26.2 A Different View

A marathon is 26.2 miles. When I signed up for my first marathon, I had been running regularly for over a year and before that off and on for ten years. At the time I knew I had the stamina to run for a really long time. 26.2 miles was a challenge I tackled confidently.

If I consider the introductory post I wrote to the A-Z Challenge and this wrap-up post, then I have logged 26.2 blogging ‘miles’. Prior to signing up for this blogging marathon, I had blogged off and on for one and a half months. At the time I didn’t know whether I even wanted to continue blogging. Posting a blog entry daily except Sundays was a challenge I tackled less confidently.

At first my creativity and writing muscles were pushed beyond their comfort zone. But each day they stretched; they got a little stronger. Now that I’m on the last entry, I have plenty of words, metaphors and images still jogging around my brain warming up for their next work-out. But that is not to say it has been an easy 26.2.

I hit the wall at mile 10, also known as letter ‘J’. But I sucked it up and kept going. I hit my stride at mile 13, also known as letter ‘M’. I barely jogged the last few miles of ‘X’, ‘Y’, and ‘Z’, but I can’t complain since I didn’t train properly.

Happily I can say that now I’m in incredible blogging and writing shape! Just look at the before and after(s) below!

Before the challenge, I struggled to make time in my day to write. After the challenge, I can’t imagine a day going by without writing.

Before the challenge, I saw myself as creatively-challenged. After the challenge, I realize that I have untapped depths of creativity!

Before this challenge, I was afraid to admit how much I want to write my book. After the challenge I’m proud to say I am writing two books!

Before the challenge, I considered the Bible to be an important tool for Christian writers. After the challenge, I consider the Bible to be an important tool for all writers, Christian or not. It’s filled with tips on how to write plot, irony, setting and especially characters. Bible characters have both good and bad aspects to their personalities, which, as we learned from writing bloggers during the challenge, is a good lesson for every writer.

Before the challenge, I wasn’t sure what the focus of my blog was. After the challenge, I’m declaring this blog to be about a Christian mother finding time to write, run, blog and explore anything that interests her or brings her happiness. Yes that’s at least 2 if not 3 different blog niches, but I’m a mother who multi-tasks!

Before the challenge, I had three blogging buddies and a handful of followers. After the challenge, I have over 50 followers and a bunch of blogging buddies.

Before the challenge, I cherished comments. After the challenge, I cherish comments even more. They are the lifeblood of a blog.

Before the challenge, I had one blog. After the challenge I have two. My newest blog is Pocketful of Roses. It’s about my adventures in growing hybrid tea roses with other gardening bits thrown in along the way. It will only be active, and thus time consuming for me, during the spring and summer months.

My writing and blogging muscles are bulging so much, I’m going to have to buy bigger clothes to fit over them!

After a normal marathon, I log low mileage for a week to recuperate. After this blogging marathon, I intend to continue blogging regularly, which per my schedule is one post four days a week. I don’t want to lose the momentum I gained during the challenge!


Now I’d like to share the fabulous blogs whose bloggers participated in the marathon with me, who handed me cool cups of water when I was parched, who faithfully encouraged me and cheered me on for 26.2 blogging miles. Your support and friendship have been the best part of the A-Z Challenge and I look forward to getting to know you all even better.

Blogs that inspire and work out my writing muscles:

Blog that inspires me to be a better mother and to make time to craft!

Blogs that inspire my faith:

Blogs that always put a smile on my face :)

Special thanks to those who made the A-Z Challenge possible

Arlee Bird @ Tossing It Out
Jeffrey Beesler @ World of the Scribe
Alex J. Cavanaugh @  Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jen Daiker @ Unedited
Candace Ganger @ The Misadventures in Candyland
Karen J Gowen @ Coming Down the Mountain
Talli Roland
Stephen Tremp @ Breakthrough Blogs

As I cross the finish line, I’d like to conclude with the words of the apostle Paul, whose blog was mentioned frequently during my Bible Bloggers Series – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV).

18 thoughts on “26.2 A Different View

  1. Awwww, thank you for the shout out, lady B! I’m honored that I’ve inspired you to craft. With your creativity, you can do amazing stuff, I’m telling you.

    I couldn’t agree more with your analogy of blogging and running. I’ve gained so much from this challenge that I’m now looking for other ways to keep exercising my blogging muscles regularly.

    And hey, I spent my weekend gardening. Your other blog sounds just like what I need! (I’m a beginner gardner)

  2. Now that is a coincidence. I too drew the parallel between my first marathon, and suriving the April Challenge. Only, I did it in 100 words, so it is far less detailed.


    This post has my heart fluttering with encouragement, inspiration, and total agreement.

    First off, you handled the recognitions with such grace. Thank you! Now I feel guilty at my cheep nod to Lee. I should have slowed down and recognized all the lovely folk who worked to make this huge alphabet fest a possibility.

    Secondly, I’m so so so pleased that you’re writing TWO books! Go you! Seriously.

    Lastly (thought I could really go on and on…) thank you with all of my heart for the much needed encouragement you’ve offered in regards to my faith. When I started my blog last November, I made a rule that I would always read the bible and pray before beginning my writing each day. The bible truly is a marvelous inspiration. I still think those days were my writing prime. Now, I will re-establish this rule. Time in the word is invaluable. More valuable than writing – but, happily, always winds up adding to my creativity and never diminishing it. A living relationship with the living God is a win/win. Thank you for helping me see that this truth applies even to my newish hobby.

    I hope we can continue to contribute to each other’s lives in this blogging way. :)

  4. Well, we made it, Brianna! Thank you so much for all your help getting started in blogging and thank your hubby for aswering my computer tech questions.
    I love your analogy here to a marathon. How very appropriate! I don’t think I’ll ever be a runner, but your words paint such a vivid picture that even prance-and0dance Pam can grasp it!
    This has been a truly awesome experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Thanks for being my partner in it.

  5. I can’t imagine that you ever thought yourself to be creatively-challenged. Your blog has been the highlight of my A to Z experience.

    Thank you for being such a faithful visitor during the A to Z Challenge. I think maybe we were all passing each other cold cups of water. After all, a challenge is more fun when other people are in the trenches with us.

    I hope one of those books you’re writing is spinning off from your A to Z posts. I keep telling my husband and friends about them. I’d love to be able to tell them where they can buy the book.

    I’ll check back in tomorrow.


  6. Thanks for all the great links. And wow what an awesome list of things you’ve learned. Makes it all worth it! I agree, we do have untapped creativity just waiting to be discovered…. but we really have to dig for it sometimes! :)

  7. Congrats on the A-Z Challenge. You did amazing. I’m glad you found it improved your blogging and writing–that should be the point of such a feat.

    Keep on blogging. You’re wonderful.


  8. I LOVE your look back on the challenge! Comparing it to a half marathon feels SPOT ON… it was definitely something fun that required some real work! I am looking forward to doing it again next year… nice to “meet” you through A to Z challenge!


  9. Brianna, You are utterly amazing! This was one of the best posts I’ve ever seen! Thank you for going deep and sharing all you’ve learned. I can see a HUGE difference in you and I am at the sidelines cheering you on! I see your confidence soar and I can’t wait to buy your first book! I call dibs, so put me down!

    Virtual Hugs…d

    The Write Soil

  10. You have such a beautiful blog!! I am so glad you stopped by Mercys’ World and I look forward to spending some time with my coffee this afternoon, going through your archives. <3

  11. I have compared this to a marathon as well even though I’ve never run a marathon–blogging from A to Z is certainly the blogging equivalent to running a marathon.
    You took a unique approach to the Challenge and captured the loyalties of many fans. Congratulations in doing such a fine job and thanks for doing this with us.

    Don’t forget to pick up your Winner’s Badge at my site.
    Tossing It Out

  12. Great post Brianna! Such a relevant metaphor and lovely way to marry your love of writing to your love of running. I really enjoyed your before and after list.

    Thank you so much for the shout-out as well! It was a nice surprise to see writercize listed there at the end of a great blog entry. I am definitely going to head over to all of the blogs you listed as inspiring – awards and shout-outs are such a great way to find out about new blogs that are friend-tested, per se! 😉

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