A letter of reflections: AtoZ Challenge, April 2018

Dear Reader,

Thanks for stopping by this blog post. I am writing to you to share my experiences during the  #BlogchatterA2Z challenge held through April, 2018.

PS: If you are a #A2Z participant, please ignore the context setting.

Sometime during February, I came across the Blogchatter A to Z challenge for April 2018. Although, I have been sharing my art on a blog and writing reviews online for about 10 years, it was never a serious effort. I wrote as I pleased, as one would, in a personal journal.

Now, as I am poised to launch Lonely Canopy as a more mature content platform, I found the idea of a month long challenge very intriguing. A post a day, visiting the blogs of fellow #BlogchatterA2Z  participants, and other activities – was I up for it? It was certainly outside my comfort zone. The odds were certainly there but I felt something  was right about this event, and signed up for it.

My theme was Houses have Souls, and I planned 26 stories of houses and buildings in India, each with some illustrations.

A week into the challenge, I realized that there is also a global version of the challenge. One I had missed registering for. My emails to the organizers went unanswered – this was a disheartening moment. And then, I remembered that the point was to write with discipline for month. The visitors, the comments, increased followers, are icing on the cake – they added joy to my life for a month. However, the core of it for me was writing and sketching.

Along the way, there were many more challenges – friends came for a visit, multiple family members (including myself) fell sick, work requirements, and other commitments. Through all this I kept up the task of writing about a house each day.

Today I have about 70 pages worth of content – that I can use as base for shaping an eBook. And a host of fellow bloggers who have become my friends.

So for me, all the pain and sleepless nights was worth it.

What I would do Differently in April 2019, I ask myself.

Here’s the gist of it:

  • Get it right the first time: The marathon writing led to quick posts written without time for in-depth editing. In such situations, I feel it is best to quickly review a paragraph once it is done – a sanity check.
  • Plan and draft the posts in advance: Content is king. And, if you want to present the best you have to offer, then some planning is required.
  • Organized reading: Maintain a list of bloggers that you want to follow every day. This year, my reading has been hap hazard, limited to whatever tweets are in my feed or the ones I have followed.
  •  Avoid the smartphone: This month, I have used my smartphone more than I have done the entire year put together. Reading, commenting, tweeting on my phone! It led to neck cricks, thumb pain, and a propensity to make more typos.

The joy of this challenge is in the many interactions I have had with other bloggers. Some have been daily visitors and some occasional ones. And, its all those comments and views that encouraged me to keep at it. So, thanks to the entire #BlogchatterA2Z community. Each and every one of you is a winner.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy blogging. Happy reading.

Seema Misra

Lonely Canopy



11 thoughts on “A letter of reflections: AtoZ Challenge, April 2018

  1. Hey Seema. I didn’t know about the international challenge till right at the end when Pooja shared the survey link after the challenge was over! So I understand how ure feeling.

    I think you had it toughest – write and paint. And not just one one paintings – so many!

    Am so glad you finished the challenge inspite of all ure challenges. Real proud of you and look forward to your ebook. Wish you lots of success in all your endevaours.


    1. Thanks, Ashwini. I got into this challenge at a time when there were many challenges in my life. A turning point of sorts.

      The best thing that happened was I met like minded writers. Like you 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me.

      It means a lot.


  2. Hi Seema. I’m so glad you decided to participate this year. Congratulations on doing a fabulous job with it. I came across your blog in week 3 I think, and was hooked the minute I read your post–I think it was about the haveli in Jaipur.
    Love your art and the soulful way you describe old houses–infusing them with your magic and keeping the ones which have been bulldozed over safe in your art.
    You’re part of my blogs to follow list, so I will be dropping in every now and then.
    All the best with your ebook.

    Liked by 1 person

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