I quit after W. It wasn't my plan, but the more exhausted I became - and the worse my seasonal allergies evolved - I realized I was done. I was out of ideas; my creative allowance for the month expired. And I saw no point in whipping up gibberish simply for the sake of posting. I try and spare my followers.
I'll admit, it makes me feel like a failure. At the same time, if a student came to me upset for scoring a 23/26 on a quiz (which is purely hypothetical since my OCD would never allow a quiz to be worth 26 points; assignment values may end in two numbers only - five or zero), I'd tell him or her they did an excellent job before admitting to myself I too would be heartbroken. An 88% is not an A, and an A is the only acceptable grade for some of us.
Man, I'm a mess!
The A to Z challenge was intense. It's the most ambitious blogging project I have entered to date. Overall, it was enjoyable, though I 'd be lying if I pretended I had time to reap all the benefits. The manuscript is always my top priority of the day. All other excursions take a back seat, so I found myself struggling to visit and leave comments for the other challenge participants.
Still, the advantages made my participation worthwhile. I must acknowledge my new friend Duncan Horne, who I connected with early in the challenge through our commonalities as both writers and teachers. Duncan's a talented writer living in Kuantan, Malaysia. I've enjoyed reading his posts and learning from his words. He's witty, intelligent, and as cool as they come.
***This just in. This marks the EXACT moment in my life when I learned Osama Bin Laden is dead.***
So now I'm a bit distracted, and can't promise these thoughts will be coherent. In closing, if I were to participate in A to Z again, it would have to be during the revision stage of my current W.I.P. I think one of my greatest struggles (aside from blogging daily and attempting to be somewhat profound in each post) was participating in the challenge at the same time I was drafting my novel's climax. If I were editing, the foundation would have already been laid out; the fact I'm still creating (and creating one of the most critical parts of the plot) has my brain overloaded. Focusing on anything else is practically impossible these days.
I would like to thank Alex, Arlee, Jeff (Happy Birthday, friend), Stephen, and the other co-hosts of the A to Z Challenge. Congratulations on a huge success. I remember when the goal was a minimum of 300 participants - major props on recruiting over 1200!
Finally, a big thank you to my new followers. Aside from returning to a more relaxed blogging schedule, I look forward to interacting with each of you beyond this challenge. I have exciting posts planned for May, including my monthly novel giveaway which will post later this afternoon.
And congratulations to everyone who survived the 2011 A to Z Challenge.