Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday/Monday Musings - Back to normal

Thank you Elizabeth Mueller
Elizabeth Mueller at: http://elizabethmueller.blogspot.com/
created this award for all the a-z participants.
Isn't it lovely?

The a-z challenge is over. For those of you who may not know what this was, it was a challenge to blog 26 days out of the 30 in April using each letter of the alphabet. Lee, whose brainchild this was, has asked the participants to summarize their thoughts and feelings about it. That fits in with my getting back to normal post today, so here goes.

I had reached a point where I didn't want to blog every day - it was too time consuming and took way too much energy away from other things, like writing my novel. But I felt my blog had reached a kind of plateau. I was right. I had become complacent.

To be a successful blogger, you must continually reach out to new bloggers. That means clicking on blogs you find listed on blogs you regularly visit and things like that.

The a-z challenge made it easier to do that, because they were all listed in the linky tool provided. I simply had to go down the list. Unfortunately, there were 1200+ participants, which meant lengthy times at the computer to get to all of them before the challenge was over. That was the downside. Also, there were many links that weren't viable and many people who signed up, but didn't participate.

However, the upside far outweighs the downside. My blog went from 189 followers to 358, just about doubling. Comments increased exponentially as well. I don't think that could have happened without participation in this challenge. So, I am very grateful.

Would I do it again? Depends on what's going on in my life at the time. I enjoyed it. Do I want to keep blogging every day? Probably not. Unless I pre-write and pre-post, which is what I did for the challenge and it is the only way I could have managed it.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to visit and leave comments. I have met so many wonderful new bloggers. I only hope we all find a way to stay connected. I have added a bunch of new blogs to my blogroll. How to keep up? That is the question.

So, for today, I am grateful things are back to normal and I can blog any ole time I want.

Blessings,
Karen

47 comments:

Laura Eno said...

Yes, back to normal! Although I won't go back to my only once a week schedule. Something in between perhaps. I am grateful to have met a few special bloggers, such as you. :)

Claudia Moser said...

Thank you for this entry, I did not know anything about the award! And it was a great challenge for me as well, you inspired an entry on my blog, thanks! Enjoy May!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you enjoyed it so much! The Challenge makes us stretch, that's for sure. Congratulations on getting through all of the blogs. I was on pace to visit all of them, but after the first week, realized I was ignoring my 100+ daily blogger buddies in my attempts, so scaled back.

Melissa Sarno said...

Yay! I'm very glad things are back to normal on my blog too. :-)

Nicole said...

The time thing did become a challenge as the A to Z event progressed and I understand what you mean because on some days, I had so many other things that had to be done but what got me through it was the fact that it was the more enjoyable part of my day....something that I looked forward to doing, lol.

Congrats for making it to the end of the challenge.

The Madlab Post

Holly Ruggiero said...

Yay, back to normal. I'm ready for that.

Odie Langley said...

Somehow I don't think I will obligate myself to an everyday posting again. I am tickled that I met you and can't wait for your book to arrive early this coming week from Amazon. Hope you have a great week.
Odie
:)

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I'm also starting to realise I can go back to normal now. Though I really want to keep up with following the new bloggers I've met, such as yourself.

Plain Jane said...

Normal for me was blogging once a month...so I hope I don't go back to normal. Somewhere in between every day and every month. And that zebra award is so cute!

Lynda R Young said...

I had a similar experience. I met so many new people it was brilliant. I struggled by the end because posting everyday except sundays was putting a drain on me and taking far too much time away from writing. It was worth it though.

J.L. Campbell said...

I know what you mean. It was hard keeping up, but I'm glad I took part. Back to my WiP and all the other stuff I haven't been doing.

Better is Possible said...

I've really enjoyed visiting your blog. Congrats on a great job!

Karen Walker said...

I sure hope everyone continues to visit as many blogs as possible from the challenge. Alex, I don't know how you keep up with 100+ regular followers and commenters. The price of success, huh!
Karen

Linda Hoye said...

Congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I'm glad we finally connected. I've seen your name and comments on other blogs that I visit, and it was time to be your follower. You have many words of wisdom.

baygirl32 said...

back to normal, what ever your normal is, it was a great experience! congrats on making it through the month in one peice

Arlee Bird said...

Wow! Karen your increase in followers is great. Congratulations for a job well done--you can be proud of yourself for what you've accomplished. Thank you for being a part of this and seeing it through til the end. Good job!


Lee
Tossing It Out

Kit Courteney said...

"Back to normal" sounds good!

This has been a lovely way to find new gems :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. that's incredible doubling your followers ..

I like your thought about visiting other blogs from blogs you already follow .. that's the way I started - I liked the sound of the comment on the post and toddled over to check out the blog and then followed or not, and perhaps subscribed or not.

We can only do what we can do .. as far as getting out and about and meeting new bloggers - but certainly The Challenge .. opened up many doors .. that I might not have found.

Alex's comments about our blogging buddies - some who were doing the Challenge, and some who elected not .. we can't forget those .. and need to get across to comment and keep them in our blogging loop ... is an important point.

See you around .. cheers Hilary

K.C. Woolf said...

Great results :-)

It's very similar for me: it was an amazing journey, where the upside more than outweighed the downside, but I'm glad I'll have more time for reading and working on my novel now.

Dafeenah said...

I feel the same. There was definitely a feeling of pressure but it was fun nonetheless and I would definitely do it again.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Karen,

Amazing to increase so many new friends. I agree it was grueling. But you stuck it out and did a great job.

Angela Felsted said...

Great post, Karen! I'm impressed that you visited all the blogs. I got to over a 1,000 of them, but then got burned out. You're my new hero.

mooderino said...

Well done, Karen. Glad to have finally found you!
regards
mood
Moody Writing

Karen Walker said...

I am overwhelmed by the response to the challenge, the commitment to stick with it from all of you and the care that is going into the summarizing of results. This is an amazing community of people here in bloggydom.
Thank you, each and every one who commented here. I would respond individually, but I would say the same thing to each of you:
I am so grateful we connected on the challenge and hope we are able to keep that connection going.
Karen

Ann said...

I enjoyed the challenge too. I didn't get around to all the participants. I found time management the biggest struggle. When I found a blog doing a challenge theme that piqued my interest...I checked on a regular basis. Yours was one of those.

Ella said...

I am glad you finished, it was an amazing challenge!
I'll try to visit and wish you well with your endeavors; Congrats!

Jules said...

Amen sister, I have longed for normal again :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jan Morrison said...

It was fun, wasn't it! Good to meet you and hope we stay connected.

Brianna said...

Looking forward to following your 'normal' blogging :)

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Hi Karen, I'll definitely be following you regularly - as you said in your comment on my blog - how many can we really follow and still do what we are supposed to be doing? I look forward to re-balancing my time to high percentage writing and low percentage blogging, so that visiting with new blog friends becomes a treat and not a "must do!" Pleased to have met you and look forward to reading you.

Steven Chapman said...

That's an impressive rise in followers! And there was me getting excited about 20 new followers! :p

Well done on completing the challenge, Karen.

Steven Chapman (writer)

The Golden Eagle said...

Those are a lot of new followers! :)

I agree--it was easier to reach out to other bloggers with a linky list. All you had to do was click, instead of rifle through profiles and lists of followers.

Congrats on finishing the Challenge!

Langley said...

Karen, I'm glad things are back to normal now too. It was a blast but every day pushed my limits. The huge upside was 'meeting' people like you. I hope we can stay in contact.

Kristi said...

Congrats to you for surviving it and posting every single day..I'm in total awe of you right now!

I'm much too lazy. ;P

Enjoy getting back to normal and all the new friends you've met along the way!

San said...

Congrats on completing the challenge and for nearly doubling your readership :) Your blog is lovely and so are you :) Good wishes to you and for getting to post whenever you want to :)

Cheers :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Congratulations on kicking the A-Z challenge's derriere. You've got a great blog, and I look forward to continuing to follow you. No wonder you gained so many new followers, lady! Couldn't happen to a nicer person. I was a newbie this year, but I look forward to joining in on the challenge next year. (if there is one)

Ann Best said...

Wow, Karen! You certainly did get a lot of new followers. But as I discovered, most of them were one timers. I'm in the process of looking through past posts to see who I want to keep in touch with, and looking, as you say, at others blogs to see who I would like to meet. It's impossible to keep track every week of hundreds of followers and you'll be sitting forever and not writing anything like your wonderful memoir!

Thanks for wishing me well just now on mine, and wishing me "happy birthday." You of course know how I'll feel when I hold that print book in my hand. We need to enjoy the journey, and I have, especially because I've met such wonderful writers like you.

I hope we'll continue to be friends as long as we can blog--and as long as Blogger's alive, which I hope will be for a long time to come.
Ann Best, Memoir Author

Helen Ginger said...

It sounds like the challenge was a success. Maybe you'll do it again next year. Maybe not. But you've had the experience and enjoyed it!

Jemi Fraser said...

Those are some impressive numbers! I'm not a daily blogger either, so I didn't join the challenge. But it's been fun reading a lot of the posts! ;)

Josh Hoyt said...

Congrats on making it through. It will be fun to participate next year. I look forward to but can understand the time consuming part.

Pk Hrezo said...

It's my first time visiting, but it's great to meet you! Isn't it amazing how many awesome blogs are out there?? I feel like I barely made a dent in the list of A to Z challengers.

N4M3L3SS said...

+1 follower from blog hop, cool blog

walk2write said...

I know I'm glad that I now have some time to visit all the people who stopped by my site last month. It was an incredibly busy month for me, and I was too overwhelmed to return the favor.

Congrats on all the new followers. I hope your readership continues to grow.

jabblog said...

It is good to get back to normal, which means many different things . . . You are another who has a very full life and yet accepted the challenge and completed it - well done:-) I have 'met' so many like you and I'm truly humbled.

Grandpa said...

Just stopping to say 'Hi!' to a fellow Challenger. After four days I'm still blog-hopping. Regards.

Grandpa
Life on The Farm

Tina said...

Congrats on finishing! Shannon @ The Warrior Muse and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!
Tina @ Life is Good