The Challenge is Over! What Now?

IMG_6727.JPGIf you’ve been following my posts throughout the April A to Z blogging challenge, I’d like to take this opportunity and say thank you very much for your ongoing support. The challenge was a marathon, and I’m pleased to say I have survived it!

So, now that it’s over, what can you expect in May?

Before I tell you what’s in store, I’d like to ask for your help. Would you please take a minute to let me know what you enjoy reading on my blog? What would you like more of? Now that I’m back at work, life is busier than ever, and knowing what you like reading would help me to plan posts in advance.

Here’s what I’m planning to publish next week.

You might have read my first stab at flash fiction the other day. I’m going to give it a go as often as I can. On most weeks, you can expect a 99-word story from me. You can read my new story on Monday.

Later in the week, I’m going to publish a post reflecting on my participation in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

On Wednesday 4 May, I will share a story by Geoff Le Pard in The Story Behind The Story series. It’s a powerful story that touched my heart. (By the way, if you think you’ve seen that post already, that’s because I accidentally published it while trying to schedule it. Sorry about that.) By the way, if you’d like to contribute to the series, now is the time to get in touch. I’d love to share your inspiring story on my blog.

Once a month or so, I’ll post What My Kid Says These Days.

Last but not least, I’d love to know the types of posts you’d like to read on my blog. Please, let me know in the comments below. Themes, style, format, content, series, chatty posts – anything that comes to mind would be of great help.

Once again, many thanks for reading and all your support.

With love,

Gulara

 

 

29 thoughts on “The Challenge is Over! What Now?

  1. Congratulations, Gulara, your A-Z is quite an achievement and sorry I haven’t kept up with it all. But I’m looking forward to your flash, and hope you’ll join in on a regular basis when Charli takes back the reins.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Anne. No worries about A-Z, it’s quite a commitment to keep up with the whole thing. I can’t wait to share my flash 😀 It took me in an unexpected direction (thanks for the permission slip!) And yes, I hope I can keep going on a regular basis. Many thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Congratulations for completing the challenge, Gulara. I enjoyed reading as many of your posts as I was able. I have no additional suggestions for you. I enjoy reading everything you post. I am pleased you will continue to join in with the flash fiction challenge. I love reading about your children and what they say, and I enjoy your Story behind the Story posts. I look forward to reading Geoff’s story, and hope to send you mine as soon as I can figure out what to say! Keep doing what you’re doing. For me as a reader, I’ll be happy when your posting pace slows down a bit and I can read more of your work.

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    • Thank you, Norah, I’m deeply grateful for the feedback. I look forward to slowing down too 🙂 As much as I loved the challenge, it feels like I have finally reclaimed my life back. So yes to fewer posts. Glad the blog is working for you. Thank you for all your support. And I’ll be happy to have your post in the series whenever the time is right for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done again for the A to Z challenge, Gulara, I think your theme was unique and very well done. Personally, I think you have it sussed for the blog, it’s well balanced and varied and I can’t say what I like most. Keep going as is!

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  4. Oh dear, I followed every post of you since I started to follow you and I like them all. So I personally don’t mind, if you post every day 😉
    At the same time I’m also glad your switching to a slower past, for one main reason; that you’re taking the time to address all the other important ‘stuff’ ongoing in your live. For an other small reason: I get the chance to explore more of your blog and read older posts 🙂

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  5. Fully understand how hard it is to post on a regular basis. I just can’t if I want to write fiction, which is what I love best. So I’m not able to tell you what to do. As a blog reader I cannot keep up with daily posting. Although, I still follow bloggers who post every day, I don’t read them every day. I find it too much. So that’s maybe why only advice: less is sometimes better.
    I found you with a blog post about your children. I’m a mother (although my kids are big now) and I love all things about education and the upbringing of children. As a foreign-born woman who lives abroad I also respond to blog posts about immigration, expatriation and what it means to look for a place to call home.
    I’m not sure I’m helping you here!
    In any case it remains your blog, so you also remain the one who has to decide. I’m pretty sure that whatever you chose, it will be good and always a pleasure to read you.
    Best of luck and again congrats for the challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You helped a lot, Evelyne, thank you. It’s interesting that the posts that got the most views in the history of my blogging (big smile here) were about parenting. So, it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind. And immigration topics surface from time to time. As to the regularity, I’d like to find a rhythm I can sustain for years to come. Daily posting is definitely not on the cards 🙂 I’m even thinking that A to Z may not happen next year. My ideal rhythm is once or twice a week. I’ve been writing in the spur of the moment, when I’ve got something to say. I like that because when the post comes through it’s often relevant to other people too. But the reason I asked the question is because I want to experiment with scheduling posts in advance. May is a tough month with lots of exam marking…. We’ll see how it goes. Anyway, thanks for taking the time and responding to my request.

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      • So glad I somewhat helped. Agree that some posts have just to be written while others are prepared with a more cold-blooded mind, if I can say. Take it easy. May is brutal for students and their professors. 💐

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  6. It’s your blog–it should be your outlet! I personally have found that fiction doesn’t do very well…people want to learn more about you, the blogger…your thoughts on things, that sort of thing. But people don’t like reading book promos, either, and I do that occasionally to support my friends, so we do what we must! I just hope I keep the content interesting enough that people keep checking back if they see something they don’t like one day. My blog really is kind of a mishmash of things!

    Stephanie
    http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congrats, Gulara. Well done with the Challenge. Congrats.
    What I enjoy reading on blogs, in general, is something about the blogger, something insightful that, perhaps, that blogger can offer more than anyone else. Fiction is a tough one, as it’s everywhere. Flash might be okay, if in very short format, and not constant. Blogs that attract me have funny, useful, witty, and to a point, original content. Sure, easier said than done. 🙂 I struggle to come up with such content.

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    • Your writing is excellent, Silvia, so I’m sure what we seek we can often find on our blogs. I appreciate your thoughts on this. I think so far my posts were personal in nature and I was starting to wonder whether I should move to something that’s more general and wider in its application? Again, as you say, can’t force such content. It’ll come, if it comes 🙂

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  8. Hi Gulara, the comments have given me much to think about as I think ‘what do I want?’ , ‘what will I read?’ ‘what do I have time for’ and what not etc …
    I’ve enjoyed all your posts that I’ve read that is for sure! I’ve enjoyed engaging with YOU and all the tenderness and wise words in your posts. I have read only a few of your ‘behind the story’ posts because I suppose they were not about you … and although I know I would have found them extremely interesting and relevant had I read them, it would be yet another distraction, no matter how delightful. There is so much that I yearn to read – I have a file of Brain Pickings, TED talks and other such that I have not even ‘looked’ at, goodness knows if I ever will …
    Re flash fiction and 99 words .. I enjoyed your last one though there was no time to really comment, as I like to think before making a comments (!) …
    Let’s see, what else … as a comment said, it’s your blog and you will know what it is you want to post. I know you’re keeping your readers in mind and this is important. I enjoy everything that you post. Your life, of family, friends, relationships, thoughts, feelings, your creativity on this journey of life is what interests me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to reflect and comment here. I’m deeply grateful for your input. It means a lot! As to things to read – I can relate so much. I sometimes despair that I’ll never get around reading/learning from all the resources I’ve got, some of which I buy. So, a lot to reflect on before moving forward. Many-many thanks again for your support!

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  9. Whatever you have, I will be honored to read.
    I am still on “Z” trying to finish things up. And I am totally procrastinating by sitting here reading other people’s post, instead of doing my own. My brain is fried. I think I will go something completely monotonous and mindless, like laundry and procrastinate a little longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here’s a schedule for you.
    Monday: whatever you want
    Tuesday: something that appeals to you
    Wednesday: maybe a change and do something that is just you for a change
    Oh sod it, you get the picture! Seriously though the blogs that work for me are a mix of things, thought pieces, guest posts, stories, poetry etc and I’m a sucker for a challenge or a prompt. Those can be tough if you promise to comment back or collate the replies.
    But I’m going to carry on reading regardless of direction or content because you blog (a) intrigues and (b) informs and that’s as good a combo as I can think of. Flatter over; now get the kids to bed and start writing…

    Liked by 4 people

    • I hope you know that you made me laugh 🙂 I’m so flattered! Thank you so much for your kind words, Geoff. Your take on the content of the blog means the world. And yes, I got the message 🙂 Writing my next piece for 1000 voices speak for compassion. Thank you so much for introducing me to this group, by the way. I love Yvonne’s community.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations for completing A to Z. I’ll have to go back and read your posts as I was too busy trying to write my own to keep up with reading and commenting on others’ posts. I’ll read anything you post, so just keep writing. It’s so nice you’ve joined in the flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on finishing the challenge. I have that same sort of “what now?” feeling. I’m looking forward to whatever you decide to do next. Sounds like you have a plan in mind, and if that doesn’t work you can try something else. That’s the beauty of personal blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your supportive comment. To be honest, I haven’t had a plan when I published this post. Like you, I had a ‘what now?’ feeling. From what people say, I’ve got two takeaways: slow down and quality over quantity. So, working out the way forward, which feels healthy. Sometimes, I get caught up in keeping up, and it’s not even entirely necessary. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your blog so I have no idea where you should go, just keep growing!
    The story behind the story is such a great series. Maybe some memories here and there? I really do enjoy your guest posts that you do elsewhere too.
    I try to blog regularly, but at the moment it’s not working out too well, I guess it’s the post A to Z slump, a toddler who wants me to not write, working a bit more and the recent very beautiful weather, oh and the fact that I have shingles (it does tire me a bit too much).
    I have the interview questions almost ready for you, so I will be sending them to you soon.
    Solveig

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thank you, Solveig! I really appreciate your kind words and support. I’m sorry to hear about shingles. I’ve heard they are extremely painful. I’ve slowed way down too. I’m marking exam scripts and work is stressful and kids are ill. But I very much look forward to the interview questions. Big hug. x

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