Reposted from: Blogging A – Z
WHAT IS BLOGGING FROM A TO Z?
It all began with my post from Saturday March 27, 2010 when I set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. Can you post every day except Sundays during this month? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?
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 you begin on that day which will be the only Sunday you would post during that month’s challenge.
Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth 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.
Most of you are probably familiar with Sue Grafton and her best selling series of detective novels known as the “Alphabet Series” that started in 1982 with “A” Is For Alibi up to her most recent “V” Is For Vengeance“. She has made a franchise with the series and there have been other authors who have taken similar approaches. This Blogging From A to Z Challenge will be in the same vein.
I was inspired to put forth this challenge after reaching my 200th follower on March 26,2010 and as I neared my 200th post later that week. Not one for contests and the like, I thought it would be fun and helpful to celebrate with my fellow bloggers in some special way. We know that blogging can be fun and what fun we can have merrily blogging together with a common purpose–something where we can keep up with each other’s work and share in a common experience. Any of you who participated in NaNoWriMo know what that can be like.
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.
To provide an example: My “A” topic in the first year’s challenge was a debate using April Fool’s Day. In 2011 my “B” topic was Blog Boggled–a regular feature on my blog. For the letter “C” one could use candy or cake and post a recipe. D could inspire a post about the letter grade “D” as you might receive on a test in school. Maybe F could be represented by FE, the symbol for iron.
See how easy it is. You don’t have to change your format of what you normally write, just come up with topics that correspond with the letter of the day. I printed out a calendar grid for the month of April and x’ed out the Sundays and wrote the letters in each of the daily squares. In less than an hour I came up with all of my topics for each letter. And I can change them if I want to. It’s fun just filling in the 26 topics and imagining the possibilities.
Try to be inventive and surprise us. Hopefully your posts will be at least 100 words to show that you really put some kind of effort into your post. Creativity can certainly come in less than 100 words. In 2011 Doris Plaster wrote a series of 50 word stories that eventually she published in book form. If all you do normally is post a quote or something short, then keep it in the alphabet theme. Don’t worry about your blog’s subject matter– this will work for absolutely any blog. If you only post about food or animals or crafts or whatever, you can come up with alphabetized themes.
“But I only post poetry,” you might say. You can easily post poetry about any topic, right? Yvonne at Welcome to My World of Poetry does it all the time and she’s finished the A to Z challenge two times already.
Or what if you have a photoblog or just post artwork? It still works the same–creativity is creativity no matter what you do. Post your images and create an A to Z format for them.
So are you up to the challenge? Do you have what it takes? Even if you start and don’t finish that’s fine. Or will you just support us and pledge to follow our challenge? Mention it on your blog and link back to this post. We will appreciate all of the support we can get.
In 2010 we had nearly 100 bloggers start the Challenge and most of those saw it through to the end. The buzz about that event lasted throughout the following year and the word about A to Z spread.
Then in 2011 nearly 1300 bloggers signed up and once again the majority of those finished. People are still talking about that Challenge. In 2012, it was around 1700–every year we have seen an increase in participants.