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Showing posts with label Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Utilizing Your Writing Skills ( #AtoZChallenge )

 

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U


       Up to this point, if you've been keeping up with all of your daily letter posts, you've been utilizing your writing skills.  "But it's just blogging," you might say.   It's still writing just like writing a letter or an entry in your life journal is writing.  Writing is writing the way I see it and it's up to the writer as to how good the writing is.

        Undoubtedly you've read--or are at least aware of books consisting of letters written by some author or some significant person of the past.  Why were those letters saved and treasured?   They probably were a window into a past history which made them interesting or even important to readers years later.  And often they consisted of good writing or writing that was somehow worth preserving for posterity.

        Sometimes we are just hacking out posts to have content on our blog sites.  It's writing nevertheless.  And it's up to each of us to make that writing as good as we can.  Some of our posts might be akin to first drafts for some future work we might write.  Or they might be masterpieces waiting to be discovered by readers.  They might be just the thing that some reader out there has been waiting to find--the idea or experience that connects them to a writer they may likely never meet in person.

         If you've made it successfully to this point in the A to Z Challenge then you need to congratulate yourself.  As long as you've been persistent and dedicated with your posting, you have utilized your writing skills and that is a good thing for anyone--especially anyone who thinks of themselves as a writer.   In the past, A to Z has spawned books and other projects.   Who knows where your A to Z blog posts might take you.  

        Once you've made it through the alphabet by blogging you can continue on to face new writing challenges.  Perhaps it will help you blog better.   Maybe you'll even want to come back for more A to Z blogging like so many have done for over a decade now.  

         Just a few more posts to go and then you can start planning for next year.   You might even publish something as a result of your participation in this year's Challenge.  Keep going to the end!  You can do this!


Have you ever published something as a result of your A to Z participation?   Do you think blogging helps you to be a better writer?   Do you still write letters?




Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Plodding Onward ( #AtoZChallenge )

 

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter P


Please tell us you haven't given up!  

Today I ran across a few blogs that seem to have stopped posting a few letters back.  If that's you and you feel like you cannot catch up then let me say:  "Yes you can!"

It's okay to fall behind a bit.  But do not give up!  Not yet.

Whatever you do though, be sure to have a good time.  After all, it's just blogging.

Let us know how you're doing.




Monday, April 10, 2023

Hope Keeps Us Going ( #AtoZChallenge )

 

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter H


       Hope is like an essential nutrient that keeps us alive.  Water, air, and food are necessities without which we'd eventually die.  Without them, we would struggle on with the hope that we will find what we need until we give up our last dying breath.  Hope drives us.  Hope sustains us.

       Maybe the A to Z Challenge is not quite as vital as just staying alive, but it serves as a decent metaphor for our lives and the pursuits that keep us going.  As another April approaches, some of us hope there will be another April Challenge and then when we get word that it's on, we sign up with the hope that we will finish the blogging ordeal that lies ahead.  Once the Challenge starts we hope that we will complete a post for every letter.  We hope that we will write good content that will draw readers.  We hope some of those readers will leave a comment.  We hope it's a nice comment.

        Hope moves us forward in life as well as through the things we do in life.  Without hope, we are essentially aimless.  Hope is the expectation that tomorrow is going to come and that maybe it's going to be better than today.  The best hope is realistic hope because that is hoping for a goal that we are actually likely to attain.

        Hope is the fuel that burns inside of us to bring us success and satisfaction.   But remember:  Hope works best where there is intent.  Unguided hope is just an aimless dream if you don't intend to finish what you start.  Keep your hope on a true path guided by intent.

         We are hoping you will finish the Challenge and finish well.  Now, what is your intent?






Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ups and Downs ( #AtoZChallenge )




You never can fully understand how up you can get if you haven't experienced a few downs now and then.  If life were consistently going our way then it might get kind of boring.








       How's your April been so far?  Has everything gone as you had expected?   Hopefully you haven't had to deal with any computer problems or sickness this year.   I know that some of you as well as I have had to face those difficulties in the past.  In other years I've had travel scheduled during April making the Challenge an extra challenging ordeal.  A few of you could be traveling this year and if so I hope you've handled A to Z okay.

       But that's life isn't it.  Good days, bad days.  Smooth sailing, rough waters.  Sometimes you're feeling fine, other times you want to scream out of frustration.  If life didn't have its little problems then we might have to create them just to make things more interesting.

        Look no further!   The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is just the remedy you need to really mix things up.  You likely have run over a few bumps in the road, but you've kept going until you've reached this point.  We usually expect ups and downs in life, but life works best when we accept the ups and downs.  Since it lasts for a month, the A to Z Challenge is a sort of microcosmic metaphor for life:  Filled with ups and downs, but hopefully a darn good time for all.

          Utterly fun!   That's how I see it.

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Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!
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      Have you run into any major problems in this year's Challenge?   What is your most dreaded blogging hassle?    Do you see your life as mostly ups, mostly downs, or a healthy balance of both? 






Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Only ( #AtoZChallenge )



     Only less than a couple weeks to go!   You can coast to the end if you've gotten this far.  It's all downhill from here...






ONLY

      "Only..."

        My kids used to pull that bit of persuasion on me when they were young.  "But Dad, it's only twenty dollars!"   To which I'd reply in mock horror, "Only!"

          "Only!" is how some of you might respond were I to remind you that there are only less than two weeks left in this Challenge.  We all have confidence that you can finish this thing if you've managed to make it this far in A to Z.  You've been doing great!  You will win this Challenge.

           After the letter "Z" you only have one more post to do:  The Reflections Post.   I won't get into that yet, but the A to Z veterans will likely remember the recap posts we all do in early May.  We'll have a post soon telling you about The A to Z Reflections post and when it's all happening.

         But don't fret on that for the time being.  Now you've only got to finish this Challenge.  You can do it!

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If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click:
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       Do you tend to wear down or put in the extra energy as you reach the end of a project?  Have you been managing to post on time every day so far?   Are you a long range seer or a for the moment doer?  




Saturday, April 14, 2018

Music and Memories ( #AtoZChallenge )




Many things can tap into our memories and often music can evoke our pasts more so than any other stimulus...





      On my own blog Tossing It Out I frequently discuss music and memories.  For a time I even had one blog Wrote By Rote that focused on memoir and often music was a topic there as well.  Most of us enjoy music to some extent and we enjoy sharing what we like with others who might also like our favorite music.  Some blogs focus entirely on the subject of music while other bloggers regularly participate in music-themed blog events just as I do.

       My favorite music blog hop is Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands in which participants post songs and ask readers to vote on their favorites.  Like most other participating bloggers, I post my Battles on the 1st and 15th of each month. That means another one will be coming tomorrow (Sunday April 15th).


       So, if you are a music fan, please drop by to vote on my Battle and take a look at the other Battles.  It's fun and it is educational--I've made some great musical discoveries doing Battle of the Bands.   And can you believe that I've participated in BOTB since 2013--we've been doing this thing for going on 5 years now.  I guess we really are having a good time with it!   You can too.  Want to join us?   If so, visit my next BOTB post and find out more.


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     Do you ever blog about music?  Do you ever write memoir on your blog?    Are there any blog events that you've been participating in that you'd like to share with us?  









Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Income Tax ( #AtoZChallenge )



  Imagination is a limitless resource, but it should be used wisely.   But the most important thing is to use it...







      Income tax might be on the minds of at least some of those in the United States.  Our taxes are due in a few days.  Fortunately I got mine done last month so now I can focus on the April Challenge.  If you are still scrambling to finish taxes as well as keep up with your A to Z posts then I'm sorry to hear that.  You've really got a big challenge on your hands.

        Other than the taxes being soon due, my mentioning of income tax is also a reminder about blogging ideas.  I've often read bloggers saying that they are running out of ideas for their regular blogging let alone coming up with an idea that is bloggably sustainable for an entire month.  If you want to be a blogger then you're going to be a writer and as a writer you've got to have ideas and imagination.

          So let's say next year you decide to write about "income tax."  What can you write about?  History of the tax. pro and cons of taxation, how-to hints about tax preparation, or where tax dollars go are some suggestions.   You could write fictional stories related to income tax--a lot of intriguing ideas for that!

         Don't get hung up on trying to come up with ideas.  Look around you.  There are stories within every field of your vision and the limitless expanse of your imagination.  Don't think you're going to throw in the towel for this year's Challenge for any lack of ideas about what to write next.  That's the point of the A to Z Challenge--to tax your mind.  No ideas is no excuse.

          Now start writing your next posts whether they be for tomorrow, next week, or next year.  It's tax season.  Time to tax your brain!


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   Have you ever felt like you were out of ideas?   Where do you go to find new ideas to write about?  When your creativity wanes how do you recharge it?




#azchat #atozchallenge Twitter chat announcement image

11pm UTC

Monday, April 2, 2018

C is for Challenge & Can Do ( #AtoZChallenge )




  Even if you really can't do something, believing that you can't is a sure way to hold you back from progress.  Accept your limitations and adapt to doing the best that you can do...





Yes You Can!

         Here we are at day three!   Hopefully most of you are still filled with enthusiasm and ready to persevere to the end of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  However, I know from the experience of past years a few of you might be wondering why in the world you decided to take on this crazy Challenge.  Each year I've seen bloggers stop way before they've even gotten to the middle of the alphabet.  The excuses are diverse, sometimes totally valid, but usually it's a matter of the unwillingness to believe in oneself and just giving up.  Don't do it!

         You can do this! 



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Are you ready to keep going until the end?   More importantly, are you willing?   What is your best motivator?  




Monday, January 30, 2017

A Big A To Z Announcement Is Coming! #atozchallenge






          Six years ago at about this time the first A to Z Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Linky List appeared as sign-ups opened.  It was during that Challenge that an official A to Z Team was put together.   We had realized that the A to Z Challenge was an overwhelming endeavor that required a collaborative effort of several competent and relatively well-known bloggers.  In succeeding years, improvements and changes were made in order to make the Challenge more efficient as well as more rewarding to all.  Change is often an obstacle for many of us, but sometimes change is the best, and at times, seemingly the only way to keep things going.

          Judging by the number of inquiries about the 2017 Challenge that we've been getting in our email boxes as well as the A to Z Challenge Facebook site, many of you are wondering what's going on this year.   The A to Z Challenge Blog has been inactive over the past few weeks and not a great deal has been heard from the Challenge co-hosts regarding the 2017 Challenge.  In fact, not even a mention of who are the co-hosts for 2017.   However the behind the scenes action has been underway as we have been addressing what the 2017 April event might look like.

          As you might now be surmising, changes are coming in the upcoming 2017 A to Z Challenge!

           In this current post, I am laying the groundwork for the very important announcement post that will be appearing here next Monday February 6th.  There will be some vital information that we want you to be sure to read and to help us promote in order that all interested parties can be informed and provide their own input and suggestions.  And of course, there will undoubtedly be questions that we can answer for you.

Can you help us get the word out?

          So that the maximum number of bloggers can get this very important news, we are asking you to help us get the buzz going by announcing the upcoming post on your own blogs as well as tweeting, Facebooking, and sharing today's post as much as you can.  Let's get the word out!

          We want everyone who is planning on doing the 2017 Challenge to see what is in store by checking out the February 6th post.  So, those of you who have already completed your A to Z posts for this year or have them in the planning stages, never fear!  The 2017 A to Z Challenge will be here once again in April.  There will be much more information to come on the A to Z Blog after next week's announcement so plan on visiting regularly.

Meet the 2017 A to Z Team

        Part of the change for this year entails a smaller A to Z Team for reasons that should be more evident in the upcoming announcement post.  Most of the Team will consist of members from the previous Team with the addition of a long time A to Z participant as well as a veteran member of Arlee's Ambassadors.

        The 2017 A to Z Team is as follows:

Arlee Bird   @ Tossing It Out

Heather M. Gardner The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Zalka Csenge VirรกgThe Multicolored Diary

John Holton @    The Sound of One Hand Typing


J Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J. Lenni Dorner   (first year on the A to Z Team)

Also, Jeremy Hawkins Hollywood Nuts as in previous years will be providing the A to Z graphics (official logo, daily letter badges, etc)

Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh --though no longer a full-time active team member due to his many other commitments including the Insecure Writer's Support Group (which he founded)-- will continue acting in an advisory and supporting role with his additional assistance in promoting the Challenge on his blog.  My many thanks to Alex for his years of service to A to Z from its inception.

        I would encourage you to visit all of the blogs mentioned above to get to know the A to Z Team and give each member a big virtual hug.

       Be here next week for the big Challenge news.   And please spread the word!

        IT'S GOING TO BE ANOTHER GREAT A TO Z CHALLENGE IN APRIL 2017!


Thanks from your A to Z Founder, Arlee Bird...
       

Monday, July 18, 2016

April In July (#atozchallenge)

It’s July. Time for beaches, bar-b-ques and planning your A to Z posts!
What?
Why so early you ask?

Blogging in the A to Z challenge takes time. If you are not used to blogging every day there is that, but even those of us that do blog everyday there is more time needed for this challenge. Especially to make it successful and more importantly fun.

So for me, July is the time I start planning my posts for next April.
I start off with a simple spreadsheet with letters A to Z going down the rows along with the date and days.  Sometimes having a particular letter on a particular day might influence me.  Like one year Z appeared on Saturday. Since I did a regular posting every Saturday about the comic book character Zatanna, I knew I was set.

Now for me I love to work with themes. I have been doing the A to Z Challenge since 2011 and been doing it with themes since 2012.  Themes give me focus and make me reach as a writer and blogger. Over the years I have done Games, Witches, Demons, Vampires and most recently Adventure.  For me a theme helps bring people back. I know there were several blogs I followed because of their interesting themes.  I want to choose a theme that first of all my regular readers will enjoy and then one that new readers will also find compelling and want to come back for more.  Since I am typing everything into a spreadsheet (a in truth I am using Google Sheets for this) I can actually develop a few themes at a time. Presently I have three I am working on.


I know there is the big theme reveal closer to April so I am kinda stealing my own thunder here, but the themes I am considering are “Undead” (like vampires, ghosts and the like), “OSR Games” (games of the old-school renaissance) and finally “Free Games” (games that you get for free).

Ok. I have my spreadsheet in place. I have an idea of my theme or two (or three).  What do I need to do now? Well I have nine months, give or take, to start writing my posts and gathering up what I need to make this all work.  Some of the posts of my themes almost write themselves.  Most don’t.  So I start to fill in the blanks to see what I have for each theme.  Some letters, Q, X, Y and Z I know will give me some issues, so I try to figure out what will go there first.
Well for Games and OSR I can use the game “X-plorers” and “Zfers” for X and Z respectively.  So that is a good start. For Undead I have “Zombie”, so not quite as good.

And...the search goes on. But you know what? That is OK since I still have some months yet.
A week or so later in July I am much closer to figuring out what I am going to do.

I know there is a big reveal in March, but I am going to give you a spoiler now.
I put down my first post for April 2017.  It’s for B and I picked “Basic Fantasy”.  I am going to focus on free games that you can download and play right away.
It is set now. I am committed. I just need 25 more posts! But now I know what I am going to do and a pretty good idea what the content of each post will be.   Come April I can concentrate on visiting all of your blogs now!

I say this summer spend a couple of extra minutes each day doing your April posts and make your April more enjoyable.  Sooner than you think 2017 will be here!

---
Tim Brannan is a blogger over at The Other Side a gaming and horror blog. He have been blogging since 2008 and been a participant in the A to Z Challenge since 2011.

He is also up for an ENnie Award (something like the Oscars of Gaming) for Best Blog and he would really like it if you voted for him.
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2016/ballot.php?category_id=6 
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Time for Reflection on the 2016 Challenge




         Think you're done with the Challenge?   Well, hang on just a minute!  We want to hear what you thought about the 2016 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Before you take a break from blogging for a while or if you're just going back to blogging business as usual, please take a moment to reflect a bit.   We'd like to hear just one more little thing:  Tell us about your A to Z experience.

         The A to Z Reflections Post has become a tradition as most Challenge vets will remember.  We've done this since the first Challenge in 2010.  What we request is that in a post on your own blog you tell us all something about the Challenge that impacted you the most.

         This post can be about any April A to Z related topic and presented in any form that you like.  Your post doesn't have to be long and complicated unless that's what you want to do.  Like the regular A to Z posts, the Reflections Post can be whatever you want it to be just as long it's about the April Challenge.

           This is the time for you to register your complaints about anything Challenge related.  Let us know the weaknesses along with your suggestions as to how they can be improved.   We don't mind hearing the negative aspects of A to Z, but we hope you will have some positives to report as well.  Relate your anecdotes about interactions with the A to Z staff or other bloggers.   Offer praise to the outstanding bloggers in this year's Challenge or tell us about particular posts or themes that you think deserve recognition.

          Incidentally, even if you didn't participate in the Challenge itself or didn't finish the A to Z Challenge but have something about it that you think is worth mentioning, you are welcomed to add your own Reflections post as long as you were following some of the A to Z posts.   Do not take this invitation as a license to just get on the list with some random post that has nothing to do with A to Z.   These non-Challenge related post links will be removed from the list.  

          The Reflections Post is your time to tell everyone what's on your mind about the A to Z Challenge.  If you want to brag about your own blog then go ahead.  If you want to brag on something else then that's definitely welcomed.  Good, bad, indifferent or however you feel, tell the rest of us.  Whatever you feel is worth saying, then say it.   Even if it's just your blog stats for April--that's valuable information that might help us get some ideas.  Say what you have to say and we will listen.

We Want Next Year to Be Better

          The Challenge of 2016 was pretty darn good by my estimation, but there's always room for improvement.  That's one reason why we like the Reflections Posts.   We get ideas on what not to do in the future and even better we get some ideas on what we can do to improve future events.  

          Many of you have some good ideas that the A to Z Team may have never considered before.  Let's hear those ideas so we can do some brainstorming.   And even if your brain is not brimming with ideas for improvement, just your general thoughts can stimulate some thinking.  Don't think that you have nothing to say because everything any of you say is worth hearing.

          Bottom line is that we want to hear from you.  All of you are important to us and each of you has some valuable input that will be lost if you don't tell us.

"What Do I Do?"

         If this is the question you're asking then let me explain.   Starting anytime between now and Friday May 13th, put together your thoughts in a Reflections Post.   No rules on this as it can be as short or as long as you like and it can be composed in any way that you wish.    Once your Reflections piece has been written then add the "Reflections" badge that you see at the top of this page to your composition.  When you have your Reflections ready to go then post it on your own blog site.

          On Monday May 9th the Reflections Linky List will appear on this blog--The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog.   Add the link of the Reflections post that you have already posted on your site.  ***NOTE:  Add the link that directs to your Reflections Post and not your general blog URL***Please don't do this wrong and expect us to have to go back to fix it!

         You can post anytime between now and next Friday May 13th.  You must post your Reflections to your own blog before you can add it to the list at the A to Z Blog.  Only add your link to the list if you have actually done a Reflections post.  This Linky List will be accessible to all for the rest of the year so it can be advantageous for you to participate.

       Hopefully this is all clear to everyone, but don't hesitate to ask questions in the comment section if there is anything at all you don't understand.  


         Those who have successfully completed the 2016 A to Z Challenge are invited to copy the Survivor badge below and display it on your own blog to show your visitors that you are an A to Z Winner!






Monday, February 1, 2016

Howdy Neighbour!

I know what I'm about to say has been said a time or two before, but it bears repeating. One of the things that makes the A-Z Blogging Challenge most enjoyable is the interaction with other persons doing April.

We're creatures of habit and tend to visit those we're friendly with first. Mixing that up a little means engaging other people, visiting their blogs before stopping in with our friends. While not everybody is going to reciprocate your stopover, there will be at least a few persons who will return the favour.

Nothing disturbs me more on the Challenge trail than finding blogs without comments and a few persons may give up, not only because they run out of steam, but because blogging is no fun without the comments from visitors. It's okay to leave enough feedback to let the blogger know you've been and that you've read their post.


Let's try and do as much as we can before the actual Challenge so that we'll have more time to make the rounds and meet new friends.

So are you game?

I know I am.


J.L. Campbell blogs at The Character Depot

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cleaning the Garage from A to Z

English: A handyman project was to de-clutter ...
 A handyman project was to de-clutter a basement which tends to get filled with things when it's not certain whether to throw or keep them. When a basement becomes too cluttered, it's hard to find things that are really needed. One way is to move clutter to a second location where it can be sorted into two piles (1) trash (2) items to keep. Source of picture: here (see public domain declaration). Questions: write to my Wikipedia page or email me at thomaswrightsulcer@yahoo.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       A frequent theme of posts on this Blogging from A to Z Challenge site involves ideas for the April Challenge.   It's a natural topic here!   How often do many of us wonder what we will be writing about come April Challenge time?    Often I read exasperated laments from bloggers who don't know if they can even participate in A to Z because they don't know what to write about.  To alleviate some of those feelings of doubt and fear, let me offer another of the infinite ideas that might spark some creativity in your mind.

        Instead of staring at the computer screen as your mind jumbles up with this idea and that, why not take a break from blogging for an hour or two or maybe even a whole day.   Get up out of your chair and go clean your garage.   Now, you might substitute "garage" with closet, drawers, car, or what have you, but the essence of this idea is to go take care of some accumulated clutter and get organized.

         When I think of organizing one image that comes to my mind is filing papers in an orderly fashion which typically entails separating items into easy to find A to Z fashion.   Using a cluttered garage as an example, you can even take filing to a larger scale organizing everything in your garage in some logical fashion.  Alphabetically might not be the most practical way to organize a garage, but it could be something to think about.   The point here is to clean up and organize.  Get some house work done!

         And once you've started diving into that amalgam of messiness (unless you are more fastidious than many of us) start thinking in A to Z terms.   Your garage might have anything from Ajax to Zap cleaner, old adding machines to non-functioning Zenith television sets, or accordions to zithers.  I think you're getting the idea.

        Your house is a wealth of A to Z inspiration and sometimes digging through the artifacts of what we amass over the years can stir up all sorts of thinking.  Take a look at ten or twenty items that you immediately see around you and consider what each item conjures in your mind.

         Can you remember when you first obtained that item or when you used it?   How did the items affect your life?   Why did they end up where they did in a state of disuse?   How useful were the items then as opposed to now?   Would you recommend these things to anyone else?  If you were going to give the item to another person who would it be and why?

          One cluttered closet could be the inspiration for numerous books, stories, or articles to an extremely imaginative person so it stands to reason that this same closet might be excellent inspiration for the 26 posts of April A to Z.

          Fiction, memoir, how-to's, photo essays, humor--there is no limit to what your clean-up jobs can inspire.  There's no good reason for anyone to come up with the excuse that they don't know what to write about for A to Z.   Your posts in April don't have to be exotic or even something absolutely unique.  Good content is always desirable, but excellence in writing can outweigh the most original ideas that are written about tritely or dryly.

         Maybe give it a try.  Start a household chore with A to Z in mind.   Even if you don't come up with an A to Z idea this time around, you can try again later.   And if the A to Z idea doesn't come from your efforts then you've still ended up with a positive accomplishment--you'll have a cleaner more organized house.   Not much of a downside to that!

         Have any of your A to Z themes been about common items around your house?    What are some great discoveries that you've come upon while cleaning house?    Are there any A to Z themes that come to your mind in regard to this post?

Monday, October 5, 2015

The A-Z Process

Since I'm a procrastinator, I still haven't settled on my theme for the 2016 Challenge. Not good (although I still have time). There are just so many good themes that I'm running off in a different direction every time a shiny new idea hits. The thing is though, no matter what I decide on, I basically take the same approach to the month's blogging.

Read – I do copious amounts of reading whenever I'm embarking on a new adventure. It's a way to steep myself in my subject matter and get a good feel for it.

Research – This aspect is the fun part. Of course, this can mean information overload which makes it difficult for me to settle my mind and sit down with the aim of putting it all together. Balance is key here, since I sometimes get so carried away with research, I find it hard to move past this phase.

Write – This is where the action comes in—knitting all the useful bits together into cohesive articles that will be of interest and help people who stop by to read each day.

Revise – When all the research and writing are done, I take a bit of time to re-read what I've prepared to make sure I'm on point with the data I'm sharing.


What else do you do when you're preparing your articles for the Challenge?



J.L. Campbell writes fiction and non-fiction and blogs at http://www.joylcampbell.com

Sunday, May 3, 2015

#atozchallenge Sunflower Survivor


A to Z Sunflower as it appeared in the afternoon of
Saturday May 2, 2015

         Anyone who has been following my Sunday A to Z Blog posts probably has figured that I've adopted this sunflower in my backyard as a sort of A to Z symbol or mascot.  I've followed its progress from first bloom on the Challenge opening day on April 1st, 2015 with my Tribute to Tina post and followed it to the end of the Challenge.

           Considering the story (which can be found by going back to the first sunflower post linked in the preceding paragraph), this sunflower is an apt symbol to represent the participants of this Challenge.   Most of us are a bit weary after our month of blogging and networking, but we're still standing and ready for whatever is coming next.

          The first A to Z  related post-Challenge event is the A to Z Reflections post which we hope you will put up on your site any time between now and Friday May 8th.  Some of you already have your posts up and I've seen some good reports.  But keep in mind that your Reflections don't have to be all good.  We'll listen to the downsides as well though we hope there aren't many of those.  For full details about this please visit Wait! A to Z Is Not Over! Not Quite.  This post should tell you just about everything you need to know about the Reflections Post and if you still have questions then just ask.

           Don't forget to add the Reflections badge to your Reflections Post and be sure to flaunt your A to Z win with the Survivor Badge in your sidebar.  All artwork is courtesy of our official A to Z graphics guy and hard-working co-host Jeremy Hawkins.  Be sure to drop by his site Hollywood Nuts! to say hello and thanks.   And be sure to order your A to Z Survivor T-shirt (see badge link in the sidebar of this page).




A Bit Tired, but We Survived !


Here's the A to Z Sunflower on May 2nd getting ready for the beginning of the Reflection Posts during the week beginning on Monday May 4th.  We're all still hanging in there!






Friday, May 1, 2015

Wait! A to Z Is Not Over! Not Quite



The Reflections Tradition

         Oh sure, the alphabet is now behind most of us.  Your letter posts should be finished and now you're ready to start blogging as you normally do--or maybe even take a respite from blogging.  But hold on before you leave this 2015 Challenge completely behind you.  We ask you one more little thing:  Tell us about your A to Z experience.

         The A to Z Reflections Post has become a tradition as most Challenge vets will remember.  We've done this since the first Challenge in 2010.  What we request is that in a post on your own blog you tell us all something about the Challenge that impacted you the most.

         Actually this post can be about any April A to Z related topic and presented in any form that you like.  Your post doesn't have to be long and complicated unless that's what you want to do.  Like the regular A to Z posts the Reflections Post can be whatever you want it to be just as long it's about the April Challenge.

           This is the time for you to register your complaints about anything Challenge related.  Let us know the weaknesses along with your suggestions as to how they can be improved.   We don't mind hearing the negative aspects of A to Z, but we hope you will have some positives to report as well.  Relate your anecdotes about interactions with the A to Z staff or other bloggers.   Offer praise to the outstanding bloggers in this year's Challenge or tell us about particular posts or themes that you think deserve recognition.

          Incidentally, even if you didn't participate in the Challenge itself or didn't finish the A to Z Challenge but have something about it that you think is worth mentioning, you are welcomed to add your own Reflections post as long as you were following some of the A to Z posts.   Do not take this invitation as a license to just get on the list with some random post that has nothing to do with A to Z.   These non-Challenge related post links will be removed from the list.  

          The Reflections Post is your time to tell everyone what's on your mind about the A to Z Challenge.  If you want to brag about your own blog then go ahead.  If you want to brag on something else then that's definitely welcomed.  Good, bad, indifferent or however you feel, tell the rest of us.  Whatever you feel is worth saying, then say it.   Even if it's just your blog stats for April--that's valuable information that might help us get some ideas.  Say what you have to say and we will listen.

We Want Next Year to Be Better

          The Challenge of 2015 was pretty darn good by my estimation, but there's always room for improvement.  That's one reason why we like the Reflections Posts.   We get ideas on what not to do in the future and even better we get some ideas on what we can do to improve future events.

          Many of you have some good ideas that the A to Z Team may have never considered before.  Let's hear those ideas so we can do some brainstorming.   And even if your brain is not brimming with ideas for improvement, just your general thoughts can stimulate some thinking.  Don't think that you have nothing to say because everything any of you say is worth hearing.

          Bottom line is that we want to hear from you.  All of you are important to us and each of you has some valuable input that will be lost if you don't tell us.

"What Do I Do?"

         If this is the question you're asking then let me explain.   Starting anytime between now and Friday May 8th, put together your thoughts in a Reflections Post.   No rules on this as it can be as short or as long as you like and it can be composed in any way that you wish.    Once your Reflections piece has been written then add the "Reflections" badge that you see at the top of this page to your composition.  When you have your Reflections ready to go then post it on your own blog site.

          On Monday May 4th the Reflections Linky List will appear on this blog--The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog.   Add the link of the Reflections post that you have already posted on your site.  ***NOTE:  Add the link that directs to your Reflections Post and not your general blog URL***Please don't do this wrong and expect us to have to go back to fix it!

         You can post anytime between now and next Friday May 8th.  You must post your Reflections to your own blog before you can add it to the list at the A to Z Blog.  Only add your link to the list if you have actually done a Reflections post.  This Linky List will be accessible to all for the rest of the year so it can be advantageous for you to participate.

       Hopefully this is all clear to everyone, but don't hesitate to ask questions in the comment section if there is anything at all you don't understand.  


         Those who have successfully completed the 2015 A to Z Challenge are invited to copy the Survivor badge below and display it on your own blog to show your visitors that you are an A to Z Winner!








      We'll be looking for your Reflections Posts in the week to come!