#AtoZChallenge: 📦 Finally – a WrapUp

a to z wrapup
photo credit: DSC01754 via photopin (license)

It got late awfully early this year in the A to Z Challenge.

survivorIt’s May 9, and I’m just now wrapping up the write-everyday blog challenge that occupied all of April. I’m less Nyquist and all Whitmore if you’re comparing this challenge to say, the Kentucky Derby. (Nyquist won; Whitmore was 19th of 20 horses. Shagaf didn’t finish. At least I did.)

I tried to manage this plus a blog for work in this challenge.

That didn’t float. It did, for a short while. But to write every day, or at least post every day, that’s a grind, you know? It’s a first-world grind, yes. At least I learned a few lessons. If you’re not learning, why do it? Here are the lessons I came away with this time.

a writer
photo credit: via photopin (license)

I need to write

It’s my love. Why not do it every day? It’s better than doing other things I like to do, every day. Can you imagine a bacon cheeseburger challenge? I’d do it. Probably just once.

week sleep
photo credit: Drowsy cat via photopin (license)

I need to sleep

It’s 11:43. There’s a 43% chance I’ll choose sleep over finishing this post. I did that a few times. It’s why I fell behind. A boy’s gotta sleep. Maybe more at age 44 than ever before.

(Note: I was asleep within 30 minutes of writing that. I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.)

The engagement rocks

I’ve met some incredible bloggers I’d never know without the challenge list. Some will appear for the first time in #6words. That’s good news for all of us.

The engagement sometimes isn’t so good

We’re called on to visit five blogs every day of the challenge. That’s a tall order, but if I eliminate the time I spent scratching my head and googling Pippa Middleton, it’s easy to make up. Many days, I didn’t get a single hit from the challenge link.

The struggle is real

You see it on other blogs, too. We hit the ground running, fueled by moxie, spunk, piss, and vinegar, whatever your poison. You hit G H I, it’s a slog. Never mind W Y X.

You sacrifice the good

I’m not just talking about missing out on catching The Goldbergs with the kids. You miss out on reading the blogs that you love to read every day. I think we should all take a month off and catch up.

I love this

I do. When words turn tough or flow like democrat spending, words are wonderful. The people who create the words and read the words and leave comment words, they’re wonderful, too.

deadlines quote




  1. Trust me I am with you on this and try blogging, commenting and also keeping up with design clients here. So honestly, I get this in spades and as much as I do love to write I just can’t anymore every day either. I just do my best and I feel that as long as I am able to get to what I can on each day then I must be doing something right. 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You do have lots to juggle, Janine. Everyday blogging – I’m not sure how people do it, and still have time for things such as pouring cereal and applying deodorant.

      If I could just get ahead by one day …

  2. rachel says:

    nicely done. i enjoyed the abc’s from your perspective. 😘

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Rachel. The interesting part was to revisit these topics I’d picked out long ago and see how I saw them now.

      1. rachel says:

        so interesting how our perspectives shift with time

  3. Nikki says:

    I think personal growth is born out of pushing our boundaries, whether that be an intentional change of direction or life lessons we’re learning from. Sounds like you stretched a little, Mr. Eli and now you get to redefine your written route. Thanks for packing us in your carry on. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Maybe it’s a little of intentional change and life lessons, or it’s just progressing on our natural path. I’m not sure, Nikki.

      Three times a week will now feel like a snap, I’m certain.

  4. darlamsands says:

    Awesome quote! Thank you for the chuckle. And good job. I must admit to having written the majority of April’s posts in March and setting them up to post appropriately. As for missing out on favorite reads, I have a strategy to incorporate new blogs with those I found before. In my bookmarks using the Firefox browser, I set up a folder for every day of the week and put four blog links in each (three on Sunday). Computer technology is so far beyond me; I should have thought of that years ago. But at least I have manageable amounts of reading material every day. Be well! Thank you for commenting on my blog so that I found you.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked the quote, Darla – seemed perfect. Glad you got a laugh out of it. Thanks for the props.

      You’re my hero for writing ahead of the challenge. If I ever get to that point … the world might implode.

      I like your reading strategy. I have one monstrous folder on my toolbar for all the multitudes of blogs I want to read.

      I look forward to reading you more.

  5. artistpath says:

    I’m gonna borrow that quote LOL I enjoy your writing style and especially your humor!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I lived that quote for 10 years in newspapers, and decided to incorporate the lifestyle into everyday things, Sue.

      I look forward to delving into your blog. I’m grateful to have you around!

  6. amommasview says:

    Well done for finishing it and doing all the other things too! Yes, meeting new bloggers through the A-Z Challenge is one of my favorite things! So much great work out there!

  7. Kisma says:

    I think I feel behind reading all the blogs in the challenge during week one! 😕

    I’m still catching up.

    And I write when I can. 8 more days of school and I’ll have my mornings back to myself!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That trailing feeling started early for me too, Tiff. I think I gained more followers than last year, but had fewer hits. What are you going to do with all that extra time?

  8. stomperdad says:

    I was able to write every day, but I didn’t visit very many other challengers blogs. I kept reading my faves that pop up in my email. There really is no ideal of writing all the time and reading all time. If only…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That was the toughest (and least favorite) aspect of this, Eric – not reading as much. Much is lost in the blogger/reader exchange when it’s one-sided, I think.

      I felt I shortchanged the pages I loved to visit more regularly. I think the next president (or prime minister for y’all) should allow for an hour of blog reading time daily – those who don’t read blogs can smoke or nap.

      1. stomperdad says:

        I’m with ya on that one. Perhaps rhey can just add an hour on to the day? I feel like cold shouldered my faves. I managed to read some that came to my inbox. But my main focus was on writing.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I might not do it next year, Eric. I love the people I’ve met through it, but there is a tradeoff in the regulars you see at your place and to whose places you visit. Unless you can get posts done ahead of time, but even then, you’d probably have to neglect your reading at some point to do that.

  9. Lulu says:

    Hi Eli! Congrats! I applaud you for finishing out the challenge AND for prioritizing your sleep. In recovery, we talk about vulnerability factors, the things we need to stay on top of or stay away from to stay strong and be our best and to reduce our vulnerability to using/abusing/or just rocketing away on a mental and emotional roller coaster. Sleep is a big one. After that, do what you can when you can. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hey Lulu. Thanks! I don’t know if I could chalk up sleep to prioritizing or simply giving out.

      I can see the value of sleep, though – it feels like when life gets dicey, lack of sleep busts our seems a little faster. And not just for toddlers.

      I’ll always do what I can, where I am.

  10. mocadeaux says:

    I have the utmost respect for those of you who successfully complete the 30-day writing challenge. Really. To me, it feels like an impossible task. As you know, I can’t even get my act together to READ every day. Hats off to you, my friend, for a job well done.

  11. Rorybore says:

    Well, it is the middle of May and I just getting around to finishing all my reading and I didn’t even do the challenge! But about 15 blogs that I follow have done it – every. day. a. blog. post. So do the math as to how much reading I have done this past month… and then some! But that’s okay – it’s a good problem to have. I didn’t do much actual writing, but life also was happening beyond this flickering screen too. But hey — let’s all just not come in tomorrow? Agreed.

    Sorry your email New Post notifications for some reason filter to the bottom of my email list Coach. Or, I guess Bell Sympatico knows to save the best for last. 🙂

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