In March 2019, a post on Facebook caught my attention. I was a young blogger, looking to gain a foothold in the blogging world. The post was an announcement about a friend’s participation in a month-long blogging event, popularly called ‘The A to Z Challenge’. I must admit here that I have all the qualities that do not impress popularity or drive growth of a social media platform. Needless to say, the blog’s reach in 2019 was limited and sluggish. And so, the Challenge appeared as a lucrative means to gain traction and add discipline to my writing journey. I took the plunge precisely at the last moment. As you will go on to read, it turned out to be a profitable bargain in the end!
Here is a quick recap of how the Challenge played out for me. In the process, I have also tried to answer some general questions/doubts.
What is the A to Z Challenge?
Held in the month of April, it wouldn’t be wrong to term this mega event as a sort of Blogger’s Pilgrimage. For the entire month of April, bloggers post on their blog every single day, except Sundays. This makes a total of twenty-six posts, corresponding to the twenty-six alphabets of the English Language. You always have a choice to title your posts according to the alphabets, but even if you don’t it is perfectly fine as long as you have twenty-six posts out there!
It is also a month of not just writing consistently, but also reading the other bloggers, sharing their work, finding like-minded people, collaborating, learning and unlearning! Since I particularly enjoy poetry and fiction, short stories and pieces of flash as well as personal tales, the challenge helped me to connect with bloggers/ poets/writers who shared my interest.
Should I have a theme for the A to Z Challenge?
Not necessarily. In 2019, I went unprepared into the challenge and without a theme. The posts were a mash up of poetry, essays, stories for children, my travel tales and even didactic pieces of prose!
By the next year, A to Z had established me as a blogger who was also a poet. I therefore, decided to write twenty-six poems, all based in history. It was an unusual combination and was very well received. So, I stuck to a theme in 2020.
Which of these choices is better? Definitely, having a theme helps other bloggers identify your niche and know where to come when they are looking for something particular. As for you, well you manage to literally write twenty-six chapters of a book, which may find its way into Blogchatter’s Book Carnival in the month of May!
Take the Plunge
Two years of ‘A to Z’ seem inconsequential when you compare them to the years put in by the stalwarts of the blogging zone. But on an individual level, being a part of A to Z in April 2019 and in 2020, helped me understand my own writing journey, carved my writer’s path, connected me to other writers and eventually found me a place in various poetry anthologies and collaborations, catapulted ‘A Hundred Quills’ from unknown to a place of prominence and helped my writing to get noticed. May I add that it is the success of my past A to Z Challenges and the support of the Blogchatter community that have given me the courage to take my writing to the next level.
I recommend the A to Z Challenge to new and established bloggers. To register simply visit Blogchatter’s portal here. (The last date to register is 25 March)
You may also add your blog link to the Master List of Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here to get the international feel and, if I may say so, forge global alliances. (The Master List opens on March 29 and the Theme Reveal is till March 20).
So, don’t procrastinate. Click on the links above to register yourself right away!
Happy Blogging, Happy April, Happy A to Z!