What I Learned in the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge
2016 was my second year in attempting the A-Z Blog Challenge, and the first year that I actually completed the challenge. Here are some of things I learned over the course of April about the challenge, and about blogging in general.
Having a theme you like really helps
In 2015, I didn’t have a theme. Just wrote about something each day that corresponded with the letter of the day. That failed. This year, I wrote about Doctor Who. I completed. I’m not going to claim the theme was a direct cause for success—I can’t even remember what stopped me in 2015—but it was at least a contributor.
Having a theme gave me a starting point each and every day. It’s like having a car in the winter that has remote start. It makes going to work a little easier when you get to hop into a warm car.
Blogging every single day is tough
Most blog posts are meant to be short. Punchy, even. So, it’s not a lot of words to write per day, but it still ends up being challenging.
It may have to do with the due date being daily. If you take on a project to write 3,000 words in a week, you can write 1,200 words one day, none the next, then 700, then 900, etc, etc. As long as you end up at 3,000 it doesn’t matter when you do on the daily.
There’s also the gathering of images, formatting, SEO, tagging and linking to worry about. So, while it’s not a lot, it’s a lot.
There isn’t time for multiple drafts
With novels being my main/preferred medium, I’m used to having all the time I want with my manuscript. Another draft? Sure! Why not? It’s only another 6 weeks.
That’s not to say I’m one and done. I still make a few passes.
It’s built a habit into me
It’s one I hope to continue consistently. Not posting every day, but hopefully a few days per week. I have a few plans that I’m pretty excited about that are going to start in May.