April 2018. What a month it has been! I have always noticed and said to people too, that in my life I see a complete scarcity of action and experiences and then face a flood, nay a cloud burst, of activity. So too with this April. And when that flood happened I felt so overwhelmed to even acknowledge that I faced it all – joyful moments to utter remorse and despair. But the bottomline is that I emerged. And lived to write this gratitude post.
Choosing to do the month long challenge of blogging from #AtoZ is no mean feat. Only the strongest and most determined survive to tell the tale. But the most important part of all is to begin on that journey.
Last year I discovered that such a challenge existed only on the 2nd of April. But I got on-board the train and successfully completed it too. The immense satisfaction and the wealth of content that went up on my blog made me want to dare that trip again. So I harped on about the concept and the benefits of it to all the bloggers who cared to listen.
When it was time to sign up with Blogchatter again for the challenge for 2018 I had no doubt it my mind that I would do the challenge.
Read my post about musings for April here. April – the start of many new things
The biggest task of the #AtoZ challenge was selecting the theme. While the possibilities are limitless, the writer must also pay heed to actually being able to find topics for all the letters of the alphabet. My theme was New age parenting concepts and my theme reveal post here talks more about how I chose it.
Get, Set, Go!
Preparing for #AtoZ is not my forte. Although I technically knew a year in advance that I would be participating in this year’s challenge I had not decided on my theme or my posts until about 3 weeks in advance of the start date – 1st April.
The actual start of writing the blog posts was done only the week before April began and I managed to get only 4 blogs ready. They were by no means perfect, but they were 90% good to go.
I did however have almost all of my blog post topics ready, along with the Title of the blogs. I am indebted to the help I received from my blogger friends, Shubhreet of Raising Karma, Mahak of BabyandBeyond, Nikita of BeingMammaBear and Ophira of EasyMommyLife.
The brainstorming, guiding and ideas that they helped me with were invaluable in the selection of topics, especially the ones from the difficult letters.
In the course of
Day 1 of the challenge and I was ready to throw the towel in. I felt like my theme was utter rubbish. I was sure my first blog post would bore people enough to never visit my website again. To top it, a fellow mommy blogger had written on the same topic and our posts seemed very similar. It was all over!!
Funnily that first post received stunning views almost overnight and as on date, remains one of the most viewed and shared posts from my #AtoZ challenge. Maybe it was just me and my forever self-doubting mind.
In times like these I found solace in my dearest friend Shubhreet of RaisingKarma. Her constant motivation throughout the challenge was what pulled me through to the end I think. She was my sound board for all ideas related to content, structure and visuals on the blog posts. I owe a lot to her! Thank you Shubhs.
Until one day, when truly,..
It was all over!
No, this is not about the culmination of the challenge. But about the day I felt my time in the #AtoZ blogging challenge was over.
It was day 9 of the challenge and I was on the letter I. I had chosen to write about the new phenomenon of Instagram Moms. After the range of posts from A to H, this was to be a breath of fresh air where I write about very real and current trends. To write this post I got inputs from some of the top Instagram mom bloggers and others in the network – husbands of influencers, brands who worked them. These mom influencers were inspiring countless moms and showing them effective ways to manage motherhood.
I was almost done with my post and had just one main subtopic to cover and conclude. Then it happened…
My son, decided he had enough of mommy tinkering away on the laptop and wanted me to play with him instead. He sent me off for an errand and when I came back I saw him wedge something between the screen and keyboard of my laptop and then attempt to shut the screen down. I screamed and yanked him off there and checked my laptop. But the damage was done. My laptop display was gone.
In that moment, my #AtoZ, my blog, my writing… my life were all over.
The real thanks
I cannot even begin to put down in words the despair I felt in that one night when I realised the tool that was so crucial to my blogging challenge success and blogging career, my laptop was now gone. Forever perhaps.
But I can still feel the love, support and concern that I received from many of the people in my life – old and new. Gratitude is a small word for the support I saw from these people.
For my mother – I shall be forever grateful. She is not sure why I am so passionate about blogging. In her eyes, it is a mere passion, but she does not understand why sometimes I put life, baby, my health & sanity on backburner for the sake of a blog. But she turned up the very next day of the incident to deliver her own laptop so that I could finish my #AtoZ challenge. My parents use their laptop for almost 4 to 5 hours daily – manage their bills, finances, investments, personal affairs and listen to music and videos. For them to give up on their tool of connect and entertainment must have been big.
For Aesha – In the midst of the #AtoZ madness herself, Aesha of Aesha’s Musings set out to find a laptop technician for me. She pushed me to buck up, find confidence again and left lovely, meaningful comments on all my posts – 100% of them, just to motivate me and tell me that I cannot give up now. Aesha’s #AtoZ was #DecodingMidlife and I could identify with so many of her posts. But I highly recommend you read this one, M for Marriage – which kinda opened my own eyes and made me reflect on my own marriage.
For Priya Bajpai – I first found Priya on a blogtrain I and a bunch of other bloggers ran. Her work was a fictional piece which really blew me away right from the first line. She is some supremely talented writer and I am sure the best of the world’s greatest literary talents that ever existed in time or do today, have been reincarnated in her ability to write. Her writing is just splendid. She is going to go great places soon. Mark my words. Read her #AtoZ posts here on Priyreflects. But I am grateful to Priya because we met in a Twitter chat room and her constant support to me when my incident happened and even all throughout has been a big motivator for me to finish.
This month has taught me a lot. It has taught me that I am passionate about getting good content up on my blog. I slogged and read 4 books in order to research my topics. I am glad I kickstarted my reading habit once again. I know I can beat all odds and have the strength in me to achieve my personal and professional goals – I needed this especially after being out of a full time career which kind of forces you to have a goal sheet each year.
Upwards and onwards…