Please note: writercize (a portmanteau of write and exercise with a z for ... a twist? fun? street cred?) is participating in the A to Z Challenge through the month of April with alphabetical writing prompts. I'm skipping the stories behind the prompts so you can spend more time practicing and less time reading! Please participate, and enjoy!
writercize: Put on your sales hat or pull out the politician in you and convince me of something. Make an impassioned argument so strong that I at least want to google whatever you are telling me about.
love reading your comments and especially your writercize results, so
please, drop me a line to let me know if this worked for you! Better
yet, share your attempt with the world in your comment!
And, if you let me know you stopped by, I will be sure to pay you a visit as soon as I am able!
"read more" for writercizer sample response about why you should sign up for the A to Z Challenge.
Just over two years ago, a friend told me that if I was serious about building my author platform for my professional writing career, I needed a blog. She had been running The Writing Nut for a couple of years, and pointed to international relationships and several author and agent connections that blossomed out of that site.
That night, my concept of regular writing prompts and exercise - writercize - was born, and the next day I began to blog.
Blogging for a newbie can be an overwhelming process. From creating quality content to finding quality relationships to knowing the ins and outs of the blogging technical platforms, I had a lot to learn.
Along the way during that first month of blogging, I discovered a few blogs prepping for a month-long challenge called the A to Z Challenge. It was a relatively new challenge in the blogosphere, and several writers I really enjoyed were signing up for their second round. They boasted increased followers and readership, and a deeper connection to the world of blogging.
I was in.
That year, the linky list was housed on Arlee Bird's blog rather than its own hub. I signed on in mid-March and immediately saw an increase in readership. The biggest surprise was the quality of the readership, as noted in the thoughtful posts and writercize attempts. These were not computer crawlers or bloggers seeking statistics, these were really people reaching out to make real connections.
That year, I connected with two of my favorite bloggers who I have actually emailed and communicated with off-line, even exchanging addresses to mail one another cards and promos. Brianna R.'s honesty, integrity and sense of humor in her approach to parenting, running and writing drew me in while Nicole's undying support and intensely encouraging and wise comments made me an instant fan.
And Arlee Bird, the founder of A to Z, just spoke about blogging and the author's platform at a Children's Book Writer's of Los Angeles workshop. Thanks to his presentation, six or more writers returned home that night and started a blog, getting a jump start on the creative writing process and finding community amongst other writers.
Since my blog's inception, this site has seen more than 50,000 page visits. For several months, I stepped away from blogging as my freelance writing schedule and parenting overwhelmed my time, but thanks to the content developed during A to Z and beyond, readers kept visiting and leaving comments. I truly do not believe that my blog would be where it is today without the A to Z Challenge.
The beauty of the challenge, beyond the content creation, support and the "real" relationships formed, is that the challenge fits any blogger's theme and voice. Literally, every blogger in the world could participate.
Whereas NaNoWriMo focuses on novelists and flash fiction contests focus on quick spurts of short stories, A to Z is not genre specific. I've seen craft blogs participate. I've seen a party store blog post party theme ideas from A to Z, complete with suggestions for games, food, drinks and entertainment. I've seen photography blogs and cooking blogs and gaming blogs. And they all work.
Does A to Z take time? Yes. Is it a big commitment? Yes. Do I need to visit all those other hundreds, even thousands of blogs on the list? It would be nice, but even visiting 10 blogs a day with quality comments will be appreciated. While I get anything out of it? Yes, yes, yes. Every bit I put into it and then some in return.
So, do yourself a favor. If you want to move forward with your blog, participate in the annual April A to Z Challenge. Sign-ups begin as early as January, I believe, and you can pre-schedule all of your posts in advance so that you can sit back and enjoy the relationship building the month of April. Jump on board with one of the best communities in the blogosphere!