This post is brought to you by Cindy Dwyer, another A-Z expert. Please welcome her – I found her advice really helpful even though I'm MST in the U.S. She brought up some questions I hadn't even considered.
Like many bloggers, I have a full-time day job to support my writing habit. I leave the house at seven in the morning and get home at around five or five-thirty. So during the A to Z Challenge, I schedule my posts to go live in the wee hours of the night. This gives me several advantages.
Since I sleep with my laptop next to the bed -- and really, who doesn't? ☺ -- when my alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. EST, I can check to make sure that day's letter made it safely through the cyberspace gremlins before I even roll out of bed. If I don't fix any problems then, they stay broken until after dinner because, sadly, I do not have an IT department. (Once, I did come home to find my cat asleep on my laptop, but that wasn't quite what I had in mind when I wished I had help staying on top of the technical aspects of my website.)
Another great thing about posting early is that during those ten hours I'm gone, other A2Zers can be reading and commenting on my post. I do try to log onto my website during lunch to answer comments and visit a few blogs from the list. But on crazy days when I can't, at least my blog is current with that day's letter.
Even if you do have the entire day free to write your post, you still need to account for time zones. The A to Z Challenge attracts participants from around the world. Remember, New York is five hours behind London and sixteen hours behind eastern Australia.
Say you live in California and have a habit of blogging after dinner. At 7:00 p.m. PST, it's two o'clock the following afternoon in parts of Australia, where people may have already posted "I" before you've had a chance to update your "G" post to "H".
If you want your friends Down Under to read your letter of the day before they go to sleep, you really need to activate that entry before 8:00 a.m. EST.
And the opposite is true for bloggers on the other side of the world -- you may want to schedule your posts for a little later in the day to avoid appearing a letter ahead of the western hemisphere.
I'm curious to hear from prior A to Z participants. Did you try to post at the same time each day? Did the differences in time zones make you feel like you were always a little ahead (or behind) everyone else?
These are excellent questions, and I'm curious how our international participants handle this issue. Please speak up!
~Tina, very grateful for Cindy's excellent advice