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:
- The Write Soil
- Encouragement for Christian Writers
- Lucy Adams
- Unnumbered Words
- The Contemplative Cat
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
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).