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Thursday, January 7, 2016

A to Z Advice from Jolie Du Pre

“Jeez! I don’t understand it.  Another A to Z, and, once again, her posts are perfect.”

* * *

It’s 2016, and soon we will enter a new Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  I’m proud to report that this will be my fifth consecutive A to Z. 

Back in 2012, I remember how nervous and apprehensive I was about my first challenge.  How in the heck would I blog for 26 days?  But even though I had reservations, I knew that the challenge would be the perfect way for me to bring attention to my blog, Precious Monsters, which was new at the time.

I was right.  I couldn’t believe how many visitors were coming to my blog, and I had a great time reading and responding to the many comments.  If you work A to Z, it works for you.  Visit the blogs; leave comments; have fun, and you will be rewarded with bloggers stopping by your blog to see what you have to say.

One thing you will notice during the A to Z Challenge is that every blogger has their style.  Some bloggers are extremely organized, put informative content in their posts that are the result of lots of research, and schedule their posts way ahead of time.  As a Type-A personality who wants everything perfect, even though it never is, I’m jealous of these bloggers.  

I want to be organized.  I want to include posts that are researched and filled with information. I want to schedule my posts way ahead of time.  But every time I try, I’m good for the first couple of weeks.  Then, I'm right back to my frantically attempting to keep up.

It’s always the best-laid plans for me when it comes to the challenge.  I always complete the challenge, don’t get me wrong, but never the way I want.

So what do you do if you keep trying but don't make it?  Beat yourself up for it?

I'm proposing that you don't.  In other words, try to stick to your plans for Blogging from A to Z, but don’t feel bad if you fail.  The event is a "challenge", but it's not meant to be stress-inducing.

That said, you would ease most stress if you do schedule your posts.  So do give it a try.

My goal is to write one blog post on Saturdays and one blog post on Sundays on up until the event begins.  If I stick to my plan, I’ll be done by the beginning of April.   

I’ll start on January 9:

1/9 – A
1/10 – B
1/16 – C
1/17 – D
1/23 – E
1/24 – F
1/30 – G
1/31 – H
2/6 – I
2/7 – J
2/13 – K
2/14 – L
2/20 – M
2/21 – N
2/27 – O
2/28 – P
3/5 – Q
3/6 – R
3/12 – S
3/13 -  T
3/19 – U
3/20 – V
3/26 – W
3/27 – X
4/2 – Y
4/3 – Z

I’ll have to work hard to stick to my schedule.  I’m a busy article writer, and I’m the author of the Pierce vampire books.  (They're a mixture of horror and paranormal romance. You can try my series for free because book one is permanently FREE.) Of course, because I write about vampires now, my A to Z theme is vampires!

It’s a new year, and it’s time for me to start again.  However, if I don’t follow my plan for scheduling my posts – there will be no negative self-talk about it for this Type-A.   If I don’t make it, if I’m scrambling once again to get all my posts up, in 2017, I’ll try again to be more organized.

Sign-ups for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins on January 25.  So stay tuned!

Our thanks to Jolie Du Pre for this excellent advice.  What are some methods you've used to prepare for the Challenge?   Do you plan ahead of time?


  1. She's got a great plan for this year's challenge to get things written before much of the challenge is started. That does take so much pressure off. I got my theme, got about 16 of the letters with what it will be, hope to have all written by the middle of March. Should be another great challenge year!


    1. Betty, it looks like you're off to a great start. It's cool that you've already started planning!

  2. Wishing you much success with your schedule. Sounds like a good strategy. It's a relief to know I'm not the only Type A who hasn't completed all posts ahead of time! That's always the plan, but...
    My method is to start drafts for all the posts first, then add the A-Z blurb, banners and letters, then write the actual articles.
    Looking forward to the challenge!

    1. We Type-A personalities aim for perfection, and we hate to fail. Perfection is, of course, just an illusion. Someday, I'll learn that. LOL! ~~~ Your method sounds like a good one! Good luck with the challenge, and have fun!

  3. Great advice, Jolie! I try every year and I always end up falling behind. LOL But, I'll still be be trying once again this year. :)

    1. Hi Lyn! Yes, it's a struggle. But we who love A to Z press on!

  4. Your schedule looks great. Being a seats of your pants kind of person, I am tempted to betray my kind and copy you. Makes me nervous, I may find myself making a list. Oh My.

    1. Ann, I wish I was a seat of your pants type person. If I was, I'd be happier. LOL!

  5. Great plan! I will start from Jan 9th too and give this a try

    1. Good! I wish you the best of luck, and have fun!

  6. My posts are always so jam-packed and complicated, I have to research ahead of time, for both the information and the images. I usually have everything html ready before the Challenge begins and schedule them the night before, adding whatever bit of Ninja News I discovered that day.

    1. And that's why I'm jealous of you! LOL! Great job, Alex!

  7. This is the kind of organization that can make the A to Z much easier and more fun. Having the posts mostly done ahead of time allows for the networking and that is the most important part of participation in the Challenge. Thanks for these great tips, Jolie.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  8. Good example for staying organized, thanks I shall start doing it now; though I have the theme, i need to start writing and keep it ready, thanks for sharing !

  9. Wow ! That's a great Schedule . Wishing you all the more Success :) I really Hope I could so something like that. Thank You for the Tips :)

    1. You're welcome, and good luck with everything!

  10. Good luck with your planning! I wrote all my A to Z posts for my main blog last year, over May, June, and July, and have periodically gone back to edit them. Pretty much the only edits left are inserting the alphabet buttons once they're available. I'm still coming up with the finalize list for my names blog, though I know what that blog's theme will be. I'll probably start writing and editing those posts next month.

  11. Carrie-Anne, For some reason, Blogger wouldn't let me reply directly to your post, but I wanted to tell you that I admire your organizational skills!


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