I’ll never be accused of not going all-in whenever I commit to something, and that’s perfectly illustrated by my participation in this year’s A to Z challenge. The brain child of Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out, it began with his post from Saturday March 27, 2010 when he set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. Could they post every day except Sundays during that month? And to make things even more interesting, could they do it thematically from A to Z? Nearly 100 bloggers took the challenge that year, and it exploded to an amazing 1,300 last year. I chose not to participate in either those previous years, but as part of my 2012 resolution to make things uncomfortable in my comfort zone, not only am I jumping into the fold, I’m one of the co-host. *GULP* I tell people that one of the reasons I started this blog was to keep writing as much as possible, so I’ve decided to put my words where my mouth is. :)
Here are all of my fellow co-hosts.
Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Author Elizabeth Mueller (Elizabeth Mueller)
Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)
Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)
For the few who don’t know how it works, it’s really very simple. Most of the time if you subtract Sundays from April, you then have 26 days--one day for each letter of the alphabet. When April 1st lands on a Sunday (like it does this year) you begin on that day which will be the only Sunday you would post during the challenge.
Using this premise, you would start beginning April 1st with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April 30th with the theme based on the letter Z. It doesn't even have to be a word--it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself. The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.
But perhaps even better than the fun, will be the usefulness of the exercise. Several times I've read where bloggers said they couldn't think of anything to blog about. Writers often engage in exercises which involve prompts, or suggestions for topics. There are books, blogs, and websites devoted to providing prompts to be used as topic ideas. Using the letters of the alphabet you can just think up words for each letter and pick one to write about. If you're still stumped scan a dictionary or encyclopedia. Come on!--the prompts are everywhere. And the posts are generally short and sweet, so you don’t worry about having to come up with a mammoth thousand word post every day.
As a co-host it’s my job to help spread the word, encourage participation, offer idea’s in case someone is stuck on a letter, and basically keep the pot stirred. In preparation I’ve already written and stored away some letter themed post and by the time April rolls around I should have most of the month covered.
Registration doesn’t start until January 30th, but we are all spreading the word beginning today. How about it? Are you up for a challenge? Who wants to come out and play?