Every year, I tell myself that I will love the annual #AtoZChallenge, and every year, I’m disappointed in something.
Daily blogging is hard, which is why I don’t do it. Too often Life happens and writing does not. Can I do it one month each year? Every April: Sure, no problem. Every May: A lot of stress for a project I didn’t complete.
I fell behind publishing alphabet posts after Letter D, a disservice to both my readers and myself. My completed, published posts were irregular after that, and too many currently sit in my Drafts. I will finish these half-written works of art–which is easier to do since the posts aren’t blank pages–and publish them this month on the Letter Day they match. That’s the best I can do for April given that today is May 3rd.
Did I choose the right challenge theme? Alphabet Haiku, two years in a row, this year with a twist. I forget how hard it is to write these. I love writing haiku. That’s the easy part. The problem is everything else.
I adore each of my #AtoZChallenge poems, but designing them in phone apps like Retype and InstaQuote takes time. Each haiku took longer to write than expected. I became obsessed with perfection and the Word Finder tab on thefreedictionary.com choosing words that begin with [letter]. This is a FABULOUS site for finding anything word-related, and I don’t use all caps lightly. You’ll find Scrabble words; grammar help; words that contain/end/begin with [letters]; oh, and definitions.
My goal this year was to pre-write my posts. By doing that, I could sit back and peruse other blogs and enjoy a carefree month of reading and commenting. I don’t mind leaving some of the April spontaneity out because any post is spontaneous when it’s written. Besides, any Scheduled post can be updated to be more modern at whim. Each April, I want to find new readers and make connections. For me to pre-plan a month of posts, I need to start this process at the beginning of March not the beginning of April.
I chose three media outlets to publish on: my blog here, Twitter and Instagram. That was fun.
Twitter’s #sixwordstory hashtag is something I’ve used more recently in 2021. A tight six words creates a stimulating challenge. My rule was to tweet any Letter on their specific day. As such, I couldn’t tweet my Letter A and B stories on May 2nd; only Letter B, and A was lost. I wrote these stories everyday until around Letter R. It’s a fun hashtag, but like my haikus, it became exhausting looking for words.
Instagram is where I engage the most. This was the only outlet I completely achieved my daily letter goal. Many of my outstanding AR photos on my PokemonGO Instagram account will show up on my year-end Top Nine. When it’s easy, you enjoy it; when you enjoy it, it’s easy. Other #AtoZChallenge posts are clever and delightful; check them out. There are at least two blogs I found to explore, plus three accounts I now follow.
I missed commenting on daily posts, but I’m making up for that. Without the daily posting pressure, and having almost-ready-to-publish posts, I have the #AtoZChallenge Master List to peruse topics and browse blogs. Now that other bloggers don’t have their daily posting pressure, replies and comments may come easier. The hype has died down; we can all relax and enjoy. I’ll look for the #AtoZChallenge Roadtrip.
Will I do this again next year? Probably; I’m stubborn about completing things. I like to think I know what makes #AtoZChallenge satisfying for me. If I start now, I can finish next April by April.
How was your experience?