Reflections on A to Z Challenge

Everyone says fiction writers have to build their brand, but it’s an area I’m horrible at because I can’t figure out how to do it.  I don’t connect to “brand” in my head, so I’ve felt like I’m trying to map posts to what I think people will read.  The A to Z Challenge really forced me to move away from that and to do something that was just plain fun.


I think the hardest thing was making time to visit a few of the other participants blogs in additional to responding to comments.  Blogger participants were often harder to deal with, because some still had capchas, plus Blogger doesn’t have a like button.  Sometimes a post doesn’t elicit comments, but a like will do.  Towards the end, I started to get overwhelmed, so that’s an area where I need a little more balance.

Things that didn’t work for me

Frankly, the blog titles.  “A is for Apples.”  What the heck does tell me about the post?  Is is farming, healthy eating, Snow White, or Twilight? I looked at some links in Twitter, and some were not what I expected.  From my own experience, I did last year’s challenge, and I get almost no one coming to my blog for those posts.  The titles aren’t giving them much visibility.  I tried to be creative this year (and was a little afraid I broke the guidelines), but I’m still not sure these posts will have any search engine visibility.

Future Plans

I’m going to work on keeping my posts shorter, because that does make them faster to write.  I’m also going to have more diverse posts.  I have some planned on:

  • My military experience, since those are popular,
  • Omniscient viewpoint (also popular)
  • More photos
  • Things about Washington, DC
  • Things about writing

Here’s a complete list of the posts:

  1. Rule A: Fiction, freelancing, poetry? All writing isn’t the same
  2. Rule B: take regular Breaks from writing fiction
  3. Rule C: Celebrate your writing successes
  4. Rule D – Discipline yourself to write
  5. Rule E: publication is Earned, not rewarded
  6. Rule F: writing has to come First
  7. Rule G: know your Genre before you start writing
  8. Rule H: treat line editing like Housekeeping not revision
  9. Rule I – Ideas shouldn’t be intimidating
  10. Rule J: Don’t sweat the hard stuff — Just write!
  11. Rule K: Keep a style sheet for your novel
  12. Rule L: never stop Learning about writing
  13. Rule M: Make checklists for your story
  14. Rule O: Own your story
  15. Rule P: make writing a Priority
  16. Rule Q – Always ask Questions when you critique
  17. Rule R: writing Rules are not set in stone
  18. Rule S: don’t beat a dead Story
  19. Rule T: always make sure your story is dressed up in a Tuxedo
  20. Rule U: have fUn when you write
  21. Rule V: reViews are to never be used as critiques
  22. Rule W: Write what you know and write only the stories you can write
  23. Rule X: eXperiment with new writing techniques
  24. Rule Y: You can’t avoid offending someone with your writing
  25. Z – One SiZe doesn’t fit all in the writing world

7 thoughts on “Reflections on A to Z Challenge

  1. megan hicks May 4, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    You have me a lot to think about with these little blasts. I came to your posts knowing I’d learn something, that it would be well-written and well-thought-out, and it won’t be a huge time commitment.


  2. rabiagale May 4, 2013 / 9:32 pm

    Lots of good observations here, Linda! I especially like your point that the “A is for Apples” type of title neither informs nor its it SEO-friendly.

    Still, a challenge like this is a good way to get out of the blogging rut. I’m strongly considering doing this next year.


  3. Yvonne Lewis May 5, 2013 / 5:47 am

    Congratulations on the completion of the Challenge and the great Reflection Post.



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