I wrote down my thoughts throughout the month about the challenge because I knew I'd forget otherwise. Here's a few things I noticed.
1: Not having the list didn't deter people. That's good, but it didn't make it any easier to find blogs. In fact, I found it a little harder and more time consuming to go through the comments. The other problem was it took me a few days to notice the warning about needing to load more comments. I kept thinking mine were getting caught in spam. Plus, I don't know how many people didn't know about it either and who was clicking to load more comments. It also didn't help that the Load More link was AFTER the comment box. That's their blogging host's doing though, but really, it should be before so people can see it before commenting and know there are more comments hidden.
Which leads me to 2: The earlier the post, the better. With so many comments and some being hidden behind a "Load More" I changed the time I published my post to as soon as I saw the letter of the next day up. BUT it really didn't change how many comments I got. This leads me to a suspicion that we were all commenting our links but not many were going through the comments.
3: Not everyone used the html in their comments. Those ones, I'm not going to lie, unless the theme was really interesting, I skipped. I did like the format some people used and I tried to remember to say what my theme was and the category when commenting.
4: For the theme reveal I had WAAAAY less comments. Previous years, I had over 80. This year I had just over 30. Beginning of the challenge, mine were on par with last year and then it started to drop off. I got less comments, but it wasn't a ton less. My page views were pretty steady.
5: I can say part of the problem with my lower count of comments was myself. As I said in my May writing goals post the day job was stressful and exhausted me. I wasn't just tired, I had no energy and that made visiting hard. If you look through my posts, the days where the comments are in the single digits, those are the days I was too exhausted to visit other people and read.
Was the lack of list a success?
Yes and no. There were still plenty of posts to choose from and it didn't stop everyone from participating. But it didn't make it easier to find new blogs, and for me, it was more time consuming to find them. Randomly clicking and hoping was faster.
I kinda felt like I failed this year because for me the challenge is about visiting people and I didn't do that as much as I wanted to. I can still go visit after the fact, but I know myself, and I never end up doing that because I'm trying to keep up with current posts. Again, the fatigue plays into this. My energy feels like it's becoming more and more limited every day and I have to pick wisely where to use it.
I will be back next year––with or without the list. I enjoy this challenge. Maybe by next year I'll have a better handle on my illnesses and more energy to spare.
Before I forget (I almost did...)
I said two of the words I used I made up. Most of the words I found online and a lot were from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and that author was vague about if some words were fake or not. But the two I made up where Quabanxius and Unicitiness. Both I looked into suffixes and stuff like that in an attempt to have them feel real.
Stalk me Online
* Marie Landry
* Rainy Kaye
* Story Dam
* A to Z Challenge
* Alex J. Cavanaugh
* Larry Kollar
* C. Lee McKenzie
* A Book Lover's Playlist
* Cherie Reich
* M. Pax
* MJ FiField
* Melissa Barker-Simpson
* Christine Rains
* Heather M. Gardner
* George McNeese
* Lexa Cain
* L.G Keltner
* Sarah Foster
* Chrys Fey
* Liana K (Youtube)
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