A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

I learned of the A to Z Blogging Challenge from Profound Journey tribe member and blogger, Deb. Deb pens wise and witty posts at The Widow Badass.

The premise of the A to Z Blogging Challenge is simple: 26 days of blogging about anything you want, one letter at a time. The challenge starts April 1st, skips all of the other Sundays, and finishes on April 30th.

I love challenges, adore frameworks, and have some content I’ve been wanting to share with you for ages, so I’m in.

The theme of my posts will be A to Z Blogging Challenge logo 2018

Wow Notes for Women Midlife & Beyond

If you’re a Profound Journey tribe member, you’re already familiar with Wow Notes. They are usually researched posts of interesting tidbits from the world intended to pique your curiosity.

Wow Notes for the A to Z Blogging Challenge are a bit different. For this challenge I’m sharing 26 profound thoughts from 26 books I’ve read. They are insights about us: about aging and creativity, memory and optimism, routines and satisfactions. Think of them as snack-sized Wow Notes for your soul.

Each post will consist of a quote or two from the book, some personal reflection, questions for you to ponder and, occasionally, a recommended book, website or video.

Unlike my other posts, these ones will be short, around 300 words. They are intended as appetizers, not a complete banquet.

Wow Note Topics A-Z

Book Author Topic
Ageless Soul Thomas Moore Aging versus getting older
Beauty, the Invisible Embrace John O’Donohue Beauty needs us
Coming Home to Myself Marion Woodman You’re already good enough
Deep Play Diane Ackerman Transcendental moments, flow
(The) End of Absence Michael Harris Technology use is your choice
(The) Faraway Nearby Rebecca Last The stories we tell ourselves
(The) Gifts of Imperfection Brene Brown Self-compassion
Hundreds and Thousands Emily Carr Long view versus present moment
It’s Never too Late to Begin Again Julia Cameron Daily Routines
Journal of a Solitude May Sarton Empty Days
(The) Know-It-All A.J. Jacobs Laughter
Ladder of Years Anne Tyler Your True Face
(A) Man Without a Country Kurt Vonnegut Making Art
(The) Nobodies Album Carolyn Parkhurst Make Your Choices
Outline Rachel Cusk Transitions
Present Over Perfect Shauna Niequist Say No
Questing Marilyn Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem Spirituality or Religion
Running to the Mountain Jon Katz A place to call your own
Still Writing Dani Shapiro Curiosity
The Third Chapter Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Generativity
(An) Unknown Woman Alice Koller Owning your shadow
(A) Voice of Her Own Marlene Schiwy Change
What Comes Next and How to Like It Abigail Thomas Nothing is wasted
X and Extraordinary Sue Grafton and Nancy Werlin Positivity
(The) Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion Mortality
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind Shunryu Suzuki Self-understanding

I hope you’ll enjoy and visit often. And for those of you who are new to Profound Journey, you will need to have your comment moderated the very first time, but after that you’ll be able to leave comments easily. I reply to every comment so please check the box under your comment if you want to get my reply in your inbox.




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    1. Your flash fiction posts were part of my inspiration to do this, Molly. Not because I can write posts like that – no chance! – but because it’s easy to read and comment on something short. By writing 300 word posts for the month of April, I’m hoping that regular Profound Journey readers and commenters will feel a bit of a break from my usual very lengthy posts. And I’m certainly not expecting people to write comments on every single post, so that will be another break – to comment only when you feel the desire to do so.

  1. WOW!!! This sounds like an exciting series Karen, sounds like a terrific challenge that I am sure you are more than equal to. I will be looking forward to April now. I love reading books and profound thoughts do sound intriguing so I am in!
    Think of them as snack-sized Wow Notes for your soul. <–Love this! šŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, Susan. I’m really excited about doing this challenge. My plan is to work hard this week to get a bit ahead of the curve; writing shorter posts should help a lot. šŸ™‚

      1. Sounds good Karen, it will be easy to keep track of posts too since it is A-Z so you can write away and easily post them when it is time for that letter. šŸ™‚

  2. Hi Karen! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It’s always great to meet another writer! Your website is terrific, and I’m looking forward to checking in often during A to Z.

  3. Hi Karen – thanks so much for stopping by my blog – I’m excited to meet you and will definitely be following along with you on the AtoZ Challenge – your theme sounds really interesting. Not long to go now!

    1. You’ve got the right attitude, Nancy. And you’re clearly a risk taker to be willing to jump into the deep end. I’ll be cheering you along every day. And if I can help at all when things are feeling crazy, feel free to send me a private email.

  4. Hi Karen, I’m stopping by after you found me through A to Z. Sounds like your theme is right up my alley – I love inspirational and motivational posts. Looking forward to what you offer during April. Good luck!
    AJ (www.ajblythe.com/blog)

  5. Hi, Karen – I am so glad to read that you will be taking part in the ‘A to Z Challenge’. I’m participating too. I can’t wait to read your “snack-sized wow notes for our souls.” They sound very intriguing!

  6. Hey Karen! Thanks for the shout-out!! Looking very much forward to your A-Z posts. (Not sure why I didn’t get notification of this post – I only learned of it from your RAW news update. What else am I missing, I wonder???). Anyhow, I think short daily posts for this challenge are definitely the way to go. I agree with Martha. Good for the readers and also for the writer! šŸ˜‰


    1. My pleasure, Deb. And not to worry – you’re not missing a thing. I only send a Mail Chimp email on Thursday mornings so, even though I posted the blog challenge reveal a few days ago, I waited until this morning’s email to let people know.
      I’m really excited about this challenge. Thanks so much for letting me know about it. I can’t wait to read yours šŸ™‚

      1. Thanks Karen – I was wondering the same thing. I thought I had resolved the issues I used to have getting your emails, but when I hadn’t seen this post before now, I thought the problems were back. Glad to know it wasn’t the case šŸ™‚

        Good luck with the A-to-Z. It’s a gruelling month and kudos to you for tackling it. I did it for 3 consecutive years, but this is my 2nd year of giving it a pass.

        You have a great theme and I’m looking forward to the nuggets of wisdom you’ve gleaned from your readings!!

        1. Gruelling? Eesh. Is that because of having to write so many posts or having to respond to comments and write comments on a kazillion other posts? Don’t feel you have to reply, Joanne. I’m sure I’ll find out quite quickly.

          1. hahaha!! I found the first half of the month not too bad, but by the end of the month I was exhausted. Yes, it was responding to comments, reading 10 new blogs a day (I really tried to embrace the spirit of the A-to-Z), writing comments on their posts, plus keeping up with the existing blogs I followed.

            I’m not a daily blogger and I really don’t know how people do it – plus have a real life. The first year I did it, my posts were not preplanned which made it worse. That April, blogging was virtually like a full-time job šŸ˜

            Honestly though – it was a great experience, which I guess explains why I continued to do it. Maybe next year won’t be as chaotic as this year šŸ™‚

          2. That makes sense, Joanne. I’ve found 23 sites that I want to follow which, along with regular sites, will definitely make the experience onerous at best. I’m going to be ruthless about those new sites. If they don’t reply to my comments and if they don’t participate in my blog, I’ll give them a few days, but then I’m out of there.
            Knowing how much time, effort and care we all devote to our own blogs, my bar is set pretty high.
            As for the daily blogging, I hear you. Not only would it be a full-time job, but seriously – does anyone really want to hear from someone every single day? A bit of absence makes the heart fonder, I say.

      2. I read the Mail Chimp email after I posted my comment. I came across the Raw News update in my Feedly early this a.m. and in that post I saw the mention of the other posts so I don’t know why I didn’t see the other, earlier posts listed in my Feedly also. I should have. Probably my fault somehow…we know technology never fails, right? šŸ˜‰

        1. Hmm. I don’t get that either, Deb. You’re right that it should have shown up in your Feedly. If you have future problems, let me know and I’ll ask my wonderful web guy to take a look.

  7. Iā€™m looking forward to reading your A – Z Challenge posts! Your theme sounds so interesting and your intention to keep them shorter is a good one – for you and your readers. The great thing is that, if you want to, you can expand on any of those posts in later posts. I have had a theme in mind for several years, but I always chicken out before the Challenge begins due to time constraints. Maybe next year… šŸ˜¬

    1. Thanks, Janis. If you’ve had a theme in mind for several years, maybe you’ll join in next year? Or this year even? You’ve got until April 1st to sign up.
      Kidding about this year. I know it’s too much of a rush. And maybe kidding about next year. I’ll let you know at the end of April.

  8. Karen – very interesting theme and so fitting you! Researched (to find right quotes), personalized (which I know you’ve been working on), and pushing us to think with critical questions (something I adore). Looking forward to it…. I’ll need to put reading A to Z on my daily calendar all month!

    1. Hi Pat,
      I replied to your comment about the challenge on the March RAW NEWS update post, so will just mention here that I am having a lot of fun writing these short(er) posts and think that some of them will be right up your alley! I’ll look forward to your thoughts when you have time to share them.
      Have a great weekend.

  9. Hi Karen: I have found my way to your blog for the first time because you left a comment on my Reveal Day post. I am intrigued by YOUR theme and if I can find a place to follow your blog by e-mail notice, I will sign on. Addicted to reading and the influence books have had on my life, I look forward to reading what wisdom your reading has brought you. Hope you will have time to keep my company visiting bookshops, my theme this year. It will include architecture, great locations and the world of books. Happy Easter.

    1. Hi Stepheny,
      I absolutely will be following your blog. I look forward to it.
      To follow mine by email, go to the purple subscribe button in the top right corner of the home page.
      Happy Easter to you too! See (read) you tomorrow.

  10. Enjoy the A to Z Challenge, Karen. I’ll swing by once in a while to see what wisdoms you are sharing, but won’t promise to comment every day. I joined the Challenge once a couple of years ago. While it was enjoyable, the time commitment between writing, searching, editing and captioning photos, reading other blogs and commenting was almost a full-time “job”. Good idea to keep the post short!

    1. Thanks, Liesbet. I’ve written well ahead on the posts so am feeling fine about that, but the rest of it – reading other blogs and commenting – is taking a lot of time. It may seem heartless but I’m keeping a tracking sheet. If someone goes three days without replying to the comments I leave them or coming to visit me at Profound Journey, I’m not continuing to follow them. It just takes too much time to be valuable as a one-sided exercise.

  11. As I am in my first year of retirement, I am trying to follow your advice from one of your previous posts about the transition to retirement, and resist agreeing to any/many regular commitments. So no blogging challenges for me!


    1. Glad to hear it, Jude. I do think that after a lifetime of non-ending commitments, it is really important to give yourself plenty of time in the neutral zone.

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