It's nearly here. Sign up time. I know a lot of veteran A to Z participants will be putting their names on that list next Monday. I hope you'll announce it and link from your own blog to this blog on that happy day. But there will be people new to this great event and they could benefit from some advice.
The first year I participated in A to Z, I had only been actively blogging for a few months and trying to grow my audience. I had lots of doubts going into that first year. I was busy in my personal life. I was teaching full time and my daughter was still in high school playing softball which meant attending games two or three times per week. Our firewall at work didn't allow access to blogs so I couldn't do A to Z work even during my lunch break.
I also didn't realize how important it was for my sanity to schedule my posts ahead of time. Or how much easier it would be to create my posts if I had chosen a theme. By the time April ended that first year, I felt frazzled and like I'd failed the challenge even though I managed to post every day. For a short while there, I hated blogging. Only my stubborn determination to never quit something I started kept me going until the end. I ended up getting no writing done on my work in progress and visiting only a very few bloggers every day.
My second and third years went much better as I followed the advice of other bloggers. Things like settling on a theme, scheduling posts ahead of time, and keeping posts short. Though still a challenge, A to Z was fun instead of agonizing. Last year I took on the responsibility of being a minion for Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and this year I joined the A to Z team to help everyone else have fun. I couldn't have arrived at this point if not for the advise shared by others.
So when you shout out to the world that you've taken on the Challenge, share some advice for the newbies to this April tradition. Tell them what helps you make it through the Challenge. Even something very simple, like 12 cups of coffee per day, may be the thing that helps someone else enjoy April as much as you do.
Are you ready with some advise? Keeping that theme a deep secret until the reveal post? How many years does this make for you in the A to Z?