Blogging from A to Z Challenge

You might already be aware, either because I’ve mentioned it on Twitter, or you’ve noticed the big orange widget on the sidebar, that I’m participating in the “Blogging from A to Z April Challenge” again this year. “What in the name of sweet Cadbury’s is that?” you may ask. Let me save you a click on the aforementioned big orange widget. The “Blogging from A to Z April Challenge” is a blogging challenge that entails writing a post every day for the entire month of April–excluding Sundays. A letter of the alphabet is assigned to each day (April 1st = A; April 2nd = B; April 3rd = C; April 4th = D, etc.), and each blogger uses that letter to inspire the day’s article. Why exclude Sundays? Because there are 4 Sundays in April, and 30 days (the number of days in April) minus 4 days makes 26 days. There are 26 letters in the alphabet, so that makes one for each day. This also honors those who don’t like blogging on Sundays, and it gives us all (readers and writers) a break.

While the challenge states you can blog about absolutely anything, there are some ground rules. First, you have to incorporate the day’s letter somehow–even if it’s a proper noun. Second, your blog posts need to be at least 100 words long to show you’re at least breaking a sweat to do this. I mean, a challenge isn’t a challenge if it isn’t somehow challenging! You don’t have to come up with an overall theme for the month, but some find it helpful. Last year, one blogger (Kimberly) did an alliteration challenge, where she came up with an alliterative sentence for each day based on that day’s letter, and challenged her readers to come up with better ones. I recall someone else used mythical creatures as their theme.

Last year I challenged myself with coming up with either a flash or a short story every Monday, using the letter of the day to inspire the title. This gave birth to Bloodstain, Hourglass (one of the best short stories I’ve yet written–IMO), Nightmare, Tortilla, and Zoe. In fact, for some of these titles, I asked commenters to make suggestions, which was a lot of fun.

I’ve yet to formulate a plan for this year, but this much I do know: I’m going to limit each post to 500 words maximum. This will be a great exercise in word economy, and push me to be clean, concise, and creative in my word choices. I also want to repeat the Monday story challenge, which, combined with the 500-word restriction, means I will need to come up with flash stories based on the letters A, G, M, S, and Y. Beyond this, we’ll see…

Have you thought about participating? The sign up is still active. Last year, over 1,700 people took part, and they’re hoping for a lot more this year. Check out the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge blog for more information. And if you want to read some of my posts from last year, check out the archives on the right (go to April 2012).

12 thoughts on “Blogging from A to Z Challenge

  1. Robin Moran

    I’m torn. Because camp NaNo is in April which I’d like to participate in yet this sounds really fun and I already have a post idea for A. Then again the first two weeks of April are the Easter hols so I have the extra time.

    1. cds Post author

      And you can always write articles ahead of time and schedule them. That’s what I plan to do. It is a lot of fun, and, given the large quantity of participants, it’s a great opportunity to expose your blog to people who might not otherwise find you. Worth considering, I think. πŸ™‚

  2. Jaime

    Is it that time of year again? Wow! I can’t believe how fast this past year has gone. I know we’ve got a month to go until the challenge, but still. I think I’ll probably take part again. Not sure what I’ll write about, but it should be fun coming up with ideas. πŸ™‚

  3. Michelle Wallace

    Hi Colin.
    I’m popping in via the A to Z Challenge blog, as a volunteer on Team Ninja Minions!
    Nice to meet you. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

    Pre-scheduling posts is the best way to tackle the challenge. It minimizes the stress and allows more time for visiting other blogs.

    1. cds Post author

      Thanks for dropping by, Michelle! And thanks for helping with the challenge. It was a lot of fun last year, and hopefully we’ll have a great time with it this year, too! πŸ™‚

    1. cds Post author

      It is intimidating when you first think about it, but if you’re smart (like you are) and work on posts ahead of time, you’ll be surprised how much fun it is. I had a great time with it last year.

      All the best to you, Connie! And thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

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