Every Month Should be SA Awareness Month

E

As if I don’t have enough going on in my life, today is not only part of the A to Z Challenge, it is also the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Wednesday. Though today’s post has little to do with writing insecurities, perhaps they will forgive this public service announcement.

I did promise to speak to Sexual Assault Awareness Month during this A to Z Challenge. Today is the kick off for the “Start by Believing” campaign happening in my area.

Start by Believing is a nationwide push to believe victims of sexual assault when they find the courage to report their attack. All too often, the victim is treated as the perpetrator. At the very least, a victim is looked upon with suspicion.

This campaign began in 2011 and has reached 130 communities in the U.S. and throughout the world. The goal is to be a Start by Believing nation. An online video shows the difficulties faced by victims and survivors. SBB-Logo-for-Public-Use-2014

Our community is honoring the victims and survivors throughout this month by having a walk through the streets and by a public awareness campaign. We will also be having a Self-Safety Seminar on April 26th.

Believing our victims during one of the most difficult times in their lives is important as well as walking with them throughout the process. The work never ends.

Reflections

A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - LgIn order to finish up with challenge, all participants have been asked to complete a reflection post speaking to their experiences with the A-to-Z Blog Challenge. Though I have spoken about completing my challenge, I hadn’t reflected back on this experience.

What I liked about the A-to-Z Challenge:

This was the first time I’d completed a blogging challenge so this gave me a framework to push myself with my blog. I felt like I needed the push to write and post more.

I liked that I found several blogs I wouldn’t have normally found and enjoyed the connection with other bloggers.

I also liked the badges for each day and I really appreciated all of the graphics.

What I didn’t like about the challenge:

There were so many blogs to check out. I just didn’t have time to see as many as I would have liked. Many of them (including my own) didn’t indicate the type and so that made it difficult to find. Next time I decide to do this I will label mine correctly. I struggled to go back and correct this but wasn’t able to.

By relying on the graphics, I didn’t have as much color in my blog post as would have been helpful. This is something I will change next time.

What worked:

I didn’t find out about this challenge until just about a week before it started so I didn’t have a chance to chose a theme and that wasn’t my focus this time around. For the most part I wrote my blog post the night before it came out. Sometimes I wrote two. I liked the fact that the only guideline was that the letter of the alphabet must be used. This made me stretch my imagination.

Though I didn’t really rely on the blog posts for encouragement, I enjoyed the reminders and the drive to keep going.

What didn’t work:

I’m not sure there was anything that didn’t work. If it didn’t work, then normally I would put it up to operator error. Mostly that was me not having any idea what to write about. The site worked well and though I think it was a struggle to catch all of the blogs who weren’t participating, I didn’t find that many.

For me, what didn’t work is I underestimated the amount of time that it would take to keep things up and going. If I had been able to plan for a theme and perhaps work ahead a bit, it may have been better. Though I enjoyed the learning that came out of winging it. Next year I will have a different plan. Maybe.

Finally:

As I said in previous posts, this was an incredible experience for me as I am a relatively new blogger. This challenge helped me to overcome some anxiety that would come each time I pressed the schedule button. I am grateful for that. It has helped me to grow as a writer and blogger, though I have a long way to go.

Share your experiences with any challenge you’ve done this year.

Victory

V

This post is a day late for a normal update but the letters just worked this way.

The A-to-Z Challenge

There are just a few days left of the A-to-Z Blog Challenge and I am still excited about it. I find myself wondering what I’m going to do when April is over. Looks like it is time for some serious blog planning.

I like the momentum I’ve found in this month of writing six posts a week. However, that is a lot of posts. Its a struggle at times to make sure I have a post each day. Coming up with topics has been challenging but still this has been a positive experience.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo has been a success also. Though I am not done with my novel, I have met my goal. Here is the badge to prove it:

Camp-Winner-2015-Twitter-Profile

No, my novel isn’t done. Most likely just under halfway through. I have a lot of work to do. But it has been fun.

Even though I have still have one more challenge, I’m still going to celebrate my success. My plan is continue with my novel until I finish. Of course there are two more to work on to complete my series. It never ends.

At this moment, victory is sweet.