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Showing posts with label #blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #blogging. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

#AtoZChallenge W is for WHY

 


WHY?

Why do we do this? Why do we take the A to Z Challenge (many of us year after year after year)? Why do we challenge ourselves? Why do we blog at all? Many articles on many platforms have pointed out that blogging is slowly becoming less popular than other, more dynamic social media platforms. Why blog at all? And why do it so intensively for an entire month in April?

I am not claiming to have universal answers. Every one has to answer these WHY's (along with When, for Whom, and What) for themselves. But is important to keep in mind our own reasons for blogging, so that outside opinions can't easily affect us.

Why do you blog? Who is it for? Who is your audience? What do you want to achieve with your writing?

Why did you join the challenge? What do you get out of the experience? And when next year rolls around, are you willing to do it again?

See, me personally, I like blogs. I enjoy blogging. I like that it is static, leaving information easily available later on. I like it that it is written, because writing is an important medium for me. And I especially like it that there is a World of other bloggers out there, sharing whatever they are most enthusiastic about.

What about you? :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

#AtoZChallenge Q is for Questions


QUESTIONS. WE ALL HAVE THEM.

There are 10 days left of the challenge! You have all been wonderful and inspiring so far. Soaring or struggling to keep up, pantsing or planning, lurking or commenting, you are all doing great! Don't forget, this challenge, first and foremost, is about having fun. 

I am sure you have a bunch of new questions now. Or maybe old ones that you did not get to ask before. Feel free to ask them in the comments!

Here are some, from me to you, just out of curiosity:

Do you have a favorite blog or theme that you discovered in this year's challenge?

Which one was the most difficult letter to complete so far?

What was the nicest / most fun comment someone has left on your blog?

Did you end up adding something to your TBR pile / bucket list / travel plans, thanks to a post you read?

How are you planning on celebrating after you complete the challenge?

Keep going, keep blogging! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2022

#AtoZChallenge I is for Integrity

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The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:
ACCOMPLISHING YOUR DREAMS, AND THE DUALITY OF 22

If you are a freelancer, an entrepreneur, a self-employed content creator, an artist, or anything of the sort, you probably spend a whole lot of your time trying to promote your work online. Blogging might or might not be an integral part of that - or even the entire business in itself - but we are still constantly bombarded information on how to blogging bigger, better, more profitable. How to optimize content, posting frequency, posting times, social media shares, tags and hashtags. Sounds familiar?

This post is just here to remind you to take a break. Integrity is important. Your blog, your contant, first and foremost, has to be you. Accomplishing your dreams is not worth changing those dreams to fit some kind of an expectation. It is good to learn how to do your own thing better - but you don't need to change your content, your stories, your interests into something "more marketable." As cliché as it sounds: you are the content. The person, the personality, the enthusiasm, the dreams. All of it. Stay true to that.

Also, hey, we are done with the first full week of A to Z! How are you feeling? :)


Saturday, April 9, 2022

#AtoZChallenge H Is For Happy

#AtoZChallenge 2022 tribute badge #AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter


The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:
ACCOMPLISHING YOUR DREAMS, AND THE DUALITY OF 22


A lot of you are already experienced bloggers and don't need to hear this. Or maybe you do. But this is more for the newer bloggers out there, for whom maybe this is your first challenge, this is for you (but everyone's welcome to read along).

One of the reasons that I started blogging was because I saw a few blogs that were participating in the A to Z Challenge and thought "hey, that looks like fun, maybe I'll do it next year." The next year came along, and I joined up. I learned a lot about blogging that year, and it's grown from there. In short, the A to Z Challenge made a blogger out of me. How, you ask?

  1. It taught me to set a schedule and stick to it. Before I did my first A to Z, I was posting whenever the spirit moved me. Whatever readers might be have been interested in reading me didn't know when they'd see another post from me, and few waited around to find out. Doing A to Z taught me that, when they when they knew when to look, they did. You don't have to be out here every day, like I am, but commit yourself to one day a week, or every two weeks, and make it the same day.

  2. It taught me that, to get traffic, you have to give traffic. One way to let other bloggers know that you're out here is to comment on their blogs. More often than not, it results in a return visit. Plus, when other bloggers see your comments, they'll be curious to know who you are.

  3. It taught me to find the joy in what I was doing. That's really what it's all about: having fun! Meet people from around the world, share your thoughts with them, write whatever's on your mind, have a few laughs along the way.... you get the idea. If you had fun writing it, they'll have fun reading it.

I had come into blogging thinking that I wanted to be a fiction writer. Part of the reason I didn't write on my blog initially was that I was trying to force story ideas out of my head. Fiction didn't make me happy, blogging did. I had more fun coming up with blog ideas than I did coming up with story ideas. Blogging made me happy.

I hope it makes you happy, too.



Does blogging make you happy? How?



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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

#AtoZChallenge E is for Encouraging Each Other

 

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The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:
ACCOMPLISHING YOUR DREAMS, AND THE DUALITY OF 22

Day 5 of the challenge. You may be hitting your stride by now, or you may be starting to reconsider your choices... either way, we are in full swing! If you are a perfectionist like me, who wants to make the most of everything, I am here to tell you: You are doing great. You are doing ENOUGH. Being in this challenge, putting your posts up, visiting some others, is enough. Don't let the pressure to do more spoil the fun.

We are here to help you! All of us. My favorite thing about the Challenge is that we cheer each other on. Everyone can use a little encouragement from time to time, right? That's what visiting and commenting is for! Seeing that people have read what you've written. And they are engaging with your content. And letting you know you are doing an excellent job.

Keep going! Keep exploring! Tell us about your visiting experiences in the comments!

Visit some fellow bloggers, and leave some encouraging words! 
Isn't it nice to cheer each other on?
 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2022! #AtoZChallenge

 #AtoZChallenge 2022 Theme Reveal

It's that time of the year again, bloggers! 

Welcome to the 2022 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal!

If you are planning to do a theme on your blog in April, this is your chance to share it with all of us! Fill out this form (link) to sign up! Make sure you put in the direct link to your theme reveal post, not to your blog. And take a look at our list of Categories, because this year we have some new options for you!

Then, head over to the list of participants (link), and visit others to see what themes they are doing! If you take a copy now (File> Make a Copy), be sure to come back after sign-ups close to grab the information of the rest of the participants.

Please join the Theme Reveal by March 21st. After that, this form will be closed. The Master List for the challenge will open on March 30th!

DRUMROLL PLEASE

The theme of the A to Z Challenge main blog this year is:

ACCOMPLISHING YOUR DREAMS, AND THE DUALITY OF 22

J Lenni Dorner writes about this theme:

Eyes close and dreams come to those fortunate enough to get the escape of entertainment. Perhaps they allow the imagination to stretch. Or give the mind an alternative way to work out problems from the wakeful hours. Some say these images from sleep carry messages and meanings that require interpretation to better steer our lives. There is much debate on how much control we have over those dreams. 

Yet there is no light without dark, each day needs the duality of night, and entertaining dreams of the sleeping mind shouldn't be confused with the loftiest goals of a planner. 

 It is smart to set goals and to have dreams among them. To strive for what we know we can achieve, but also to note what might be possible if we push ourselves, if we prioritize one dream over the inevitable obstacles that will come. Achievement of a dream always requires a change, a sacrifice, and a dedicated choice to put its achievement first. 

Duality is about more than two opposites. It's also about how one cannot or does not exist without the other. We recognize the protagonist by the battle against, and change because of, the antagonist. 

Perhaps, to some of you, blogging is an outlet, a place for creative expression to be shared with the world. Yet, in our trying times, blogging for a month and the pressure to visit others might feel like an antagonist. It may require you to change your schedule to post that much, there is an inevitable sacrifice of spending time visiting other blogs- time which you otherwise spent watching television, reading one more chapter, or running one more block. Taking on the A to Z Challenge in April is a choice to be part of the blogging community, to make a difference in the world by connecting with others, exchanging ideas, and connecting with people in the medium where they feel comfortable sharing and expressing themselves.

We may not agree with every blogger. Duality shows that there are always two sides. Perhaps there will be a chance to learn something new, to expand your mind and experience ideas beyond your own. There's also always an option to close a window and click to the next. (Perhaps there's a duality between a hyperlink and the site "X" close icon?)

The number 22 represents duality and the power of dreams. Thus, the team has selected these concepts as our THEME for April 2022. We will also be honoring Jeremy, the great graphic artist of the challenge who passed away this year. We encourage you to make this April your best blogging and best blog-hopping year yet! Make it your dream come true. There will be times that it feels impossible, forces that make it difficult... this isn't the A to Z spa treatment, it's the A to Z Challenge. It's not supposed to be a stroll in the park.

We are all looking forward to being on this journey with you!

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Friday, April 9, 2021

I is for Inspiration! #atozchallenge

What inspires you? What makes your mind wander, and wonder, and ask things like "what if...?"

Look for some extra inspiration today! Whether for your blog, or your WIP, or just for fun, here are some sites that will give you a fresh dose of inspiration!

Use this Random Art Generator to find a classic painting, and see if it becomes a story in your head!

Try this Random Landscape Generator, and see if you can imagine what happens there!

Start up the Random Music Generator and see if the music inspires you!

Play around with this amazing Random Folklore Motif Generator, and see if you can make up new tales!

Use this site to get Random Geographic Coordinates, and see what that place inspires in you! (Or learn more about it, if it is new to you!)

Inspiration can come from unexpected places. What inspires YOU in this challenge?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

2020 Vision: The Old Shelter - Sarah Zama's author blog (#AtoZChallenge)

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The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of posts focuses on:

A Blog with 2020 Vision



Do you like historical fiction? How about historical fantasy? Are you excited to be living in the 20s again? How about escaping into the 1920s?

Sarah Zama is a long time participant of the A to Z Challenge with her blog called The Old Shelter. This is her sixth year joining us! Since as an author she works with the past - specifically, the 1920s - I thought she would be a perfect candidate for being featured in our "2020 Vision" series!

Sarah's challenge posts are always a delight to read. This year, her theme is Living in the Twenties! In the past she has done other themes related to her research work for historical fiction:

2015 - The Roaring Twenties
2016 - Jazz Age jazz: early jazz as a social phenomenon
2017 - 1940s film noir
2018 - The Weimar Republic
2019 - Berliner Cabaret

What I especially love about Sarah's posts is that they are extremely well researched and well organized. I always learn a lot from them. And what makes her an even better participant: she always visits back!

Sarah is an author who writes historical fantasy, focusing on the 1920s - or as she describes it, 1920s Dieselpunk Noir. It's history mixed with fantasy, and some fairy tale elements. If you want to find out more about her stories, follow this link!

If you haven't visited Sarah's blog yet, stop by and say hi to her!
You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Oldie but goodie (#AtoZChallenge)

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The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of weekday posts focuses on:

Blogging Hopes and Dreams for the Future


I was once told "blogging is for old people." And that was about eight years ago (when I was in my mid-twenties, thank you). Technology ages, and it ages fast: Social media keeps reminding me that the generations growing up right now don't blog, and barely use Facebook or Twitter anymore. As someone who likes to keep up with technology, this has been bugging me for a while:

Is blogging getting Old?...

And then I realized I am asking the wrong question. The real question to ask is: Do I care? And if I care, why?

People use social media for a lot of reasons. Some of us do it for audience outreach and marketing. Some do it for community building. Many of us do it as a writing exercise, or to share written resources (in my case, folktales and book reviews). Some of these functions can be moved to newer platforms. Some can't (believe me, I tried sharing folktales on Instagram...). And that's okay.

I ask myself the question: Do I care? I like blogging. I enjoy writing posts, and publishing them, and sharing them on my social media. I enjoy reading the posts of other people. I enjoy reading text that is more than 240 characters long. Maybe it means I'm old. But if I actually grow old, and one day I will be sitting in my hover-chair and scrolling through blog posts on my holo-projector... well, I'll be Okay with that.

Maybe by then, blogging will be retro.

Have you tried moving blogging activities to other media? 
What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Love in Present Day Blogging #AtoZChallenge

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The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of weekday posts focuses on:
Blogging in the Present


Blogging in the present is so ridiculously difficult. My most successful years of A to Z have been when I wrote all of my posts before April so I could dedicate more time to interacting with bloggers instead of trying to stay caught up. I planned to do the same for my blog posts here. Except...I didn’t. I don’t know why, but there wasn’t inspiration. So I let it go, made sure I knew when I was due for another blog, and didn’t stress about it.

But now that the time has come to write my post for L, I am glad that I didn’t write this one in advance. The world looks very different now than it did a month ago (particularly for those in the hardest hit areas for the dreaded virus). Life is so different. So whereas my blog posts written over the last few months haven’t been impacted, this post definitely is.

As I have viewed blogs from all over the world these last few weeks, I have seen many people struggling with how to handle this worldwide crisis. Address it? Pretend it isn’t happening? (For the purposes of blogging, of course.) The truth is, there isn’t one right answer. Each blogger has to decide for themselves if they will dive into a fantasy world of fiction (as I have) or stay in the reality of the world we live in today. But what I have seen, and hope to continue to see, is an outpouring of love. Love for fellow humans. Love for fellow bloggers. Stay safe and spread some blog LOVE.

And please share with us something you LOVE today.

~Jayden R. Vincente (adult fiction writer)


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Friday, April 10, 2020

In the moment (#AtoZChallenge)

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The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of weekday posts focuses on:

Blogging in the Present


Are you a pre-writer or a pantser? I pre-wrote all my posts over the course of February. I usually do this because my posts require a lot of research (including library trips), and I like to be free to visit others in April. But it also has a downside: Things can change a lot in a few weeks.
Interest changes. Every year I think I know what I want to blog about for the next Challenge. And then I change the idea multiple times. You might do the same. Having multiple interests is a good thing!
Inspiration changes. You might think your theme is up to date when you start, and then things turn around, and you might be inspired to blog, talk, muse about something else entirely. Allow yourself flexibility in the Challenge, and in your blogging!
Intensity changes. When you start a demanding challenge like A to Z, there are days when you just don't feel like doing anything at all. Sometimes you get excited, and sometimes you just cruise along. Both are okay!
In the moment, a lot of things can happen that Influence your blogging. I am writing this post two weeks in advance, and I can't even tell what things are going to look like both online and off by the time if goes live. But that's okay! Even if you plan ahead, you can always go back in an edit. Things change. Things get interesting. Inspiration strikes. Go with it!

Did your interests or inspiration change since you started the Challenge this year? 
Tell us what inspires you!

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Friday, April 3, 2020

C is for Communication (#AtoZChallenge)

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The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of weekday posts focuses on:

Memories from Blogging in the Past


I started blogging in 2007. I had just gotten a scholarship to study abroad in the USA for a year, and one of the first things my student adviser told me was "Start a blog. It's going to be a lot easier to keep people updated than sending out dozens of emails."
And that is how my blog started. For Communication, for Connection. At first, it was daily news for friends and family about my study abroad adventures. Later it morphed into reports from storytelling festivals and conferences. Then, in 2012, I joined the A to Z Challenge for the first time, and started sharing storytelling and folklore content regularly.
Through Comments, I was starting to make new friends, and meet new Colleagues. I became part of a Community.
Today, thirteen years later, my blog is a Combination of professional Content and reports from my travels and performances. I have grown as an artist and as a person. It is strange and nostalgic to look back at the very first posts, and remember when and how it all began.

How has your life changed since you started blogging? Did it change thanks to your blogging? What does it feel like to look back on the early days?

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Theme Reveal 2020 #AtoZChallenge

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It's time to reveal your theme for 2020! 



We'll even share our theme. It's 2020 Vision, of course! Join us here on the A to Z Blog all month long for posts from our team, and be sure to sign up with your theme reveal here.

Please make sure you share the link directly to your Theme Reveal Post and not your general blog post.

You can see your blog immediately on our Theme Reveal List and you can see the list of all Blogs on our Master List!

Be sure to sign up for the Theme Reveal by Thursday, March 26th! After that, the form will be closed. 


If you haven't signed up for the challenge on the Master List, you can do so here.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

It's time!

It's time? Time for what?

Time to share your 2020 vision and sign up for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge!

A to Z Challenge 2020: 2009-2020

Click here to fill out our Google Form to sign up. Once you've signed up, your blog will appear automatically on the Master List!

The form will be open until April 5th, so make sure to get your sign ups in ASAP!

If you have any questions about signing up, check out our posts from 2019 or 2018. In 2019, we outlined all the information you need to sign up, and in 2018, we posted helpful videos. Not much has changed since then!

2009-2020 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, March 16th: Theme Reveal Posts
  • Wednesday, April 1st: A to Z Challenge Begins
  • Sunday, April 5th: Sign Ups for the Master List Close
  • Monday, May 4th: Reflections
  • Monday, May 18th: A to Z Road Trip

Monday, April 29, 2019

Y is for the rest of the Year (#AtoZChallenge)

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

The Challenge is ending tomorrow! Whew! You all have been amazing! As we slowly leave April behind (and we are most definitely not already planning our themes for next year, nope), blogging routine returns to business as usual.

What are your plans for the rest of the year, until the April hype starts up again?
Maybe you will

1. Have a new post series on your blog?
2. Will publish a book based on A to Z?
3. Work on a new blog design?
4. Join another challenge in the meantime?
5. Plan a blog hop?
6. Host a blog tour?
7. Dip your toes in a new social media platform?
8. Start a podcast?
9. Read new books from your TBR list?
10. Practice something you learned from A to Z?

Whatever it is, tell us in the comments if you feel like it! :)

******

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: NeatoShop.com/artist/Jeremy-Hawkins


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Friday, April 12, 2019

K is for Kindness (#AtoZChallenge)


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


We have an amazing community of bloggers, and lots of great relationships built between people over the course of the Challenge. For today's word I chose Kindness. Isn't it nice to do something kind for someone else? Here are five tiny kindnesses you can do any day, to bring joy to the blogging community:

1. Follow them - if you like what they write, stick around for May, June, and beyond!
2. Share their posts - spread the word about the posts you especially enjoyed!
3. Buy their stories - if an author captured your imagination, buy some of their works, and support their passion! If they have other things to sell, you can support them with that too.
4. Write reviews - if you read something an author wrote (especially if they are an indie author), make sure to leave reviews, even if they are short. They count a lot, and they don't take much time!
5. Showcase your favorites - on the Sundays of the challenge, and in May during Reflections, write a post to showcase some of your favorite blogs of the year! Tell us who captured your attention, and what you learned from them. 

Do you have more suggestions? Tell us in the comments!

******

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: NeatoShop.com/artist/Jeremy-Hawkins


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Book Blog Tours #AtoZchallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter B


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.


Book Blog Tours 



There are plenty of authors and book bloggers in the A to Z challenge. Simon says raise your hand if you know what a book blog tour is!

*cough* This blog held one earlier this year. If you're not a newb, your hand should be up. *cough*

Okay. Simon says you can put your hand back down. Book Blog Tours are an easy way for writers to reach a larger audience. It also gains your blog extra exposure from people who are looking for information on a certain book. Plus, it's an easy post to create, so that's freebie content.

Book Blog Tours #AtoZchallenge


Sometimes bloggers who aren't authors or book-bloggers aren't sure how a novel could tour on their blog. Here's a list of ten categories of blogs and ways they could invite certain books to tour:
  1. Culinary blogs could host novels that have unusual food. (The Hunger Games eventually got a cookbook.) Or non-fiction recipe books, because those can tour too. 
  2. Entertainment blogs could compare a book to a movie, television show, or play. Or perhaps use books that reference certain bands or music. (Rock-fiction is a thing.)
  3. Genealogy blogs could host books that feature characters who look up their genealogy.
  4. Health blogs could discuss books with characters who have certain health issues. (The diverse book movement is encouraging more of these!)
  5. Lifestyle and Social blogs could interview authors or characters who live the certain lifestyles featured on the blog. (I've interviewed an author who lives on a boat and another who traveled around the world.)
  6. Mythology and Folklore blogs are perfect for novels with that subject.
  7. Parenting/Family blogs are a great place for children's' books to tour.
  8. Spirituality and Religion blogs might be a good place for books with characters of faith.
  9. Travel blogs could compare their journey with those of a character who travels.
  10. Women's Interest blogs could feature books with strong female characters.

I hope this list has inspired you to invite an author to tour on your blog. Do you know of a book that fits one of the types of blogs listed?

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: NeatoShop.com/artist/Jeremy-Hawkins


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge