The month of April holds a special place in my heart.
What challenge is this of which I speak?
It’s called the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Either that, or it’s called the April A to Z Blog Challenge. I usually refer to it via its Twitter handle, #atozchallenge. Blogger extraordinaire Arlee Bird sums up the exercise best here:
“Can you post every day except Sundays during this month? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?”
That’s really all there is to it.
I mean, you know the alphabet, right?
A to Z?
The challenge begins on Monday, April 1, 2013 with the letter “A”. Last year, since I went in blind, I had no overriding theme beyond “things about which I feel passionate”. Some folks might call this “winging it”; writers might refer to it as “pantsing” instead of “plotting” (as in, flying by the seat of one’s pants). You know what I call it? Stupid. I’ll never do this challenge theme-less ever again!
Would you like a couple examples of A to Z posts?
Toward the end of April 2012, my bloggy-blog ka-sploded all over the interwebz, and it was a disgusting mess. My hubz swept up all the broken pieces and tried to glue everything back together, but most of my A to Z posts were simply gone. Fortunately, we were able to recover a few of them — so my post for the letter “A” was republished in July.
I wrote about myself. I thought I was being so cute, so clever, so… I don’t even know anymore what I thought, but SHIT – what a way to jump into a challenge. My post for the letter “A” in the A to Z Challenge for 2012 was called “Andi-Roo — Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2012” and it is so fucking awesome I can’t even stand it. By awesome, of course I mean AWFUL. But hey – you read it and be the judge.
I engaged in more A to Z hijinks — but not in April!
In August I teamed up with my bloggy friend Aaron Brinker to do an A to Z practice run. It was spectacularly fun! I did indeed go in with a theme — A Month of Controversy — for which my letter “A” stood for “Abortion” and *HOLY CRAPPITY DOODAH* I got an earful from so many people about how shitty it is to on purpose invite controversy into one’s life. I was accused of writing controversial topics in order to stir the pot and gain readership. I was accused of writing controversial topics in order to paint myself as a victim and thereby gain sympathy. I was accused of being an a-hole. Which is kind of funny, because I have been known to be an a-hole from time to time.
Anyway, I think I’ve dispelled by now any rumors that I give a shit how many followers I have, since I would have to be concerned with society’s opinion, which of course I am not. As for perpetual victimhood, well, I wouldn’t say that I’m seeking sympathy so much as empathy. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my thoughts, which can get pretty heavy on occasion. Mostly I just want people to either like me or leave me alone. As in, I gots no beef with you getting the heavy hate on for me… but can you keep it OVER THERE, please?
Aaron took the smarter, safer route.
He is a daddy blogger who writes a nice mix of cute, humorous, and informative stuff about life with his son Xander. His letter “A” was “Attitude Adjustment Needed”. Nobody got up in arms over his topic of choice — but that’s because Aaron is a really nice guy who generally pens material that is fairly PC. We are an odd mix, but somehow it works.
There are many other great examples of A to Z kick-ass-ness.
But I’m only going to show you three. These are the wonderful people who pulled me in and embraced me and introduced me to the challenge in the first place.
Christina Majaski wrote “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number Unless You’re Stupid” and that girl is funny as all hellz. Last I checked, she decided to keep her Xmas Tree up.
Cari Wegner wrote an education and heartfelt piece about Autism in her post “And So It Begins….”A””. Cari has personal experience with this issue, as a member of her family suffers Autism. Her post is a really good starting point if you want to learn more about this epidemic.
Amberr Meadows began sharing some very helpful blogging tips with “A is For (Google) Analytics: Welcome to Part 1 of the Blogging Basics Series”. Amberr covers a wide range of interesting topics and besides that, she is super sweet.
All three of these gorgeous ladies made themselves accessible to me any time I had questions about… well… anything, really. Blog-related, life, friendship — I am really quite lucky to count them among my bloggy buddies.
If it seems like I’m trying to talk you into joining the A to Z Challenge this year…
it’s because I’m trying to talk you into joining the A to Z Challenge this year. Last year about 1700 bloggers participated, and I met a ton of people because of all the back-n-forth visiting of other blogs. It was a boatload of fun, and I think you should do it with me.
Come on! Don’t be a lame-o! You know you want it, baby…
The deets on A to Z 2013:
1. Go here to sign up. I just added my name to the list of participants — I’m #828!
2. Grab a badge and stick that bad boy on your blog. Hopefully my hubz has added a participant badge to my blog today. If you don’t see it, assume I have punched him in the wiener.
5. Start planning your posts per the following schedule (I’ve filled in a few of my topics!):
Mon., April 1 = A — A-holes Make Me Angry
Tue., April 2 = B — Because I need an outlet
Wed., April 3 = C — Challenges Are a Must
Thu., April 4 = D — Depression Is a Downer
Fri., April 5 = E — Entertainment Is Easy
Sat., April 6 = F — Friends Are Better than Foes
Sun., April 7 = NO A TO Z POST
Mon., April 8 = G
Tue., April 9 = H
Wed., April 10 = I
Thu., April 11 = J
Fri., April 12 = K
Sat., April 13 = L
Sun., April 14 = NO A TO Z POST
Mon., April 15 = M
Tue., April 16 = N
Wed., April 17 = O
Thu., April 18 = P
Fri., April 19 = Q
Sat., April 20 = R
Sun., April 21 = NO A TO Z POST
Mon., April 22 = S
Tue., April 23 = T
Wed., April 24 = U
Thu., April 25 = V
Fri., April 26 = W
Sat., April 27 = X
Sun., April 28 = NO A TO Z POST
Mon., April 29 = Y
Tue., April 30 = Z
6. Visit other challenge participants.
7. Have fun!
So what do you think? Are you planning to partake in the A to Z Challenge this year? Let me know in the comments so I can start planning my visits now!