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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Coming Up With Theme Ideas #atozchallenge

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We're celebrating our Tenth Anniversary here at the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

#AtoZchallenge. The blog hop that made an online community by asking bloggers to spend the month of April using the English alphabet as inspiration for their posts. We're glad you stopped by today.

"I'm not doing A to Z this year because I can't think of a theme."

I've heard that a couple of times over the last few years from blog buddies of mine when I ask them if they're doing the Challenge. Granted, the Challenge is a lot more fun (and is maybe a little harder) if you have a theme to tie all your posts together. But there's nothing in the rules that says you must have a theme. Back in 2014, I had the same problem: I couldn't think of a theme, so I decided that I'd just go themeless. And it went fine. I had a great time, made a lot of new blog buddies, and felt like I was part of something bigger. Granted, doing the A to Z Challenge without a theme is kind of like trick-or-treating in your street clothes, but hey, if that's what you got, you go with it.

I haven't had to do that for the last several years, because I found the secret to coming up with good themes: Don't try to do it a month before the challenge. Ideas for good themes are all around you all year, so it pays to keep track of them when they come. When you see something or think of something that looks like it might be a good theme, write it down. Write it in your journal, write it on a Post-It Note, put it on a note in Evernote (or Simplenote, or OneNote, or Google Keep, or wherever you keep your ideas), do something so you don't forget it.

The biggest lie I ever told myself was "I don't need to write it down, I'll remember." - Anonymous

And, whatever you do, don't shut your mind off to coming up with themes during the Challenge! This is a great time of year to think of future themes. Maybe you think someone has a great theme that might be good for you. Write it down. Maybe you get an idea for combining themes. Write it down.

That's a good one. Write it down. - Hal Roach

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nZ7UupzB78MvJnraN9khkLJT3jM6uOP1LTDc8gaQluY

That's the link to the Master List. You can find, and hop to, all the blogs officially participating on that sheet.

Grab your A to Z gear, and other cool goodies from our graphics guy, here:

https://www.neatoshop.com/artist/Jeremy-Hawkins

A to Z 10th Anniversary

27 comments:

  1. I had a few IDEAS for my AtoZ 2019 posts but it required a reliable camera, which I don't have and can't afford one. I do get inspirations and ideas throughout the year and I will remember to write them down. Thanks for the advice. Jackie's Bookbytes Letter I

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  2. This is my first year doing the challenge and I've pretty much gone without a theme, just trying to keep with my blogs tagline of body, mind, heart or soul with posts relating to 1 or more of those topics.
    After doing my 'A' post "A is for Apple" and doing an A to Z list of the foods we eat or have learnt about since dealing with food intolerances, I realised that I could have just used this for my whole month.
    I've also had multiple ideas for some days so these can be used for other post ideas at other times in the year.

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  3. The post on alphabet "I" is Initiatives
    https://mpjethwa.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/i2019/
    Thanks all.

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  4. have a great day!
    https://ladyleemanilablog.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/i-is-for-irregular-ode-poem/

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  5. Day 10. The Election Drama.."I" for Idiocracy

    https://musingssurvive.blogspot.com/2019/04/idiocracy.html

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  6. https://mywordsmywisdomblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/rashmirathi-a2zchallenge/

    Learning from Epic poem Rashmirathi, the Protagonist makes a difference

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  7. John,

    It seems the first year I attempted the A2Z challenge which might have been 2012 I went themeless. Granted I didn't finish but it wasn't because I didn't have a theme. That's not relevant. The point is you're right, you don't need a theme to have fun doing this blogfest.

    The anonymous quote is accurate. I try to remember things but honestly, I can't and if I don't write it down I may never think of it again or if I do it'll be days or weeks before it'll pop back into my head.

    I surely appreciate all the hard work that you and the other co-hosts put into this annual event. I reckon as long as it continues I'll be doing this every April. It really is a wonderful community to belong to.

    Everyone is invited to check out my latest illustration for the letter '"I" as in 'Intertidal Zone' in my Little Mermaid Art Sketch series !

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  8. Continuing the 10th anniversary of In The Eye of The Beholder ...

    I is for Infatuation

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  9. Too Right! The first time I did the A to Z, I had no theme. I still did it and it was fun. Now I have a theme, and love getting all my posts done before April so I can spend April responding to and visiting other blogs. Like this one https://womenslegacyproject.com/memory/grounding-grief-as-memory/
    Some don't have a place to leave comments, like this one, but this one I found interesting for every day life...

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  10. I keep a list of post ideas and themes in FlashNote and have alphabetized for easy browsing!

    I is for Inside Out!
    I is for It's Tough to Be a Bug!

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  11. As my blog is about quilting, I didn't have to think too hard to find a theme ;) But next year I will have to choose a differnet one... ;)

    Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

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  12. I have never had any issues with themes. There are millions of them. So I try to stick with ones that most people just find a bit odd. In the past some themes have proved to be a lot of work so I keep it simple now and enjoy the journey to Z.

    Rob Z Tobor

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  13. I don't usually struggle to find a theme, even finding it early. My problem is usually being prepared in advance. I start off with good intentions of having everything scheduled in advance but usually end up winging it.

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  14. Lots of great ideas here. I actually believe having a theme makes writing the posts easier because you already have a starting point, but that's just me. Your suggestion to watch for themes throughout the year and getting ideas from the current Challenge are especially helpful. I spotted one idea that I plan to use for future posts on my site.

    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com/
    I is for: Infamous-Prison Secrets
    (Theme: very short stories/varied genres)

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  15. When we did the challenge on the blog I didn't really have much a theme, except for the theme that is always on the blog - books. Since this year I'm doing picture posts on Instagram I did come up with a theme. Books titles that start with the letter of the day. So not really imaginative but it's fun going through my shelves and finding books I had forgotten about.

    Girl Who Reads

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  16. Choosing themes is actually difficult if you run out of ideas or lack confidence in going with the flow rather than pre-planning. I choose a theme which gave me the flexibility write on random things in a flexible way. But i have decided to challenge myself next year by choosing a much stricter theme which would force me to be a bit more organised and plan ahead.
    My post for the alphabet I - https://anjus.home.blog/2019/04/10/idiotic-intelligence/

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  17. In line with my this year's theme of documenting Bollywood Cliches, today I talk about Item Numbers in Hindi Films. Read I is for Item Songs in Bollywood here.

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  18. Hi
    I am enjoying this April challenge, and this is my second year! And today my post on letter " I " is on Image advertising.
    Thank for visiting my blog and comments!
    Regards
    Ravi Shivram

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  19. I've come up with my theme too close to the deadline for organised comfort in previous years - 2014-2018. After last year's panic, I created an A to Z Theme file in Excel that's helped - well, sort of. I downgraded my 'Music' theme and went for a simpler story idea = hard work. Next year? Theme-less?

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  20. https://praguntatwa.com/2019/04/10/the-i-tiffin/

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  21. this year, i ended up using three themes together on my posts - challenging but fun - do check out the i post - InventionOfHugoCabret_Imayo_IntegrationTesting

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  22. My post for "I" is linked below.

    https://myrattledcage.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/i-is-for-i-can-only-imagine/

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  23. https://heavygators.blogspot.com/2019/04/blogging-to-z-i-is-for-idyllic.html

    yes writing things down is extremely important, esp as we get older and busier with life. thank you for advice

    I do 26 uncommon words on this challenge not only does it improve my vocabulary, it requires me to look up (in my dictionary not online) the
    word. I still believe in old fashioned books. However I do use pictures with my blog to describe the word. Sometimes pictures really are worth a 1,000 words

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