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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2021 - Reflections


Notification - Having taken part in the challenge a number of years,  it was in the back of my mind  in March.  I thought I would be on a mailing list to receive 2021 details, but only found out about the schedule from a fellow genealogy blogger mid March.    I was grateful to her, too, for reminding me that besides signing up for Theme Revealed I needed to sign up for the Master List. I would welcome promoting the challenge from at least March 1st.

Choice of Theme - I had had a family history orientated theme in my head for a long time, which was using material I had featured before on my 10 year old blog, but from a different angle.  Then I had a sudden change of heart - go topical with “Life in Lockdowns”,  building on the fact I was already writing a journal (offline) on the Covid pandemic.

Keeping up with the Pace - I soon drafted  posts A-H  and felt I started the month in fine fettle, better than in previous years.   But I very quickly felt my title was too bland and questioned  “Were  people too fed up with the words Covid and Lockdown to want to read more?”.  So I  changed my title to “ Life in Lockdown in the Scottish Borders”. That lasted overnight when it dawned on me  it was far too long and cumbersome - and   It re-emerged as “Scottish Borders in Lockdown” in the hope the Scottish element might appeal.  Fortunately I only had a few posts to amend with the new title. Lesson. - think carefully about your title before you reveal your theme.

I J K L proved a bit of a stumbling block and then I realized  I was drafting only one day ahead of posting - and it got worse with the final letters when I was drafting the same day I was due to post.   (Fine gardening weather intervened plus the distraction of my husband’s DNA results.)   Lesson - don’t underestimate the time it will take to write your own posts, and respond to comments, plus read other blogs and giving your own comments.

Page Views - a tad disappointing, below last year when my theme  was “Family History meets Local History”, and well below my best year with “I Remember When… “ on childhood memories.   But then I always realised Lockdown might have less appeal.

Reading Other Blogs - I was not very successful at this.  I did begin going through the Master List and identified themes that appealed. But the ones I read consistently  were already familiar Genealogy blogs on my Reading List. I just did not have the time to explore new blogs.

The Aftermath
- funnily I almost felt at a loss on the morning of May 1st without the priority of the A-Z schedule.  Given my theme  of Scottish Borders  in Lockdown  I am planning on printing my posts and passing them to my Local Heritage Group who have been compiling a file on the village during the pandemic.

Would I take part again ? YES,  despite the highs and lows of this years’ experience.  I did have a couple of stressful nights going through my head what I would write for certain letters due imminently.  But I enjoyed the challenge to my brain of coming up with topics for each letter.

What made it all worthwhile?  Definitely  the feedback from fellow bloggers with their encouragement and shared experiences, and it was gratifying at the end of it all to receive comments from bloggers unknown to me.  Thank you all – you made it for me!

Onto 2022 !



  1. Congratulations on completing the A-Z challenge. This year's participation was a last minute thing for me. I finished a year-long class at the end of March, so I said, "Why no?" Occasionally, I would get a post or two ahead, but, like you, there was a lot of gardening that needed to be done instead of sitting at the computer. It was also the first year I did a theme which helped some, but was limiting at time.

    The information you recorded will be very interesting for those who read it in the future.

  2. Hello & Congratulations on finishing. I joined an A - Z challenge ages ago. It sounds quite different now. Do you find that it helps attract visitors to your blog? In a usual, non-Covid year, do your page views increase? Where do people sign up?

  3. Well done! I read all your posts as your life is so different to mine here in Queensland. Yes I agree, best to have posts done in advance to keep down the stress levels.

  4. Really love your posts! Thanks for sharing!


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