I have just completed this year's mammoth A-Z Challenge, writing 26 posts throughout April. How did I find the experience?
The first issue was choosing my challenge theme. Well, that had been in my mind for months - Favourite Verse, featuring poems from my childhood and beyond plus those recalled by my father, who in his 80's could still recite poems he learned at school.
Plans were well ahead with poems identified for each letter, when I came to a stumbling block. Browsing through anthologies I came across long lists of acknowledgements - how did I stand regarding copyright in featuring poems on the web? I did not have time to research this in any depth or contact publishers for permission - so sadly this idea was abandoned.
I reverted to my standard theme of family and local history and came up with "Family History - Sources and Stories", which reflects very much the emphasis in my blog. Topics for each letter quickly fell into place and I found I managed the pace for this month's challenge much better than in previous years - mainly because I was so familiar with the material and did not have to spend time researching or finding and scanning photographs.
As usual I found it difficult to keep to the recommended length of 300-500 words per post - I just could not restrict myself to one topic per letter preferring to range from the serious to the quirky.
I did set out this year to be far more focused on reading other blogs in the Challenge, beyond my familiar family history ones. Somehow it emerged that these were primarily with a literary or creative writing theme.
I liked the idea of a formal revealing of our themes a few weeks prior to April 1st, but I would have liked these themes to be listed online by the organisers, or at least grouped by subject categories.
What worked well for me, was to do a Google search of the A-Z Themes Revealed to identify blogs that might interest me and I then bookmarked them, ahead of April 1st.
Blogs I followed for the most part throughout the month, though not always making comments, were:
- Tossing it Out - with "Elements of Blogging", focusing on topics to blog about.
- Life Under Microscope - featuring an A-Z English idiom phrase A as part of a romantic story, set in India, and written in 26 short episodes. To my mind this was impressive creative writing that kept me hooked all month,
- Curiosity Quills Press - theme The Literary World with marketing, writing, and publishing tips.
- Journalling Woman - with First and Last Lines from Literature.
- Bewitched by Words - another creative writing blog.
- Beautiful Libraries - with stunning photographs.
I was very grateful for all comments I received - some from bloggers new to me - and I did have a few new followers signing up.
So thank you to everyone who showed interest and took time to read and comment.
I enjoyed the experience and already have an idea for A-Z Challenge 2016