The April A to Z Challenge sign up starts tomorrow! Last year was stressful, at times painful, annoying, tiring, and I loved every minute of it because I spent my Challenge analyzing the world that is Walt Disney World!
This year is going to be quite different, on a completely different subject I'm more than a little bit passionate about (but it's still a secret for now, so no spoilers...only one person knows and she's sworn to secrecy for fear of death). I may be a total Disney geek, but I don't talk about it ALL the time, especially when I just get back from a trip and am going through Post-Disney Depression (which is still lingering from October).
For those that don't know, the A to Z Challenge is a month of daily blog posts (well, every day except Sunday), each day represents a letter of the alphabet. You don't necessarily have to go in alphabetical order (although for me it would be impossible to go willy-nilly), but you do have to cover each letter of the alphabet. You also don't have to write every single day (as long as you post daily), which I tried at first, but it was just too tiring and time wasting, so I eventually started doing them in batches and it got better. I didn't think I was gonna make it through at first, but it was amazingly satisfying to finish!
Everyone approaches the challenge different. Some people just do a single word of the day (but I don't understand this and don't read those...you seriously think it's "challenging" to come up with a single word and expect others to enjoy it?). Some people pick books, or movies, or bands, or songs, or memories. There were photos, poems, and tons of hilarious posts! There were quite a few Disney-related posts, one of my favorites gave up around "G", which was too bad, it was a really good one...Disney Characters. A lot of the ones I started off really enjoyed ended up stopping mid stream, which was a real shame.
I ended up following more sites than getting followed, but I've never been too concerned with all that anyway, so it wasn't a problem. And most of the followers I picked up have dropped off since anyway. I tend to be more attracted to the actual writing and how quickly they suck me in versus the actual subject matter (which might explain why I didn't keep many followers since I'm nothing like that...my grammar sucks, I typically can't shut up so I have long posts, and I've never claimed to be a good writer).
There were thousands of blogs to read through (another part of the challenge is to read as many of the blogs as you can). If I liked one, I followed them, not just because they followed me. And nothing turned me off quicker than a comment that read "you're blog is great! I think you'll really like mine! Here's my link...). Adding your link to your signature is one thing (my blog address is tacked onto the bottom of my emails, and that's fine IMO), but I don't watch commercials on television (thank god for DVR), I sure as heck don't want to see them on my blog, and some people where downright shameful about it, just commenting on every single blog so they could plug their own. UGH. The Challenge organizers did actually encourage this under the guise that it gets you more followers, but that wasn't the purpose for me anyway. For me it was the nature of a challenge plus, again, a chance to share Disney World with those that maybe have never been there, or to stir memories in those that had.
For anyone who is interested in how it works (or, for some reason, has an interest in my A to Z posts), my last year's Challenge posts have their own page here, but muddle through at your own risk, it's complete Disney saturation on a "War and Peace" scale! I'm going to try to make the effort not to be so verbose this year, but I ain't promising nothing!