Lessons From The WinterABC Festival

So i participated in this year’s blogging challenge organised by Afrobloggers called the WinterABC. This is an annual storytelling festival that runs throughout the month of June where participants are challenged to write and post daily with the exception of weekends. Bloggers are prompted to write based on each week’s theme and sponsored subjects. The festival derives it’s name from the fact that the southern part of Africa experiences winter in June.

A legit badge of participation

I felt the urge to join in the festival the moment i saw a post about it. The festival presented me an opportunity to work towards my 2022 resolutions of posting a minimum of 12 articles by the end of the year. Before i knew it, i had already posted 15 articles in the month of June alone. The plan was to post on all the 22 days but office pressures got in the way. By the close of the festival, the total number of articles posted this year stood at 19.

Pictorial quote

This has been my best experience as a blogger. I felt recognised and celebrated. Other bloggers popped in and left their thoughts on my writing. I reciprocated. The best part came when bloggers I respect gave a special mention to me. Their blog entries pinged back to my entries that stood out for them. #Afrobloggers celebrated our work with pictorial quotes from each article we posted. This felt special. They gave us a specially designed “certificate” in form of a badge of participation. The blogging community had just welcomed me in their circle and I felt the love. Those two ping backs by Nsatusile and Beaton made me feel hugged. The right thing to do when hugged is to hug right back. Check them out.

WinterABC blogging community

Every experience, good or bad, brings with it an opportunity to learn. This blogging festival taught me a few blogging lessons which I now share below.

Allocate time to each paragraph. Once I had fully developed my thought, I had to determine how many paragraphs I would need, and how much time i needed to write them. I allocated 2 hours to each paragraph. This helped me to write without affecting my work at the office.

Write on your feet. I took 5 minute breaks as I transitioned from one task to the other. Its in those minutes that I took the opportunity to write. Because of the busy nature if my job, I had to write on my feet – literally. for that article and what paragraph would carry which thought. To navigate my busy life at work, I found a way of literally writing on my feet. I did this by making every short break count. I took 5 minute breaks in be

Edit later. Remember the 2 hours I allocated to each paragraph? The first hour was just for writing down my thought. The second hour was for editing. I found that I risked not finishing articles if wrote and edited at the same time. The focus on perfection is distracting.

Be deliberate about article length. Knowing our terrible reading culture, I wanted to write articles that would take less than 4 minutes to read. The preview feature showed me article duration, which I later used whenever I was sharing article links with friends or work colleagues. “This is a 2 minute read”.

Everything about this experience screamed “blogger”. This is the year I finally identified as a blogger. My Twitter profile now says that I am a blogger. Milestone!

4 thoughts on “Lessons From The WinterABC Festival

  1. Nothing like being part of blogging challenge to help push away those self doubts on whether one is a blogger or not…
    Funny story, took me maybe 2 – 3 years into my blogging journey before I could actually call myself a blogger — we didn’t have a community such as this one which make you feel seen and celebrate with you… But i did promise myself that I would be the person to others the person I saw wished I had seen when I started
    and here we are.

    To more milestones where the road will lead you 🥂

    Liked by 2 people

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