Firstly a humungous thankyou to Arlee at Tossing it Out and his very able crew for hosting. It's been a massive job for you all, and I appreciate the time and energy that you've all put into this event.
Congratulations, well done!
What I've learnt:
Most importantly, don't tackle two blogs in the A-Z Blogging challenge without preparation! It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. It was utterly exhausting, demanding, draining and I'd never recommend it - ever - to anyone who has an ounce of common sense.
I'd seen the buttons around the blogosphere and wondered what the A-Z challenge was about and thought it looked like fun, so entered my 'for me' blog - jumpingaground - that was all fine and good. Then, on March 31st I had a rush of blood to my head and decided at that late stage to enter my more formal blog. That's plain crazy!
One entry? No worries.
Two entries? Insane!
The alliterative Drabbles were fun to write over at jumpingaground , although I found it hard to turn off once I got on a roll. All stories are based on real people and events except Yolanda and her yellow yacht. Many are environment or climate related, others are to do with learning difficulties.
I suspect the idea of writing about bullying had been floating around in my head, lurking, just waiting for an opportunity like this. The structure worked for me. I think if I'd been left to my own devices I wouldn't have attempted it at all or I would have drifted and dithered, with a bit here and a bit there. A-Z provided the scaffolding I needed to do it in one hit.
My list of A-Z Workplace Bullying posts is here.
Before I started, I had no idea how long each post would take. I spent 1/2 a day getting a vague outline together to make sure I would have something for each letter, realised I had something sort of workable, and plunged in. I hadn't anticipated each post would then take many many hours, revising, rewording, checking for accuracy, editing and adding pictures. Some are a bit long, but that's the way they are.
I'm tenacious. This is not good if you're being bullied. It could be possible to hang on and try to make something work when it's destined not to. But for a blogging challenge it's invaluable!
I'll try to remember never to post a comment when I've had a glass or two of wine. It's not good. Now you know why some of those comments were, erm not so clearly written.
It would have been difficult to have completed the posts without the support and input from other bloggers. Each and every comment helped me get through. This topic isn't fun or popular or sexy - to read or to write. Your comments were, and still are, welcomed and cherished.
Why tackle workplace bullying? I hope these posts might be a resource beyond this challenge. I'm horrified at the prevalence of ongoing bullying in workplaces. As a Career Development Professional, my clients tell me what happens in supposedly reputable organisations. The people I work with are honest, ethical, have strong morals and act with integrity. Too many workplaces don't value those attributes, they chew up employees, take everything they can get, then spit out what's left. I felt my addition to exposing some of the tactics used by bullies was a small something I could do to support others and perhaps shed some light on this appalling behaviour.
Knowledge is power. My aim was to share my knowledge in a hopefully easy to read form to empower others.
What I've learnt about others. People are generous. Of course I knew that, but it's been underlined hugely. People have supported me by encouraging others to read the information, they've forwarded the posts on and have commented in a very positive way. That's what I dreamed might happen. Thanks to everyone who has shared and commented.
What have I learnt about blogging?
Success is just a word. Running the two blogs in tandem was fascinating. jumpingaground went from something like 22 followers to 83, but I don't get many drop in visitors or many hits. Keyword search data is wishy washy at best. But it's fun, and it's for me!
In comparison, traverselife went from about 22 followers to 52, which in comparison is 'unsuccessful'. Keyword searches however, show clearly what people are looking for, and I get significantly more hits daily but less or no comments. I've had quiet, consistent, steady support for the posts from people within and outside the blogging community. That's rewarding. People who've contacted me have given me a huge boost, It really makes this feel like a strong community pulling together, and is a reassuring feeling of connectedness. Thankyou.
|East Side Gallery. Berlin. 2009.|
What do I look for in other blogs?
Meatiness, fun, not self indulgent, interesting, challenging without being derogatory or rude.
I might do a follow up with something about schools and bullying, add some more links to some good information. Editing needs to happen....drat..... I want to pose the question "Do you bully yourself?" and look at how we're often meaner to ourselves than is healthy. I'm looking forward to eventually writing about the healing process after being bullied. Looking at how we can create rich, full and meaningful lives is something I've wanted to post about, but haven't yet found a structure that feels right. I also want to revisit assertiveness and How to say "No".
Would I recommend this challenge to others? Definitely!
I've just had some insight when I was making a comment on someone else's blog. I went in to this Challenge asking myself what I could GIVE to others. I wasn't focusing on how many followers or comments I could GET. Hmmm.....
Lastly, I have a newfound respect for everyone who has written a book. How do you do it and stay sane? Characters who wander off and create mayhem, plots that refuse to co-operate - gosh you guys are impressive!
How to make a hyperlink (clicky) signature here