Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts

Friday, April 17, 2020

Oldie but goodie (#AtoZChallenge)

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

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?

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

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

Friday, April 10, 2020

In the moment (#AtoZChallenge)

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

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!

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

Grab a copy of the Master List! Click this

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

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! :)


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:

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Monday, July 18, 2016

April In July (#atozchallenge)

It’s July. Time for beaches, bar-b-ques and planning your A to Z posts!
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. 
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Monday, September 21, 2015

A-Z Creativity

In keeping with Heather's post about the 2016 Blogging From A-Z Challenge, I'm beginning to turn over ideas in my mind as to what I want to write about for next year's event. I haven't settled on what I want to do yet, but you can be sure I'll be putting more thought into it as I want to do something unique (as do we all, right?).

Over the years, a few enterprising and industrious writers have compiled their April posts and published same, mostly in fiction format. Now, it that's not being creative, I don't know what is.

I've had ambitions of doing the same for years, but haven't done anything about those posts. Most of the material relates to writing and would help others in some way, but as they say, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. I still haven't removed the material from my blog, but I do have them in individual files.

Do you have anything special you're turning over in your mind? If so, have you started plotting yet? I don't know about you, but I've got my thinking cap on.

Have fun planning when you get there!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My A to Z Road Trip Plan

If you read my May 27th post, you know I have a plan to visit 2-3 Road Trippers each day, and I'm doing it alphabetically. 

Wink. Wink. 

I doubt that I'll ever do anything again that doesn't involved organizing things from AtoZ.

So, I've visited A through G so far. Now I see that I have to adjust my plan, so if a keyword starts with the letter of the day, I'll visit that. I've already got my Z staked out. June will see a major slow down in my visits because I'm taking a vacation break, but I'll be back in July. Keep your engines running!

One thing Mario, my dashboard buddy/Muse, and I promised during this year's journey is a Road Side Rest Stop once in a while. This is where you can sit back, relax, breathe and rejuvenate. So here's our first Road Stop.

Unfortunately, there's often a very un-relaxing ad that pops up first, click it away and go for the relaxation. Even a few minutes puts you back on the road ready to roll.

Does planning help you save time and reach your goals? Are you good at planning and adjusting plans when you need to? What's been the best plan you've ever devised? Do you take a break to rejuvenate during the day?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Are You Getting Ready for A to Z 2014?

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris
The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         When the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge isn't consuming nearly my every thought, it at least lurks in the shadows at the back of my mind.   I keep thinking about what's coming in 2014.  How many bloggers will sign up?    Who will be on the A to Z Team?   Will we find enough good folks to assist the team?   What will I be blogging about in April?

         Have you thought of a theme for your 2014 A to Z entries?   That is if you're going with a theme.  You might be just going random, which there's certainly nothing wrong with that.   Many participants fly through April by the seat of their pants and have a grand time doing it.  There's no right or wrong way to go with how you want to do the A to Z Challenge.

        Personally, I've found going with a theme easier to work with especially if I enter more than one blog as I have done in the past couple years.  It may seem superfluous, but I feel like I'd be neglecting my other blogs if any of them weren't part of the April Challenge.  I don't know for sure if I'll keep all four of my blogs busy that month.  It is a lot of work.  But it's also been worth the work I've put into doing it that way.

        Just the other day, the theme came for my main blog Tossing It Out.   I won't be revealing the theme until right before the Challenge begins but I just wanted to mention that I've started the planning for April for that blog and am beginning to organize the daily posts.   I've heard that others have also already started into preparing their posts for April.  How about you?   Have you started yet?  Are you still trying to decide what you want to do?   Or are you just going to improvise when April comes?

        No matter which way you go, have a good time with it!

        Please visit my post at Tossing It Out and leave a comment.  I'm doing some information gathering and would like as many opinions, suggestions, and insightful information that I can find.  I will be presenting my findings in an upcoming post on that blog.

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shelina: I Miss April, How About You?

I Miss A to Z April, How About You?

So you had this fabulous daily blogging regimen and then April comes to an end and you’re exhausted from the hectic life that is daily blogging. But your jazzed at the idea that you could do it and no one caught on that you had no idea what you were doing. You figure, going down to two or three blogs a week will be easy in comparison. You’ve balanced a full life and your blogging life at   last. A week or two passes and you start losing steam. You're barely getting out a post a week. Why?
Business Calendar & Schedule
( Business Calendar & Schedule (Photo credit: photosteve101)

You stopped writing daily.

That’s the easy answer but it’s the truth. If you wrote every day like you did during April you wouldn’t be here now, thinking, what happened? So if you’re in a blogging funk the easiest fix is to do exactly what you did for April. You don’t have to hit “publish” everyday, but you should still create posts everyday or close to it, if you want to hold on to your momentum. What I did for April was planned my posts for the month and then I had something to work from during the month and I was able to keep ahead of my posts by a week or two. That was one of my easiest blog months ever, because I planned ahead. I've gone back to that. I don't have all them blogged and scheduled yet but I have them planned out and I know what I want to say and how. It's given me more time to work on some other projects that I've been wanting to get to: editing two finished novels, my YouTube channel and a new blog concept coming out shortly. I even did my first giveaway. Don't worry it's not to late to fix things.

Writing Exercise:

If you’re a blogger or thinking of starting a blog, try to get ahead by a month you’ll feel the comfort and stress free feeling of being on top of your blog giving you more time to focus on giving your readers quality content and timely responses.

Just in case you missed my A to Z posts under the theme "Get Writing" you can download them in book form here.

Shelina – these are great words of advice! Thanks for being here to share.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coming Soon...Friday Fun Time! Brought to You by Nicole

Lots of carefully alphabetized activities are in store for you all starting this month! Some of you are already familiar with me, either from my guest posts at Tossing It Out or by reading my blog, The Madlab Post. For those who may not have ever read my posts, however, here is a quick primer: I am a writer and filmmaker who sometimes publishes short movie reviews and helps other blog readers figure out whether they comment like Harry Potter or not. You can Get to Know more about me Here, if you’re really interested.

In the weeks to come, I will be hosting A to Z themed blog posts for your reading pleasure, every Friday. These posts will include word scramble games, detailed writing prompts to get you prepared for the next Blogging from A to Z Challenge and letter craft tutorials. Depending on the subject matter, each post will be a part of one of three series, unless otherwise noted. The Friday series includes:

Alphabet Soup - A word scramble game 

The Alphabet Remix - A to Z Challenge writing prompts 

Letter Play - Alphabet crafts, design and related DIY tips 

Now, answer me this...

What letters did YOU find the most difficult to blog about during this year’s 2012 A to Z Challenge? 

Happy blogging everyone!

The Madlab Post 
Home of the Monday Movie Meme!
@MadlabPost on Twitter

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Preparing Ahead for April

Artwork by Ada Z. at CollagePodge

          Several of you have commented that you are already planning your A to Z posts.  Some are mapping them out while others have actually started writing them.   There's nothing wrong with that.  It's not cheating.  In fact I consider it a darn good idea.

           I usually start by printing out a calendar grid that is available on many internet sites.  Or you can use a regular calendar (whatever happened to all those free calendars businesses used to send out--they seem to be in short supply for me anymore), a date book planner, or just a list of the days.  I like using an actual calendar format since I get an easy to see overview of the month.

           Once I have my calendar (or blank format) I first add the letters for each day.  I then go back and start coming up with ideas.  Coming up with those ideas is often the most difficult part of the challenge.  And they're not written in stone, just on a calendar and you can always erase them if you change your mind.  Knowing that you at least have some ideas to work with will make the writing of the posts less difficult.

          Planning and actually writing some or all of your posts ahead of time will make your Challenge less stressful, but don't think you have eliminated the challenge of Blogging from A to Z.  Many of us have found that the real challenge comes with trying to visit the sites of the other participants.  After all, networking is one of the more important aspects of the April Challenge.  If you've taken care of your posts ahead of time then you will have more time to visit other sites and interact more freely.

         One more point:  If you've looked at the 2012 April calendar you may have noticed that without Sundays there are only 25 days, which means we'll have to post on one Sunday.  To me the logical choice is Sunday April 1 since it's the first day of the month and we get the seven day stretch of writing done at the beginning.  In 2012 the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge will begin on Sunday April 1 with the rest of the Sundays off.

        Whichever way you choose to approach the Challenge is fine.  It's your personal challenge and creativity is what will make you really stand out--creativity and how much you visit other blogs and leave comments.  Preparing beforehand will allow more time for visiting.  Writing the posts as you go will boost the adrenaline and keep things more topical.  Either way, have fun Blogging from A to Z in April.
          We've been getting mentions on your blogs and I'm trying to keep up with them. 

          Here's one I missed when it first went up.  Thanks to Retired Knitter at My Next 20 Years of Living for her ardent post on October 18th.   This is the kind of shout out that we need.

         Delores from The Feathered Nest also has done her part in getting out the word.

         If you've done an A to Z Challenge post on your blog and I haven't mentioned it please let me know so you can be recognized for your support.  And whenever any of you post something about the Challenge send me a note to my email or in the comments and I'll add your link to a future post.  Thanks for all the help.

         Please visit Tossing It Out tomorrow Wednesday 11/16 when I have as my special guest award-winning best-selling author of nine books Lani Diane Rich.  She'll be offering  a bit of a pep talk with some great advice for all writers.

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