Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pearson Report weighs in on prepping for a Challenge

Last April was my first attempt at doing the A to Z Challenge.
I signed up on April 1st; I had only found out about it on March 30th.
By letter “C” I had my groove on and was letting the juices flow.
Having no time to prepare for the challenge I was clearly at a disadvantage - my day to day activities did feel the pinch and sleep was lost in the process...but, By George I sure had fun!
Is it necessary to have your posts finished and ready to hit the Publish Button well before April?
Some say yes, I say not completely...let me explain.
It is a challenge set forth for the month of April, to be done in why all the fuss about having everything finished before the Challenge has even started?
Well, I imagine getting organized early falls into a few areas of concern; finding a theme; having the available time; commitment to a day job; family obligations; other interests...and so on.
All of these areas do affect how much time we spend blogging and therefore a little preparation can go a long way in helping us participate in a Challenge that has very clear time constraints, without messing up our lives completely. Right?
It’s no different than preparing for your first marathon - you don’t just lace up your runners, arrive at the starting line and run twenty-six mile without some preparation.
Key word here is “preparation”; so when April 1st rolls around you can enjoy the process of “doing” the Challenge because you are ready, organized and have prepared for it.
Now, that being said, I will have much, if not all, of my “stuff” done because, as a co-host, I want to spend every free minute, in the month of April, visiting YOU and reading your posts!
What are your “preparation” strategies for this upcoming A to Z Challenge?
Are all of your posts finished and ready to go? If so, what will you be doing in April? 

Happy Blogging!


Annalisa Crawford said...

I totally agree. This is my first time. I'm currently filling in the subjects for each letter, but I've got lots of gaps. I'll probably start scheduling the blogs a couple of days before April, just so I know that at least I'll have A and B sorted.

Arlee Bird said...

You stated your case well.

Last year I had about have of my posts completed at the start and it was a huge in getting around to visit other blogs and leave comments.

You and I have a different responsibility in the Challenge from others and I think preplanning posts is essential. For others--well it's their challenge.

I'm working on my posts now and should be mostly done before April 1.

Wrote By Wrote

Marta Szemik said...

I have the subjects for some letters ready. I'd like to have perhaps half the posts written before the challenge so that I can visit others and read their posts. I'm curious to see how many people will participate.


This being my third challenge I have already finished mine and am waiting until April 1st.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have mine planned and will write them up in March. My theme this year will also focus on others rather than myself.

MISH said...

I'm planning my posts and hope to have at least half of them ready before the challenge starts. Reason being, I want to visit as many blogs as possible.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I wrote out all of my posts before it began last year and plan to do so again this year.

Tina said...

Didn't have a theme last year, I do this year. I'm in complete agreement with all that you said, because we hosts will be running all over the place visiting participants. Thanks for this great post, Jenny.
Tina @ Life is Good

Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Twitter: #atozchallenge

anthony stemke said...

That's a great idea, preparing posts in advance. No wonder it was so difficult last year.
I'm going to see if I can prepare at least a half-dozen before april.

PR said...

I'm new to blogging and writing so I definitely want to prepare a little before the start so I don't get stuck on the day.
I have a few ideas kicking about but as my first year participating, just completing the challenge and finding new blogs to follow is enough for me :)

Konstanz Silverbow said...

Well put! I agree. . . sadly I am still not sure what I am posting about. I have three different themes I want to use but I can't decide which one to use. . . I may have the next three Aprils planned out. :D


Li said...

Last year I wrote each post fresh, every day. This year I was going to choose a theme, but I've already thought up and then discarded 3. Since I'm a horrible procrastinator and work best under deadline.....I suppose it will end up being day-by-day again. *Sigh* One of these years I'll get organized and have them all done by March!

Anonymous said...

The best strategy is to have everything pre-posted. I'm wrapping up pre-posts for my blog book tour so had to put the A to Z Challenge on hold. But rest assured I will be ready to go in full by April 1st. And that's no April Fool's joke. I can then focus on visiting blogs, leaving comments, and meeting nee people.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I still haven't figured out entirely what I'm doing, but I'm getting there. No posts are done yet, but I plan on having most, if not all, of them done ahead!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jenny (& Lee) - last year was my first year and I ran as each day came along - thankfully I survived. I've decided on my theme .. and will perhaps write my posts in advance!

But I'm looking forward to it a great deal and finding some new blogging friends .. see you there or here .. cheers Hilary

Sarah Tokeley said...

I'm planning on having the subject of each day's posts ready, but I'm not sure if I will have written the actual posts themselves. I tend to wing it on my blog :-)

Pearson Report said...

Annalisa Crawford - I just discovered the beauty of prescheduling and have all my letters prepped, but I’m still a long way off from having the body of each post finished.
Arlee Bird - Thanks for being the inspiration behind all of this. I agree - this Challenge will be different for me as a co-host and I’m so excited about visiting and commenting that trying to write a post as well would be near impossible.
Marta Szemik - Like you I am curious as to the numbers...and a little nervous! As a co-host I am trying to be as prepared as possible so I can enjoy visiting and reading blogs.
Welcome to my world of poetry - Yvonne, I envy you your talent and efficiency - want to come over and do mine? :-)
I gather you’ll be out there with me visiting and enjoying the wonderful offerings during the month of April.

Pearson Report said...

Alex J Cavanaugh - I’m looking forward to your posts. I am also looking outward this year to my fellow bloggers for inspiration for my posts.
MISH - Good thinking! I did find time was precious last year and was very limited because most of it was being used up with post writing. While I did get out and visit blogs I did a lot of visiting in the months that followed.
Diane Wolfe - Seems like being prepared it the way to go!
Tina - Thanks Tina - you are a huge asset to this year’s team and I’m motivated by your energy. I will lace up my runners and get ready to join you in “running all over the place visiting participants”.

Pearson Report said...

anthony stemke - I’ll be rooting for you to get a few post ready in advance. It seems like quite a few folks are near finished with the task of getting a theme and even writing the posts. Hopefully I’ll be in the same camp by the end of March!
Anna Smith - Welcome to the Challenge, Anna. Not stressing is key. Have fun with the process. If you have a chance to drop over to Pearson Report and look at my A to Z 2011 Tab you will see that for “O” my post was very small - but I used the letter to explain why.
I loved the daily posting and letting my fingers loose on the keypads...mind in tow!
Konstanz Silverbow - Maybe you can work all three themes into one. I sort of did that with mine last year. I wanted to post only about my work but soon realized that wouldn’t work for me. I then allowed daily events to shape some of my posts and still managed to let work slip in here and there. co-hosts I know we won’t have much time the day of so I want to be as prepared as I possibly can!
Li - I’m going to really look forward to reading your posts. I think the day to day stuff is full of energy and vibrancy because it’s done right then and there.
Don’t feel bad about not having post done in advance...those of us that have braved the deep waters of daily posting, in last year’s challenge, know the thrill of swimming with the sharks!
Just do what works best for you!!

Pearson Report said...

Stephen Tremp - Gosh, you do have a lot on your plate! I have no excuse not to have all my post up and ready when I read your comment. You are very organized - a quality I so admire in a fellow human! I’m looking forward to co-hosting with you!
Shannon Lawrence - Oh, you’ll have it all done and ready to go...I think you are quite amazing and will have no difficulty in being prepared well ahead of time. You do know you inspire me with your creativity and positive energy! Smiles at you!
Hilary Melton-Butcher - I like how many of are just so happy to have “survived” last year’s Challenge and feel the need to get prepared for this one. I hope you don’t worry too much about a theme or having everything pre-written. I really enjoy reading your blog and will look forward to the treats that await for this April.
Sarah Pearson - Winging it is right up my alley! Speaks to much of my life these days!
However, as a co-host I am please to say I am making great progress on my posts.
I will look forward to reading your “wingings” in April. Smiles at you!

Jamie Gibbs said...

Aside from choosing an overall theme and assigning topics for each letter, I do no preparation before April. I prefer to wing it on the day and see what influences me