Please join me in welcoming Martha Reynolds, an author and A-Z participant. She's the first to answer the “getting to know you questions” that I posted during my invitation for guest posters. Over the next few months leading up to the 2013 challenge, we will have lots more of these posts. If you're interested in participating, just email me (Tina) at tndowney (at) gmail (dot) com. Be sure to include “guest post” in your subject. I get a LOT of emails...
- When did you start blogging and why? Tell us a bit about the kind of blog you have. Be sure to include the name of your blog and the link.
I wrote and posted my first blog on July 13, 2011. It was my birthday and I thought it would be a good way to begin. I hadn’t yet started writing full-time (although the book was percolating in my head), so my blog was simply based on my own reflections about life, love, and family. It still is, for the most part, although I have posted a little about this whole crazy journey into publishing! I blog at Wordpress under the title “MarthaReynoldsWrites.”
- How did you find out about the challenges, and how many have you done? What was your favorite part of participating?
The April (2012) Blogging from A to Z Challenge was my first, and I absolutely loved it! I found out about it by reading other blogs, and I think it was late March when I first read about it, so I made a quick decision to participate. By that time, I’d written most of my first novel and was awaiting a response from my editor. The theme I chose was writers, but I included poets, essayists, and songwriters as well as novelists in my group. I received some good feedback and I know I gained more followers from the challenge.
- What suggestions would you have for visiting new blogs during the A to Z challenge? What blog visiting strategy has worked for you during the challenge?
This is tough, because we’re all so busy. For me, I’d return to the A to Z main page, with the blog links, and simply go through the list. Some blogs just grabbed me, and I liked and followed them. What I’ve found works best for me is setting up my notifications on Wordpress so I receive a digest of blogs every Monday. Some folks only blog once a week (like me), so this way, I can use Monday morning to catch up on what’s been posted.
- What topics or themes would you like to see other bloggers cover during the challenge? What types of content (poetry, short stories, writing tips, photos, reviews, etc.) would you enjoy reading during the A to Z Challenge?
I’d love to read reviews, as long as they weren’t too lengthy. I found some great writing tips last April, and that’s always beneficial. Someone blogged about food, and I thought that was fantastic. Actually, I’d be happy with just about anything, although I do remember one blogger who used the challenge to explore some BDSM language and ‘procedures.’ That’s not for everyone!
- Please tell us something unusual about yourself – don't be shy. Check out my revelation from last year here.
As a writer who works from home, it can be hard to find the right discipline. I sit at my computer, and social media is all around me. Sometimes when I’m stuck with a scene, it’s too easy to click on Facebook and see what my friends are saying. All of a sudden, it’s an hour later and I haven’t done anything with my scene. The Challenge really made me focus on the topic, because I was posting every day (except those Sundays, when I was planning the week ahead). I tried to keep my posts relatively short (400 words tops, most times 250-300), understanding that we want to read as many as possible.
So I don’t know if it’s unusual that I get distracted, but I know now that writing means writing, not tweeting, or checking my Amazon stats.
- Are you joining the challenge in 2013? Are you doing a theme? Please share any plans you have. We promise not to steal your ideas.
I am definitely joining the 2013 challenge! Can’t wait, really. I loved my 2012 theme and actually thought about doing it again (there are so many wonderful writers), but I’m also thinking about places. Places where I’ve been – a short reflection of that place. It might be a foreign country, city, town, village, or even just a church, a hilltop, a bar. Someplace where something memorable occurred. I think it could work!
Thanks for joining us Martha, and letting us get to know you better! We look forward to reading your April 2013 challenge posts. Congrats on the publication of your first novel, Chocolate for Breakfast, available at Amazon.