I'm amazed every year during November when so many writers take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo. Challenge is the correct word as they attempt to write a novel in a month. Reading their tortured posts and updates on social media makes me wince in sympathy. 50,000 words in one month is hard work and some do it year after year. I gave some tips on succeeding at NaNo on Monday.
In April, thousands of bloggers will sign up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. 2015 will be my fourth year and I couldn't be more excited. But honestly, after that first year I wasn't sure I would ever take it on again. It's work. But then my blogger friends were doing in, some of them running it, and I took the plunge again. I had learned some things the first year and the second year there was as much fun as there was work. I met so many wonderful bloggers outside the novel writing community and learned from them. My third year, I served as a Minion to Alex J. Cavanaugh and gained another perspective on the massive effort that is A to Z and appreciation for the people who started it and keep it running.
Some things I learned is that blogging isn't just about book promotion or 'building my platform.' And participating in the A to Z blog isn't just about growing my blog readership. It's about being part of a community. A welcoming community who offer understanding, advice and opportunities.
I blog three times per week at my personal blog, Susan Says, and take turns on the IWSG blog as well as occasionally at The Susquehanna Writers blog. And now you'll see me on this blog once or twice per month, one of those wonderful opportunities I mentioned. Like those taking on the work involved in NaNoWriMo, there are good reasons to show up and keep at it. Whatever your motivations for blogging, joining hops, posting regularly and being part of a community, you have to show up and work at it. I'm thrilled to show up here and be part of this team.
Why do you show up to blog on a regular basis? Are there days when it feels more like work than fun? Has blogging become easier for you with experience?
Susan Gourley writes science fiction romance and epic fantasy. She blogs at Susan Says, has a Facebook page and Tweets as Susan Kelley. This is her first post as a new member of the A to Z team.
I am a great fan of the A to Z and have done it a few times now, several of which have been at random times of year when no one else is doing it. I think the A to Z community just see me as some mad bloke in the rolling hills of Shropshire, but that is because I'm a mad bloke in the rolling hills of Shropshire. I have blogged a few years now and am not entirely sure why, as it is a fair bit of work and I draw a lot of pictures for it. Sometimes I am really pleased with a post and sometimes they dont entirely work out but such is the world. My original goal was one million words but I am getting closer to that now so maybe I will head towards two million words.
Good luck with writing on the A to Z blog, I dont always comment here but I always read it.
Rob Z Tobor
Rob, we need mad blokes like you to keep us from getting too dry and serious. One million words is a goal worthy of mad and impressive! Thanks for visiting today.
I was one of Alex's Ninja Minions last year - loved it! - and it really did give a taste of what happens behind the A-Z scenes. :)
I'm looking forward to NaNo 2014 and A-Z 2015!
I'm in deep admiration for those of you doing NaNo. I know you'll keep up with your blogging too. Thanks for visiting today.
You are a great addition to the A to Z Team! Thanks for stepping up to that challenge as well as the April Challenge.
Tossing It Out
I feel so honored to be part of your invention, Arlee.
Well said, Susan! Community is exactly why we do it.
And crap, I just realized I've now lost one of my best Minions...
I was so proud to be your minion last year. My daughter started calling you 'the overlord' but at least not the dark overlord. What a step up to have minions of my own. Can't even believe I said that.
To answer the questions at the end, I blog partly for myself (ranting about things is therapeutic), partly for my followers. I don't have many, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored.
The answer to the next two questions is yes. It can be a little difficult thinking of something new constantly, but new ideas are always coming. And I've done the Challenge once, which was somewhat hard, but it did introduce me to several new great blogs and got me my first followers. I'd do it again.
Your answers so closely match mine, even your first experience with the challenge.
Another great mind joins the team! I'm so thankful to be a part of this group!
I tried the November thing. It turns out I don't like to take orders from myself either!
LOL. Taking from yourself? Best reason yet!
Thats a good question. some days it does feel like work and other days i show up cuz i feel like i have something to say. And my pets are tired of hearing me talk. And they can't read.
I blog an average of eleven times a week. It's a fairly constant pace and sometimes I get a little burned out but I plan my posts far enough in advance that I can take a few days off blogging to get my mojo back.
Hi Susan - I'm irregular in blogging, but love it - just blog regularly irregularly .. I do enjoy the A-Z .. as I'm not considering writing a novel - NaNo gives me a mental break .. everyone else is occupied ... cheers to all who do NaNo ... Hilary
Oh god, I'm going through a major down cycle with my blogging. At the moment, it feels more like work than fun. Having said that, I did create a few more blogs, this time at Tumblr, mostly to get around the FB CAPTCHA that gets inflicted on my Blogger book blog.
As for NaNo, my personal belief (and this goes back to 2008 when I'd first started blogging) is that its a complete waste of time. If you need something like that to motivate you to write, chances are very good that you really don't need to become a writer.
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