Blogging from A to Z Challenge Edition
Last month, for the first time, I participated in the Blogging From A to Z April (2017) Challenge. For each of the days in April (minus Sundays) you blog about a topic beginning with the day’s assigned letter. You’re encouraged to blog according to a chosen theme. Mine was my April book release, Rightfully Ours. You then share your posts on blogs and social media. (You can find the links to each of my posts in my Letter Z post.) In early April, I realized I’d clearly over-extended myself. My book released April 1 and the Facebook launch party and blog tour soon followed. I had volunteer commitments to attend to, and my kids’ springtime sports and activities were gearing up. I persevered, and here are seven ways in which it benefited me. The Blogging From A to Z Challenge:
Restored a Writing Habit
The Blogging from A to Z Challenge made me accountable to writing every day (except for Sundays). With 26 letters and 26 assigned days of blogging, my schedule was set. No matter what else was going on (and there was plenty!) I had to squeeze in that blog post. It didn’t have to be long or the most inspiring post I’d ever written, but there needed to be coherent words on a page ready for me to share each morning. It reminded me that I can make writing a near-daily habit despite what else is going on if I am committed to doing so. This is pretty much the theme over at 10 Minute Novelists and its 365K Club, but this challenge was a good reminder.
Helped Me Write More Freely
When I first began fiction writing, words flowed quickly and easily. As I’ve
gotten a clue grown more knowledgeable about what I’m doing, I’ve found it hard to turn off my inner editor. My production has been stymied by my efforts to get it right – or pretty close to it – on the first attempt. The requirement that I just write allowed me to let words flow on the page without so much censoring.
Introduced Me to Other Bloggers
Once I posted my own blog, I would visit at least a half-dozen other blogs, read the daily posts, comment, and share on Twitter. I discovered varied themes and styles, some extremely clever. There were photo blogs, serial fiction blogs, poetry, travel blogs, hobbies and crafts, writing tips, and so much more. I ended up conversing with and following some new bloggers. And I learned from them about topics, people, and places I’d never been introduced to before.
Brought Increased Traffic to My Blog
Every day, I had a steady stream of readers, most of whom I’d wager hadn’t visited before. They often viewed more than one post, and some left comments. All were civil and polite. New people subscribed to my blog, and my page views for April were 390 more than my March page views.
Helped Me Sell a Book or Two
A couple of visitors expressed an interest in my writing and in my books! I established relationships and shared my writing with new people, some of whom may take a chance on my novels.
Restored My Writing Confidence
Completing the challenge gave me a much-needed writing boost and reminded me that I could write daily, freely, and accomplish a set goal despite challenges. The feeling of accomplishment is very satisfying, and often hard to come by in my full-time gig: motherhood. Things I clean don’t stay clean. Dirty laundry and dirty dishes are ever-present. The work I do in raising my children may be very important and something that I love, but it’s not the kind of thing that provides a lot of measurable satisfaction or any sense of completion. It’s fun to set a goal and then accomplish it, however minor it may be.
Spurred My Creativity
Coming up with informative and interesting posts related to a central theme for each letter of the alphabet can be a challenge! (Q, X, Y, and Z, I’m looking at you!) My creative juices were flowing all through April. Here’s to hoping they spill right into May!
For writers: Have you tried the A to Z Blogging Challenge?
For readers: Have you followed A to Z posts?
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.