Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

X is for . . X-It (exit) Strategy

a-to-z-letters-2013Day 24 in the A to Z Challenge, and here we are at letter X.

I have been reading a number of AtoZ bloggers’ posts to see how creatively they have handled this topic, and I am impressed. This letter has been a challenge for us all, (what will we ever do next year?) but look at what interesting things I found.

Xantus, a hummingbird
Durty Fillums. And no, this is not a hummingbird variety, and it doesn’t start with X. Go read it and you’ll get it.

And hang on, we still have the letter Z to mangle manage.

The A to Z Challenge has been good for me in both 2012 and 2013. (See my treasured  2012 A to Z Badge of Honor?) Somehow I feel responsible to get survivor-atoz-2the letter of the day done, even if one delinquent letter spills over into the next letter territory. A to Z keeps me on task and in focus.  It keeps me interacting with other bloggers, clicking likes, and leaving short notes. This has been fun.

But what happens when the A to Z party is over?

One year ago, just before my first A to Z,  I joined WANA112 (We Are Not Alone) group organized by Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone. One hundred bloggers came together to share our beginner struggles with blogging under Kristen’s superior tutelage. Now 88 members of that original group still keep touch by sharing blogging posts, comments, support, and friendship in our own closed Facebook group. I love this group. They are the best.

And now, I have found new blogger friends on A to Z. I hope we can keep in touch via the Blogging A to Z Facebook page. But now, since this A to Z party is ending, I must decide what to do next, hence this X-It strategy post. Here are some beginning thoughts.


1. Keep blogging, but perhaps at a more sane regular pace, say two or three times a week.

2. Clean up my blog. It looks a little cluttered on the sidebar, and I want to tighten things up there.

3. Add my blogroll…I have procrastinated long enough on that. Thanks to Dawn M. Miller at Lingering Visions for sharing her thoughts on procrastination here.   

4. Keep reading blogs, liking them, and commenting on posts in WordPress reader. This is my favorite way to read blogs because they come up in a nice list and load quickly. (Going from my email to a blog post is sometimes slow.) And I like the way WordPress pulls up blogs in categories I have selected. I can quickly see what’s new in my favorite areas: grammar, writing, ESOL, English teaching, travel, photos, cooking, health, books, and of course, my all time favorite: CATS. ={^;^}= Meow.

5. Categorize my posts and publish topic lists of my posts. Along that line, I want to make headers for topics.

6. Print off a hard copy of each post (now at 93 posts). On post 100 I will post a Catalog of Cats Celebrating with me.

7. Master the gimmicks and widgets. Even after a year of posting, I still have trouble with getting new widgets in my sidebar. I think I have mastered it, then when I try to do it again, I fail. Maybe I should write down the directions? You think?

8. Get the answer to this question. WHY, WHY, WHY does WordPress flip back to an older version of my drafts when I click off to do something else? This is the most maddening thing.

9. I am sure more goals will pop into my mind as I rethink this whole process. These will do for a start.

Thanks for being my faithful readers. Now that I have stated my strategy, you will have to hold me accountable.

Now the educator in me says that I have to be S.M.A.R.T. about these strategies. Maybe another day. My head is spinning.

smart -goals 2

The Last Meow

Hey gang. It’s almost time for the BBBBIIIIIGGGGGG party. How about a little warm-up so we will be totally prepared? Meow for now.  =(^;^)     xxxxx

party cats on table

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16 thoughts on “X is for . . X-It (exit) Strategy

  1. I still have no ideas for Z..lol

  2. This article will be a huge influence for me: http://michellerafter.com/2009/05/04/5-ways-to-blog-every-day-without-freaking-out/ I’m going to post different kinds of posts to keep things mixed up. After A to Z, I’m going to have a photo post of the tulips in Washington, DC, and then something military because that is a topic that draws people. I’ve also been focusing on staying short with the posts. My goal right now is to be able to write a post in 30 minutes. I’m also keeping a list of post ideas which now runs two pages, so I can pick which ones I want to do and which can wait.

    On WordPress, you have to make sure you hit Save Draft before you leave the page. Otherwise it’ll grab the last time it was saved.

    • Thanks. I’ll check that link. I have some left over A to Z topics that I want to write about. I do need to develop a cache of shorter articles. Although I love to do the research on some of these posts, it does take a lot of time. I am getting faster though.
      I hit Save Draft often to keep the draft. I guess sometimes I unconsciously click on the X in the right hand corner. I have been trying to break that habit.

  3. Thanks for dropping by and for linking my blog in your page! And your plan sounds good! Good luck!

  4. Thank you for another great informative and full of tips post! 🙂 I still haven’t figured widgets out either.
    A to Z April Blogging Challenge

  5. Wonderful list, Janice. It echos a lot of my own plans. WordPress is such a deep well of information sometimes I end up contacting support. The Happiness Engineers, as they call themselves, get back within 48 hours. They are a great bunch.

    As for widgets, writing it down is my only salvation:) And, sometimes, I even get widgets to work!

    • I need to contact the Happiness Engineers about a few problems that I have. Working on widgets is my first goal for the rest of the week, then blog roll. Thanks for the visit.

  6. Congratulations on finishing in 2012 and for just about finishing the job again. With two posts to go the finishing line is well and truly in sight. The structure provided by the A to Z Challenge is terrific. I hope you keep up the momentum and continue to post regularly, if not everyday. Isn’t wonderful to have all these options!

  7. Pingback: X Bonus: Xena, Warrior Puppy, Helps Autistic Boy | JaniceHeck

  8. Pingback: A to Z Challenge Reflection and Celebration-My 100th Post | JaniceHeck

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