I’m reflecting on who I want to be as a blogger after completing my fifth A to Z Challenge.
I want my blog to be smart, insightful, and always fun to read. I like “thinking posts” and getting opinions from my readers. Books and writing are my niche, so I focus largely on that area. But I also want readers to feel like they are getting to know me as a person, so I sometimes blog with that goal in mind. I try to put a lot of personality into my blog. Posts are framed with my voice, my personal experiences, and my take on things.
This means that I share my struggles and successes from my field (writing fiction). If there’s a blogging strategy or technique I’ve learned, I share that as well. And if there’s a stance for me to take on publishing, writing, blogging, or using social media, — I’m going to post about it.
My goal as a blogger is for readers to get to the end of my post and either laugh, have a deep thought, feel they’ve learned something, or be glad they spent a minute or two here.
— Heather M. Gardner (@hmgardner) March 25, 2016
Reflection on who I want to be in the blogging community.
First, I want to be someone who’s known for commenting back, following on Twitter (maybe other social media as well), and generally replying to comments.
In my opinion, the blogging community leaders are the ones who donate time keeping this challenge running. Thank the co-hosts and their teams. I’m grateful for this challenge. This is how I connect with most bloggers that I know. The hop is about more than just planning posts alphabetically. That A to Z Challenge is about keeping the blogging community alive, together, and invested in each other. I’m proud to be a part of that.
— J Lenni Dorner (@JLenniDorner) April 22, 2016
Reflections specific to the A to Z Challenge
The Adult Content (AC) category still feels too narrow to me. Perhaps it should be used in conjunction with the other codes, such as (AC)(WR) for erotica writers. Or maybe the Adult Content should be defined, as it is on American television (language, sex, violence). Maybe both.
I also wish the Theme Reveal hop had codes, or used the theme names instead of blog names. This would be great for research! Like an A to Z Google search. OR if there were several linky lists for the themes.
- Use this linky if your THEME is poetry, writing, or book related.
- Use this linky if your theme includes travel or photography.
- Use this linky if your theme is all about animals.
The obvious drawback being that someone will have a theme where they write poems on pictures of pets. Does that person link on more than one list? I’m guessing this is why it’s never been done. My brainstorm might be just a sun-shower.
I’ll certainly do the challenge again next year. And I will absolutely volunteer to help out again. #TeamArlee No, I have NO IDEA what my theme will be for next year.
Nearly every blogging friend I have is a result of the A to Z Challenge. THANK YOU to everyone who signed up.
— Sir Leprechaunrabbit (@leprchaunrabbit) April 22, 2016
A5 – not sure it's a pet peeve but… I much prefer posts with pictures OR short text. It's difficult to read long, text-only posts #azchat
— Molly Totoro (@MyCozyBookNook) April 22, 2016
Reflecting on blogging an unpublished book
If someone asked me four years ago if I’d publish this much information about Fractions of Existence on my blog BEFORE publishing the book, I’d have thought the asker was nuts.
Then I read (and saw) The Martian.
So maybe blogging a book, or blogging a ridiculous amount of details about a book, isn’t the worst idea on the Internet.
Last year I blogged my reference book. That was also for sale at the time. In April of last year, one person bought my book on Smashwords and seven bought it on Amazon. Consider that I wrote it for a small niche, for those who wanted to write settings that felt like characters– suddenly eight books isn’t that bad. It’s almost twice as many as I expected to sell, to be honest. (Which is why I self-published that book. I knew it wouldn’t be worth a publishing house’s time and money.)
I don’t know if I’m going to self-publish Fractions of Existence. I am entering one more query contest and submitting to one more place.
HUGE THANKS to JEAN DAVIS for the wonderful guidance.
Did you write a reflections post? How many times have you completed the A to Z Challenge? Was your blog one I commented at during A to Z?
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