My final entry for the 2013 iteration of the A to Z April challenge was to be titled: Z is for Zhurra’s Complicated Blade (spell). However, I also had some notes that I actually needed to swap this spell idea out for another map, because I'd swapped a map for a spell in my planned posts earlier in the month.
Sadly, this post may never see the light of day anyway. April just about did me in, blog-wise, you see.
As April went on, I was glad that I had taken the opportunity the first few days to pre-write and build a buffer. Stress at the firm is getting high, as the unknown creeps ever closer. Stress in the family because of that unknown, and worrying about my staff as well...well, suffice it to say it started taking its toll, mentally and physically. I suffered through a bad cold at the first of April, to be followed by a sinus infection in mid-April, to be followed by another bout of pink eye that hit on the last week of April.
I was simply in no shape to finish up the Challenge.
Truth be told, I haven't even thought about the blog in the last two weeks. I simply wasn't up to it.
The April Challenge is always a two-edged sword for me. It's like a mini-NaNoWriMo in some respects, as it forces me to be creative and to write. But it also burns me out.
True, the sickness didn't help.
It will take me a year to get excited about another A to Z April Challenge. Especially after this year, because I'm not sure what I actually got out of it. True, I have 24 posts of what I believe is good and useful game material. I am happy to have seen some positive feedback from this material. I feel like the Challenge was a success in that respect, even though it may remain unfinished (for now).
I'm not sure, though, that there was that much exposure to my blog this year. That's always one side-effect of the April Challenge: exposure and increased "follower" counts. It's not why I do it, but it's there. Problem is, my follower count only increased by eight in the month, and two of those have since disappeared. Not even remotely close to last year's effect. Ah well, their loss.
I was also concerned about this year's organization: each blog was supposed to have listed a theme or genre when they signed up, to aid in finding like-minded blogs. I noticed that a lot of bloggers didn't bother categorizing. This is one reason I didn't do a lot of reading across the Challenge's blogs: Blog names simply don't often tell you what the subject matter actually is; if it wasn't categorized as a gaming blog, I just didn't have the time to visit it.
I also think that it may have gotten just too big for its britches. There were a LOT of blogs participating this year: 1,656 of which I was number 815. It's easy for ANY blog to get lost amongst 1,655 others. I don't know if there's a solution to that, unless it's by having each genre hosting its own Challenge...but I'm not sure how that would work, or even IF it would work. It may defeat the purpose of the Challenge.
Now...to buckle down and get some more writing done. Maybe. If I can.