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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

May 5, 2024

Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber

Reflecions 2024 #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/category and an example or two. Be sure to check out all of my A to Z posts.

The blog has done the A to Z Challenge twice before, but this year was the first time I did it solo. I was really on the fence about doing the challenge and in a post a few days before the challenge started I listed some of the pros and cons of doing the challenge. I missed the official theme reveal, but I included it in the post linked above. 

For my reflection post, I'm going to follow the same pros and cons list to see if it panned out the way I thought.


The major driving force for me to join the challenge was to find community. I started blogging because I wanted to be part of the book blogging community but over the years I've become disconnected. One of the biggest events for book bloggers ended, Triberr has stopped working, and X (Twitter) is difficult to connect has left me feeling like I'm on my own. Also, many of the bloggers that I started with have left blogging or have changed focus.

Did I find community? Maybe. I followed a couple of book bloggers on X but haven't really had any interaction there yet. I also found a few bloggers who I really liked what they wrote so I'm hoping to connect with them on their blog (maybe on my blog too).

I'm going to add the book bloggers to my Feedly feed so that I will see their posts and can share them as well.


This was the major con to doing the challenge. It takes time to write 26 blog posts. Girl Who Reads is a daily publication but I only write about 10 posts a month with my other reviewers doing the other 20 between them. I do format every post. 

In addition to the 26 challenge posts, I wrote 6 reviews and I formatted 19 reviews for Susan and MK. I'm proud that I could keep up with our regular schedule in addition to the challenge.

The challenge did have me spending more time on the blog. I try to schedule all the blog posts for the week on Sunday afternoons/evenings. That wasn't possible during the challenge. I usually got the non-challenge posts done but often found myself writing the challenge the night or two before it was due to post.

And because I knew I would be spending more time on blog posts, I figured my reading time would take a hit. And it did. I have to be fair and say it might not completely be the challenge's fault; the weather has been great and it is gardening season so I was spending a lot of time outside too.

I typically read 12 -14 books a month with 5 - 6 of them being audiobooks. For April, I read 9 books: 5 were audiobooks and 4 were ebooks. I'm not shocked that I was able to listen to my regular number of audiobooks since I could listen to them while I wrote the posts.  I still have 4 books for review left to read for April.

If writing the 26 blog posts wasn't enough, I also needed to visit/comment on blogs. I would spend an hour in the evenings ready blog posts and attempting to make a thoughtful comment. However, in my decision post, I said I would visit at least 1 blog a day. For most of the challenge, I was able to visit and comment on 15 blogs (some blogs didn't have a comment section so I couldn't comment). The final week of the challenge though I struggled to even get to 1 blog as that is when work got busy and I was really tired in the evenings. 

Daily I visited all the blogs in the "Books" category and 2 in the "Children stories/Kids Lit" as I thought that would be the best bet for finding community among book bloggers. I also visited most of the author/writer blogs at least once.

Another big con to joining the challenge was related to commenting. Not only was it time-consuming, it wasn't reciprocated. Most of the blogs I visited and commented on didn't comment on my blog. They may have visited as the traffic to my blog was great in April. I have to give a shout-out to a couple of bloggers for consistently commenting - it made my day.

Debi O'Neille of Writing Against the Wind - Thank you! I greatly appreciate your visiting and commenting on not only the challenge posts but many of the daily reviews. And thank you for purchasing so many of the books I recommended. I hope you enjoy them and I'm looking forward to reading your reviews.

Idea-ist of Get Lost in Literature - Thank you! Your comments kept me motivated to finish the challenge.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment at least once. I'm happy to know that real people are reading my blog and it isn't just bots.

It was because of the feeling I got when these regular commenters made a comment on my posts that I continued to visit and comment on blogs. I just kept thinking what if I'm the only one to comment on their post and I didn't want them to feel disappointed or wonder if anyone was reading their posts.

Some of the posts were really difficult to make a thoughtful comment. I highly recommend asking a question to help others figure out what to comment. But even that doesn't always help. A few bloggers did ask questions but I couldn't answer the questions because I wasn't familiar with the book or author they were featuring.


I really loved my theme of discussing different literary genres or categories. I had envisioned that I would share 3 - 5 bullet points about the distinguishing characteristics of a genre and then recommend a book or two in the genre in case anyone wanted to try that genre.

Well, I'm kind of long-winded (as this post attests to) and they wound up being much longer posts than I intended. But I would find interesting facts about the history of the genre and I couldn't help but share them. 

There were several genres that I didn't get to discuss that I would love to. I'm debating on saving them for next year or using them to fill in when I don't have a review to post. I've also thought looking at literary movements could be interesting, but I'm not sure if I could come up with 26. Maybe I will do a combination of genres and literary movements next year.

I hope you enjoyed reading my posts on different genres as much as I enjoyed learning and sharing about them.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. Thank you for the shout-out! I had some of the same experiences as you, bloggers not reciprocating...I made sure to comment on every blog I visited but I couldn't keep up with commenting to comments on my own blog. I appreciated all the comments you left. I loved how informative your blog was!

  2. I agree it was very time consuming and I was also disappointed on the lack of reciprocation with the comments. As I mentioned in my reflections post, I received 11 replies to the 263 comments I left. I still expect people to be as 'all in' as I am, but I think I should know better by now. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. It sounds like you're in the same boat as me vis a vis thinking perhaps the the challenge is not worth the investment of time. Anyway, we connected, so that's a win!

  3. Yeah, not everyone reciprocates on commenting... Congrats on finishing the challenge.

    Ronel visiting for Reflections for A to Z Blogging Challenge 2024