Whelp. I've done it. I've committed myself.
I just didn't realize that this would be year #4. Wow.
What am I talking about? Well, today just happens to be the first day to sign up for the A to Z April 2014 Blog Challenge. This is one of my favorite blog challenges and has forced me to produce some of my most favorite content. If you haven't ever participated and/or don't know what A to Z April is, keep reading. Otherwise, feel free to skip down a bit.
Tossing it Out; I discovered it thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh. Essentially, the idea of the A to Z Challenge is to commit to posting on your blog every day in April except Sundays. Since that leaves 26 days, it matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. So, on April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C.” I'm pretty sure you get the idea from there. It doesn't matter what you write about, whether it's an overarching theme or simply random subjects, just so long as you match the alphabet for the day.
They also suggest that you keep the posts short, turn off Word Verification on comments, and to visit 5+ of the other blogs in the challenge, beginning with the one after yours on the list. This helps you write quicker and post more often, as well as provides exposure to a lot of different-themed blogs.
As I said before, this marks the fourth year that I've entered. After the first year, when I was inventing posts on the requisite day, I've started to map out/calendar my posts. There's nothing in the rules that says this can't be done and I find that it's really helped me focus and prepare better posts.
Now, I will say this: there are a lot of bloggers that detest this kind of thing, and this challenge in particular. I don't hold that against them--just don't hold my participation against me, OK? I won't say that this is the end-all, be-all of blogging existence. I simply recommend it for myself because it motivates me and forces me to produce. It can be painful, because I don't want to just post a one- or two-line nonsense garbage throw-away post. I also tend NOT to visit the other blogs too often because I don't want to accidentally absorb an idea or two and re-use it on my work, and thus be (at least personally-convicted) guilty of plagiarism.
So: Jump aboard. Join me on the list (I'm #139, in case you're interested) and join me in planning out April 2014 posts.
C'mon. It'll be fun.