What is it?
Started by Arlee Bird from Tossing Out, the A to Z Challenge is exactly what it sounds like. For the month of April, all the blogs that have signed up to the challenge will endeavour to post every day (with Sunday's off), using the next letter of the alphabet as the theme for the post. So on Monday the 1st the post would be about something starting with the letter A, on Tuesday it will be letter B and so on.
As well as posting daily, those taking part also pledge to visit at least five other participating blogs each day, this way everyone will gain new readers and find new connections.
How can you take part?
Head on over to a-to-zchallenge.com and add your name and blog to the linky list. You have until the start of April to sign up but you will get a whole lot more out of it by signing up now. All those signed up are already making an effort to visit other blogs on the list and start making connections and new friends now, not just in April. If you don't have a blog but still want to be involved you can bookmark the list and make an effort to visit the some of the blogs and leave comments to show your support. You can also follow what is happening on Twitter by following @AprilA2Z or searching for #atozchallenge.
How can I come up with so many post ideas?
That was my first question. I was a little worried at first that I would struggle to come up with something for each letter, especially those tricky ones like x and z. But fear not, it was actually pretty easy and within less than an hour I had more ideas than I needed; between 3 and 13 for each letter! I know, no-one was more surprised by that than me. All I did was pick up a small thesaurus that had been free with a writing magazine I'd bought ages ago and gathering dust on a shelf ever since. I flicked through the section for each letter in turn and jotted down any words that would apply to writing advice. For example, for the letter A I wrote down ability, accept (yourself), achieve, acquire (skills), advice (from the greats), and attitude. I don't know which one of those I will use yet but I am sure you can see how each one of those can (and will) be turned into a post at some point. If you don't own a thesaurus or dictionary there are plenty available online. You could even just type 'words beginning with the letter x' into a search engine and see what comes up.
How about you? Are you taking part this year? Have you decided what to write about yet? If so, how did you come up with your ideas? Or maybe you are a veteran A to Z Challenger and can give us all some words of advice or encouragement. We'd love to hear from you.