in time, Sharon E Cathcart’s fascinating David Bowie tales. John Holton’s unique word theme, Arjun’s well-researched stories and impressions on Mental Health (need of the hour), both the Shilpa’s were unique in their own right; Shilpa Gupte’s blogging tips adorned with her beautiful zentangles, and Shilpa Garg’s travel themed blog; Shalini’s tales told by her furry child Muffy, Dr. Roshan’s stories on kindness and humanity in today’s modern, yet dog eat dog world, Meha’s refreshing Rainbow society tales, Nidhi’s Buddha stories, Akshata’s brilliant female protagonist, Mayra and her uplifting life, Romilla’s nifty haikus, Deborah Weber’s Wonder manifesto that included enchanting snippets from our every day world, and last but not the least the founder of AtoZ Challenge, Arlee Bird’s posts on decluttering was “pounds”for my thoughts!!!
Shirley, Neha, Moon, Sunita, Cheryl, Deepa, J Lenni Dorner, Roma, Leanne, Rohan Kachalia, Praveen, Anita and Tina thanks a million for rooting for me and making the journey worthwhile. Your blogs were super too. There were a few other blogs that I did read and might have missed mentioning. Please do forgive me. I just told you why. 😉
It’s been an extremely gratifying month-long journey. I was hoping to go on a technology detox, not knowing that the E-book Carnival with Blogchatter awaited me right after the challenge. I also have an upcoming Buddhism gathering, wherein I will be writing and participating in a one act play. Apart from that my role is also to encourage and guide other members to participate, including the children’s division, also known as the Future Division. I’ve decided to enjoy what lies ahead. The aftermath of AtoZ has been pretty unexpected. But then, I shall continue to cherish and make the best of these moments while awaiting a future where I shall go offline for sometime. I hope to return detoxed and rejuvenated, ready to take on more challenges and learn a lot more.
My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge was April Anecdotes. These are twenty-six compelling tales of some real people, and some not so real people. These tales will be surreal, peppered with a dose of non-fiction, but some might just be a figment of my over active imagination. You can read my theme here.
You can read my posts from #AtoZChallenge2018 here: