Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Preparing Ahead for April

Artwork by Ada Z. at CollagePodge

          Several of you have commented that you are already planning your A to Z posts.  Some are mapping them out while others have actually started writing them.   There's nothing wrong with that.  It's not cheating.  In fact I consider it a darn good idea.

           I usually start by printing out a calendar grid that is available on many internet sites.  Or you can use a regular calendar (whatever happened to all those free calendars businesses used to send out--they seem to be in short supply for me anymore), a date book planner, or just a list of the days.  I like using an actual calendar format since I get an easy to see overview of the month.

           Once I have my calendar (or blank format) I first add the letters for each day.  I then go back and start coming up with ideas.  Coming up with those ideas is often the most difficult part of the challenge.  And they're not written in stone, just on a calendar and you can always erase them if you change your mind.  Knowing that you at least have some ideas to work with will make the writing of the posts less difficult.

          Planning and actually writing some or all of your posts ahead of time will make your Challenge less stressful, but don't think you have eliminated the challenge of Blogging from A to Z.  Many of us have found that the real challenge comes with trying to visit the sites of the other participants.  After all, networking is one of the more important aspects of the April Challenge.  If you've taken care of your posts ahead of time then you will have more time to visit other sites and interact more freely.

         One more point:  If you've looked at the 2012 April calendar you may have noticed that without Sundays there are only 25 days, which means we'll have to post on one Sunday.  To me the logical choice is Sunday April 1 since it's the first day of the month and we get the seven day stretch of writing done at the beginning.  In 2012 the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge will begin on Sunday April 1 with the rest of the Sundays off.

        Whichever way you choose to approach the Challenge is fine.  It's your personal challenge and creativity is what will make you really stand out--creativity and how much you visit other blogs and leave comments.  Preparing beforehand will allow more time for visiting.  Writing the posts as you go will boost the adrenaline and keep things more topical.  Either way, have fun Blogging from A to Z in April.
          We've been getting mentions on your blogs and I'm trying to keep up with them. 

          Here's one I missed when it first went up.  Thanks to Retired Knitter at My Next 20 Years of Living for her ardent post on October 18th.   This is the kind of shout out that we need.

         Delores from The Feathered Nest also has done her part in getting out the word.

         If you've done an A to Z Challenge post on your blog and I haven't mentioned it please let me know so you can be recognized for your support.  And whenever any of you post something about the Challenge send me a note to my email or in the comments and I'll add your link to a future post.  Thanks for all the help.

         Please visit Tossing It Out tomorrow Wednesday 11/16 when I have as my special guest award-winning best-selling author of nine books Lani Diane Rich.  She'll be offering  a bit of a pep talk with some great advice for all writers.

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Sarah Tokeley said...

I definitely vote for 1st April because that's my one year anniversary of blogging - takes care of the first letter :-)

MISH said...

I think that the pre-writing is essential. It allows for life's "curve-balls" which may be thrown at bloggers during April next year... overtime at work, sickness, writer's block, technical/computer problems etc.
And the calendar grid is a fabulous idea!


I am doing a theme next year, I won't tell you what it is so I hope the last few letters fit in.


Lisa said...

I can't write until I write and so I so look forward to the challenge.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Starting with April first makes sense.

Arlee Bird said...

Sarah -- You're on for April 1 and an advance congratulations on your first year of blogging.

MISH-- you are so right about those curve balls. I've seen more than one blogger have to drop out because of life's little surprises.

Yvonne -- I theme will be great. I'm sure you'll come up with something good for those tricky letters.

Ocean Girl-- You will write fine I'm sure. Each of us sets our own challenge in this.

Alex -- It's gotta be April Fool's Day. It's a tradition now.


T. Powell Coltrin said...

April 1st it is. I hope you're not going to say "April fools joke".


Empty Nest Insider said...

I also like the idea of starting on a Sunday, because it will be nice to look forward to having the time off later. Julie

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think it would be odd to start on a day other than April 1st.

Unknown said...

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