This post was written in response to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly (first Wednesday of every month) blog hop to where writers express thoughts, doubts and concerns about our profession.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG
April 5 Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?
This is my third year taking part in the AtoZ challenge. My first year 2015 featured an author spotlight and a book review every day. It was exhausting, but I planned well ahead and it worked out perfectly. If you want to check it out here it is.
Last year, my theme was All About Jane Eyre, and I didn’t complete the challenge. I think it was because I didn’t plan ahead enough, and the posts themselves were demanding and time-consuming to research and write. If you want to check it out here it is.
This year, I wasn’t sure if I’d be taking part, because I hadn’t planned anything, but I’ve been inspired to write a lot of poetry in the last few months, and it occurred to me, more or less on the spur of the moment, to write a poem a day. However, I needed some kind of prompt, and I thought I could use another poem written by my favourite poets, include it in the post too, and use it as a prompt for my own poem.
This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge. I’ve more or less planned the famous poems and poets I’m including, but I haven’t yet written my own poems, that’s the real challenge. I’m not always inspired. I may have bitten more than I can chew… Here are my first posts so far.
In the past two years I met a lot of people doing the challenge, hopping around the linkys and on twitter, but this year, without the linky, and having to do a complex (for me) process to comment and activate my wordpress link, it all seems much more of a hassle, and I haven’t checked out many other bloggers. I’m mostly following the AtoZ posts of those I’m already following. I haven’t noticed many new followers, although it’s early days yet, I suppose, but I’m not sure it’s going to work as well, at least not for wordpress blogs. I aim to keep taking part in any case, because I enjoy the challenge.
My posts aren’t directly related to my books, and although my books are visible in my posts, I haven’t observed more sales in April. In fact, although I love my blog and interacting with other bloggers, I’m not really sure if my blog actually sells any books, but it’s part of an author platform I need to maintain, and I suppose it’s publicity for my books, but that’s not the main reason I carry on blogging.
My reasons for blogging are to meet and interact with other writers, learn more about and improve my craft, and provide the outlet I need for my creativity. I’m also keen on sharing information about literature in general and Jane Eyre and Victorian literature, which is my passion.
Rereading the post, it sounds like more of a stream-of-consciousness rant than an IWSG post, but that’s where the question has led me.
What about you, how has taking part in the AtoZ helped you as a writer?
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I agree with you about the linky. I had my posts done early this year, but I have to go back to each day and add the link for that day, which is an extra thing to remember when I’m already juggling a Camp novel, trying to wrap up another novel. revise things, plan things, and help my Accomplice launch his small business venture.
I’ve also got poetry this month, along with a brief essay for each letter. It just occurred to me that there might be a nonfiction book in this year’s challenge. I have a theme – unschooling – and I experimented with invented poetry types, keeping to the day’s letter whenever possible.
In other years, I’ve used the challenge to work out things for novels in planning -but I’ve never before used the challenge for promotion, since I don’t yet have anything quite ready to be promoted!
I’m glad I found this one in my email feed!
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