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A to Z Reflections Post: Late, as usual

So I guess this was supposed to happen yesterday. To be honest, the listless A to Z was, in fact, listless, and I was busy, so I pretty much just put it all behind me and carried on. But it seems only fair to offer my reflections and opinions, if anyone is listening.

Does that sound cynical? There may be a reason for that. You see, because of my time zone and my personal schedule (I could, of course, have posted at 3 the afternoon before and put my links up when the Brits did. But I don't want to), I ended up posting my link in the comments pretty much dead last every day. And that attracted about...zero...readers. I'm not sure if anyone visited here who wasn't responding to my visits, and frankly, I found people to visit by following comments on my friends' blogs. As a means of publicizing and promoting my blog, it was not, in fact, worth the touted "five minutes a day" (and yes, I resented the implication in the survey that if I didn't like having to go and post the links daily I just wasn't prioritizing publicizing my own blog. In point of fact, my blog is NOT my priority. Writing novels is my priority. And I want to publicize both in ways that work).

Okay, grumps aside, I did find some fun new blogs to follow, or at least to follow in A to Z (this is something I have run up against before, and one reason I think that Jemima Pett had it completely right when she decided to blog as she always does, and just tie it in to the letters: blogs are often very different in A to Z than they are the rest of the time. That includes mine, most years).

So here, in list form, are some things that I think went well and what didn't:
1. I had some fun, exploring characters from my own and my friends' books.
2. Because none of us knew how to find new blogs, I think I had more people coming back to read multiple posts than usual. 
3. #2 may mean more real followers.
4. I spent too much time finding links to follow.
5. Without the linky list and the codes telling me what kind of blog each was, I wasted a fair bit of my limited visiting time checking out blogs that I had no interest in.
6. Most of the month, my book sales were even flatter than usual (there was a flurry right at the end of the month. Did I post something that drove a few sales, or is it coincidence?). 
7. May partly explain #6: my participation in all my social media dropped off during the month, because I have only so much time for it, and I was using most of it to post and visit.


My conclusion? I probably won't do A to Z again, and not just because of the loss of the linky-list. I think that as a writer I'm moving beyond that. My priority is writing, and not blogging, though I don't deny the importance of the blog for getting my name and my books out there. What it does make me think is that I may want to revisit how I manage my blog. So maybe that's a benefit of A to Z. Blog hops do help people find you (though I sometimes wonder if anyone but other bloggers ever reads any of us!), but I actually find smaller hops more effective. Somehow, when the list is only a couple of dozen long, I'm more apt to visit more blogs. Go figure. They can also be more focused on what I'm doing.

Apologies for the long and grumpy post. April was a tiring month, and May is shaping up to be harder. I've no doubt it shows.

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©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2017
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