2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.

My Own Take on the A-to-Z Blog Challenge

So a few people I know recently did the A-to-Z Blog Challenge – a commitment to write one blog post a day for a month, with each day’s theme starting with the next consecutive letter of the alphabet. I don’t usually do things like this. First, because they remind me of chain letters – and as I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan. But second, because they usually require a bigger time commitment than I’m willing to make, blog-wise. They’re also things *real* bloggers do. And I guess I still don’t really see myself as a *real* blogger – which may sound funny, a year into the blog. Teehee. But I still think of myself as a writer who started a blog as a way of getting motivated to write her *real* writing (i.e., fiction). As a result, I’ve streamlined the amount of time I spend on the blog so that it doesn’t interfere with (translation: provide any additional procrastinat-y excuses for) that writing. To write 26 blog posts at my current three-per-week-but-really-only-two-because-Tuesdays-are-for-book-reviews pace, I’d be writing for 13 weeks – or I’d have to have had a post literally every day in April, including weekends. I have a hard enough time getting two-plus-a-review written in between the real writing and the real life these days, so the A-to-Z thing was simply too much for me right now.

That said, I like the idea of writing exercises (as you may know; if not, check out the category of them to see some of what I’ve done in the past), both because they are good practice for me as a writer AND, equally importantly, because they give me things to write about, which is sometimes a challenge, blog-wise. So I’m going to give you my own version of the A-to-Z challenge here today. I’m going to give you a line/idea/something for each letter, rather than a full post for each. In addition to being a variant on the *real* blog challenge, it’s also a game that The Boy Child and I play in the morning while waiting for the bus – although ours have to be things we can see while standing outside.

So without further ado, I give you the Jill-Elizabeth A-to-Z Blog Post Challenge! Feel free to do your own version – link to it, if you’d like (a) a blog post idea or (b) publicity or (c) both. ūüôā

The Jill-Elizabeth A-to-Z Blog Post Challenge
(insert trumpet fanfare here)

  • A is for agent. ¬†I would like one, please. ¬†Someone to love me and my books and find them good homes with nice publishers so they can thrive and become productive citizens of the world. ¬†Oh, wait. ¬†Agents require full books from newbie authors. ¬†Dang it.
  • B is for books, books, and more books which surround me as I write. ¬†This is comforting and daunting in equal measures. ¬†It is also distracting, because I love to read way more than I love to write.
  • C is for coffee, which some days is the only thing that keeps me sitting at my desk. ¬†Until it gets lukewarm/cold. ¬†Then it’s the only thing that gets me out of my chair.
  • D is for desk, custom-made. ¬†My Fabulous Uncle Mike made my desk for me and I love it. ¬†It’s taller and deeper-set than the average desk, which lets me sit comfortably with legs crossed (or curled under me or straight out in front of me)¬†in my comfy chair. ¬†Hooray!
  • E is for “EEK!” – which is what I occasionally say out loud when I realize that my latest story/effort has gone in a direction I didn’t anticipate… ¬†This happens a lot.
  • F is for flash fiction. ¬†I don’t love reading it – not enough detail for me usually – and not many of the things I intend to write as flash fiction ever actually stay short enough to end up as flash fiction, but I think it’s a great¬†exercise in writing control.
  • G is for getting started – which is something I’m very good at. ¬†As opposed to “finishing anything” – which is something I’m not. ¬†ūüôĀ
  • H is for Husband, The. ¬†He kicks my butt when I need him to, holds my hand when I need him to, and leaves me alone when I need him to/he knows to. ¬†Pretty awesome, eh?
  • I is for interruptions – which never come when I want them to, but never fail to arrive when I don’t. ¬†Sigh.
  • J is for the title of my Work in Progress, but I’m not going to tell you what it is because I’m petrified to share it. ¬†Trust me though, it’s good. ¬†ūüėČ
  • K is for kitchen, which is where the coffee is. ¬†BRB.
  • L is for Lilac City Rochester Writers, my first foray into the world of the writing group. ¬†Jury’s still out…
  • M is for Martin, the character I finally got to kill off in the WIP. ¬†I don’t care for Martin. ¬†I’m glad he’s dead. ¬†There, I said it. ¬†Don’t judge me. ¬†You probably won’t like him either.
  • N is for novella, which is an art-form I may single-handedly try to revive. ¬†It’s a brilliant solution to the short-attention-span challenge facing authors in the Twitter world. ¬†It gives the author enough words to tell a detailed and descriptive story, but yet is short enough to not threaten readers who are commitment-phobic. ¬†It’s also the length that my intended-to-be short stories seem to naturally evolve into. ¬†But that’s not the only reason I like it as a book-form, honest!
  • O is for oh dear lord, there are a lot of letters in the alphabet. ¬†Seriously. ¬†This is harder than I thought it’d be – and definitely more time-consuming. ¬†Eek. ¬†And this is the short-form – what on earth did all those other bloggers do with an entire post about each letter?!
  • P is for Pandora radio, which is the greatest invention since sliced bread. ¬†I have a channel called “Jill-Elizabeth is Concentrating” – classical piano, cello, and violin music. ¬†Very good brain-music.
  • Q is for quiet, which I sometimes need to jump-start my brain. ¬†Once it’s going, then it’s time for Pandora.
  • R is for reading, which I could do all day, every day. ¬†And I may have to, if I ever intend to finish all the books on my To Be Read list… ¬†Eek!
  • S is for stories. ¬†I love telling them, repeating them, reading them, crafting them, re-reading them – I just plain love everything about them.
  • T is for “teehee”, which I say way too much. Teehee. ¬†It is also for time, which is not my friend. ¬†(See “I” above.)
  • U is for unfocused beginnings, which is something I fear that my stories often suffer from. ¬†Apparently I’m good with the middles and ends – as Writing Buddy has generously pointed out – but I’m not so great at the openings. ¬†I get a little wordy. (Who, me?! ¬†teehee.) ¬†I share Writing Buddy’s fear that this will hurt me with A-is-for-Agent, P-is-for-Publisher and R-is-f0r-Reader, and am REALLY hoping that E-is-for-Editor will help!
  • V is for versions. ¬†I write in Word and wish they had a better way to save versions/drafts of documents. ¬†I save mine with the date as separate files, but wish that there was an easier way to save overlapping versions in one file and then only see/print whatever version you want at any given time. ¬†When I was A Lawyer, we had a custom-built version-saver for Word – I liked it, and wish I could easily and inexpensively recreate it for myself!
  • W is for words, without which I wouldn’t want to write. Seriously, it’s all about words for me – crafting images, stories, sensations, moments in time, pictures, or whatever. I love manipulating and playing with words – and equally love reading what other wordies cobble together!
  • X is for xylophone, which is the only real “x” word coming to mind right now. ¬†Teehee.
  • Y is for you, the reader, without whom I wouldn’t be here – because if I had no readers, I’d have stopped blogging. ¬†Seriously. ¬†I don’t do this for my health, you know. ¬†I do it for the feedback and comments. ¬†Hooray for you!
  • Z is for zero – the number of *real* words I’ve written so far today, because I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time writing this post. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Seriously, one of my biggest issues with other people’s blog post ideas is that I end up spending a ton of time writing on them – time that I probably should be spending on the *real* writing. ¬†Then again, no written words are wasted – and this has been an exercise in creativity and self-discipline – both of which are things I can always work on. ¬†So I guess it’s okay – as long as I don’t procrastinate any more now and get to work!


** BTW, I don’t know why *real* always appears in asterisks in my head when I talk about *real* writing or *real* blogging. But it does. Hence the **. Just so you know again… ūüôā

*** I don’t know why so many links today. Weird. Just felt like I needed some referents. Wonder what’s up with that…

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2 comments to My Own Take on the A-to-Z Blog Challenge

  • Tracy Brown

    I *love* this! Jill, this is awesome!

    Don’t stress too much on “U” – I know you’ll be able to make your beginnings as tight as your endings. Totally.

    I must go Tweet this post now. ūüôā

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