Monday, May 7, 2012

Looking back at the 2012 A to Z Challenge

First, a huge round of applause goes out to everyone who had anything at all to do with the A to Z Blog Challenge this year…from the innovators and enablers, to the participants, to those who simply stayed posted and read our stuff.

The creative spirit is definitely alive and well despite any attempt by evil forces to thwart it. You know what I mean—fatigue, time constraints, financial woes, disparagement, failed attempts…whatever it encounters. It thrives because it has support.

In business, in politics, and even in the health care, competition is the name of the game. Marketing, promoting, and selling a product or service are the motivational tools that fuel the machinery.

In the creative arts, on the other hand, community appears to be the sustaining force. People supporting one another’s efforts, encouraging each other, and most notably, rooting for someone else’s success! The greatest thing about the Challenge for me was this sense of connection, comaraderie, and encouragement…from total strangers…from around the world! I love the thought that there are people everywhere who share my passion for writing, who work quietly and steadily without any guarantee of success, who pass their days in solitude…and in just thirty days, become mutual friends and fans…thanks to this Challenge!

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you may have noticed that some of the posts had a familiar ring to them. This is because, for this year's challenge, I went back through my blog and tweaked a few of my old posts, keeping with the theme of "beginning again". The purpose of this exercise was to decide whether I might have the basic outline of book here...something I can expand upon in hopes of publishing it. A book for people who long to dump their day jobs and indulge their artisitic yearnings, whether by writing, painting, composing, or performing. I've already interviewed CJ Lyons and Tess Gerritsen, both of whom, like me, abandonned careers in medicine to write.

So...if you are reading this reflections post, I'd really appreciate your input. A book for people who would love to "begin again"? If you'd like to share your thoughts or suggestions, comment below or send me an email at

During the month of April I also worked on "Cherished Illusions", the blog I dedicated to my recent medical mission to Tanzania

I also saw my first short story published in The Storyteller Magazine.

It was a very good month for me in many ways... but especially because of this challenge and the opportunity to get a glimpse into the hearts and souls of other writers, and to have a share in their passion and purpose in life. For this, I say, "Thank you."

“Writing and reading
decrease our sense of isolation.
They deepen and widen and expand
our sense of life.
They feed the soul.”
--Anne Lamott--


  1. It was a terrific month. A little rest will be good and then, back at it.

  2. I'm glad the Challenge was a good experience for you. I loved it! The best one yet :)

  3. At the rate I am going, catching up is going to be just as much of a challenge. Congrats on making it across the finish line :)

  4. Thank you for posting. Congrats on finishing the challenge. It sounds like you have so amazing things to blog about.

  5. Thanks everyone! Next week I'm off to the Pennwriters annual conference in Lancaster, PA. Workshops, writing contests, read & critique session, agaent pitch, and keynotes by Hank Phillippi Ryan and Maria V. Snyder. Can't wait!

  6. I'm happy for you and your great month. Hope it keeps going.

  7. Congratulations on your successful April. You are so right about the sense of community that evolves out of the A to Z Challenge--not just one, but many. This has been the greatest strength of the April Challenge from the beginning. Of course we can't forget all of the great writing either.
    Thanks for your thoughts and for being a part of the 2012 A to Z.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out