Let me think….




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The one thing I learned early on in the Challenge was that Brevity is Best, so I’ll keep this short!

This was my fifth year and it was apparent from the start there were far less folk in my category, Flash Fiction – stand-alone stories that can be read in a minute or so with few words and simple sentences. I wrote 26 stories for children.

I make and keep my own blogrolls of like-minded contributors every year and when I delved into them at the start of this year’s event, hardly any of my favourites were taking part! Bad start.

So, to the stats…..

I received 2003 visits – average 77 a day. Far less than previous years.

I received 721 ‘likes’  – average 28 a day. Also down on previous years.

I received 494 comments – average 19 a day. Way down on previous years.

I didn’t like the master list, did you? The nearest category I could find was – Author/Writing (craft of writing, stories, memoirs, publishing, literature, poetry) which covers so many different genres. By the way, I particularly dislike posts that tell me how to write! Surely the most successful yarn-spinners are those that are different from the rest and don’t conform! I digress.

Taking part means I have to put my usual literary pursuits on hold.  Given that fact plus the decline in readers during the Challenge, I probably won’t be taking part again next year, but it was fun while it lasted!

Finally thanks to Tom, Hannah, Zac, Felicity, Sam, Violet and all the other kids who let me tell you their stories and of course to you dear reader for taking the time to drop by.


Story list –  A  B  C  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



34 thoughts on “Let me think….

  1. Denise Hammond May 6, 2019 / 14:17

    I have not participated for the last few years. I found that fewer bloggers I followed participated and new bloggers seemed to disappear when the challenge ended, along with their visits to my blog. I think it was a great idea whose time has passed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 6, 2019 / 14:47

      I agree with every word Denise. The challenge needs a total revamp to get back to its glory days!


  2. Christine Goodnough May 6, 2019 / 14:23

    I’d say it was a tough challenge and hard to get a finale into so few words. You did well on this nevertheless. I’d also say that few mature adults — most of your readers — aren’t so apt to get that enthused about children’s stories. Readers today like to get into the character, identify, feel. Getting back to childhood takes words-space for development. (I should try my hand at writing a few myself once I’m done digging up Family Tree roots.)

    Don’t be too firm about not doing next year’s challenge. We all enjoyed Rosy’s stories last year and next year’s challenge may be something you can really get into. I’d like to see you do a month of memoirs. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Keith's Ramblings May 6, 2019 / 14:46

      Thanks for your wise words Christine. For me, the stories about Amble Bay were the ones I enjoyed writing the most and they were also the best received. Next year? We’ll see but right now I’m no too keen given the ever decreasing number of short story writings taking part.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth May 6, 2019 / 15:12

    I’m with you on the stats and master list. I did enjoy your stories though😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lissa May 6, 2019 / 15:22

    yes, there is a decline in the overall challenge, & for me too since I didn’t comment as much as I thought I would

    I didn’t like the master list either, too long, too many columns with too many information I really didn’t need or want.

    I have visited you though I didn’t leave a comment which now I feel bad because I do like short stories, the one I like is the ‘queen of all mermaids’ only because I like mermaids.

    have a lovely day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 8, 2019 / 11:48

      Lissa, we can’t always leave comments everywhere we go. This comment is more than sufficient! As for that master list…!


  5. msjadeli May 6, 2019 / 17:47

    I appreciate reading your reflection as someone who has other years to compare this year to. Hoping the feedback that the organizers get will lead to positive changes. From the blogs I visited, I see some were very active in their daily post and visiting others, but most didn’t get much traffic or go out and visit other blogs. I’m not sure what you meant about someone telling you how to write?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 7, 2019 / 09:45

      Once again there were several sites offering advice on composition. ‘The the art of writing’ is included in the same category as story telling which is why I kept coming across them when seeking out writers of fiction. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli May 7, 2019 / 15:43

        Aha that explains it. You got into it a lot deeper than I did. Thanks for responding back.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. messymimi's meanderings May 6, 2019 / 18:06

    You did a great job with your stories. Since i try to put something out daily anyway, i will probably continue, although it really doesn’t bring me a lot more readers or comments or anything. It’s more about it being fun to challenge myself to stick to a letter for the day than anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 7, 2019 / 09:35

      I honestly don’t know how you do it! You manage to cram so much into your posts, and to do that daily is incredible. I actually received less comments during April than I do in an average month and spend much longer on each post, which is why I’m wondering if it’s worth it. Keep up the good work Mimi.


  7. kristin May 7, 2019 / 04:22

    Several challenges I participate in seem to have run their course. Sort of sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 7, 2019 / 09:24

      They come and they go. I ran one myself for years. so I know all about it! Cheers kristin


  8. Cathy Kennedy May 7, 2019 / 13:07


    Your stories were a delight. The A2Z Challenge remains a lot of fun still for me because it causes me to block of a particular period of time to devote to my art. I imagine this isn’t such a big deal for authors who are always writing stories or maybe even serious artists but for me it works. Maybe, I don’t need it anymore and I guess I’ll see how things go between now and April but regardless I can’t resist getting on board with the blogfest. Despite the problems with bloggers losing interest or few in the arts category or what have ya, I still find the good in the concept and run with it full steam. Thanks for joining me in my art sketch journey this year and let’s do try to stay better connected. I know I’m horrible at it but will make every effort…I promise. Have a pAwesome week, my friend!


    • Keith's Ramblings May 8, 2019 / 11:45

      One of the reasons I tagged on to your blog was that you were offering something different. Something easy to follow and satisfying. The problem with the challenge for me is that I feel disconnected from my normal activities, and the bloggers I normally interact with. I’ll be watching you – in the nicest way possible of course!


  9. Nilanjana Bose May 8, 2019 / 06:30

    I loved your stories – the ones I was able to read, the Amble Bay series was superb too. The best years of the Challenge were 2016/2017 for me, from 2018 there has been a general decline in participation. I dislike blogs that tell me how to write too 🙂 I mostly ignored the masterlist and used facebook comments to find blogs. About views and return comments this year – less said the better. 🙂

    I’m truly sorry to read you won’t be participating next year. Yours is one of the funnest blogs to visit during the A-Zs! The challenge veterans dropping out progressively erodes the Challenge and the sense of community, less visits, less commenting, less camaraderie – it’s a vicious cycle. I have to agree with you that it all needs a major revamp and some way to retain the old A-Zers. I hope the organisers will be able do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 8, 2019 / 11:33

      I didn’t intend taking part this year, but as April crept closer it became more and more tempting. The positive comments I’ve received are causing me to think again – we’ll see, but there will have to be some positive changes made. Thank you so much for your thoughts.


  10. Natasha May 8, 2019 / 07:57

    Bravo Keith! This year I chose to bow out after participating for two consecutive years.
    I was on a blogging break so didn’t get to read all your stories, but I’m sure you would have nailed it like always.

    Time to reward yourself now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. hilarymb May 9, 2019 / 18:01

    Hi Keith – loved your Amble Bay stories. I wanted to do it this year … but just wasn’t enthusiastic enough to commit. When I’d been doing the A-Z for a few years and had been around within the group for even longer – I was really irritated a few years ago to be ‘welcomed (not!) to the A-Z as though I’d never been around: that put me off – people!

    Then it got more strictured … do this, do that … and I’m blowed if I’ll follow orders when in a social challenge. I hardly touch FB, don’t do TW … even the comment ‘donated’ my way – weren’t encouraging – yet everyone else who comments have always been thoughtful and generous. It’s very frustrating the lack of the desire to build relationships …

    I’ve found over the years … many of the bloggers have been generous in recommending new people, or referring to others we might find ourselves enjoying … so: here endeth my lesson-comment … it needs management revamping and rethinking …

    Cheers enjoy the ‘windy’ weekend – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Keith's Ramblings May 10, 2019 / 10:28

    A couple of years ago three was great comradery amongst the participants, in fact, quite a lot of those who follow me now tagged along as a result of A-Z. Then it started going downhill. And this year I came across very few like-minded contributors. It was a great idea than ran its course. Thanks for your thoughts, Hilary.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. randommusings29 May 10, 2019 / 21:03

    I quite like the master list as I like to start at the top and work down it – I saved a copy and just deleted all the columns I didn’t need. I definitely noticed a lot less visits and comments this year which is quite ironic as this is the year I’ve managed to do the most commenting so I expected more comments if anything. Oh well, it was still a fun ride.

    Sad to hear you won’t be taking part again. I always look for your blog in the challenge 😦


    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 11, 2019 / 09:13

      I made a rough calculation which revealed that I received one comment for each four I made. I didn’t intend taking part this year and at the last minute changed my mind. Next year? I wonder!


  14. Donna B. McNicol May 11, 2019 / 20:43

    I agree with you, Keith, and I had far fewer views/comments than you did and WAY less than previous years. I do think part of it comes from too many places to get information. Blogs are considered old school by many folks, they want video. Like you, I may not do it again next year. That said, I do enjoy the challenge of the flash fiction tales. Yours were extra sweet this year and I enjoyed them all.

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Reflections
    My Author Page
    My Personal Blog

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Frédérique May 12, 2019 / 16:15

    One comment for four is not good, and I understand why you wonder about next year. But your stories were so cute! I enjoyed them a lot, and would be very pleased if your start again next year 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 13, 2019 / 09:47

      I’ve had so many positive comments since suggesting I might throw in the towel that I’m going to have to give it a bit more thought!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. susanrouchard Jul 3, 2021 / 06:58

    Dear Keith, after reading your reflections’ post for the2021 AtoZ Challenge, or as some like to call it afterthoughts….. I feel sad that this year’s poor output of likeable fiction has put you off for next year. Please reconsider, I adore your short fiction, it keeps me …also spinning yarns.
    The last year , to say the least, has been very trying for many people, so bloggers too….will probably be trickling back into your favourite reading slots…. little by little.
    Thank you for your unwavering participation in the Friday Fictionneers, six words…. And more. Hoping to join up in the fall. Cause, frankly, I too am sick and tired of bloggers (I.e. self-published romance authors) telling me how to write a story !
    Wishing you a restful summer….away from the buzz of human craziness…. Take care, Susan from France.


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