The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Plan of Attacking the Challenge

          Some of you have your strategies in place for the April Challenge.  That's great!   To have an organized plan of posting, visiting, and commenting should be of great help in making the Challenge less daunting and more efficiently approached.

          On the other hand, those of you who plan to just dive in and write as you go and visit blogs as whim takes you will undoubtedly have fun and find the Challenge full of surprises.  There's nothing wrong with that approach either.

           It comes down to what kind of adventurer you are.  Perhaps you study the maps so you'll have a good idea where you are going and you pack your supplies so you'll be ready for just about anything you may encounter.  Or maybe you just traipse into the wilderness, machete in hand, hacking your way through the undergrowth and surviving off the land and from what the inhabitants in the unknown territories have to offer you.   Be assured that in this Challenge the natives are friendly and the adventures are many.

 My Challenge Strategy

         I have formulated a plan for April.  I won't be held to this plan--we all know about how the best laid plans can go.   From my experience with last year's Challenge and with other blog events I think I've learned a few things about approaching something like this.  But of course I've never participated in a blog event as massive as this year's A to Z Challenge.  Any of my plans are subject to change.

   Here are my visiting "rules" for this year:

1.)      I will probably only respond to comments that call for a response. Otherwise I will leave blanket thank you notes for all the "nice post" and other complimentary comments.

2.)      I am going to try to visit all who leave comments on my blog and if there are too many then I will limit my visits to blogs that I am less familiar with or who have left me an especially impressive comment that has drawn me to them.

3.)        I am going to use the Navigation buttons that Marcus at Writing Investigated created.   At the top of my sidebar you will notice the "Next Blog" and "Surprise Me" buttons.  I am finding these to work quite well so far.  To read more about this follow the link below the buttons.  I will try to visit at least 10 to 40 sites per day with this button system.

4.       I may also check out posts that appear on my sidebar or my Google Dashboard that sound especially interesting whenever I have time.


5.)     I'm going to attempt to visit 40 to 100 blogs per day.

      Here is my plan for posting:

1.)       I am trying to preschedule as many posts as I can before this Friday April 1st.

2.)       My theme will be "Alliterative Daily Doubles" with each day's post based on paired words beginning with the letter of the day.  For example, Friday's post is going to be "Ambitious April" in honor of the kick-off day. 
3.)       The subject matter and style of the posts will be random and varied.

4.)        I currently do not plan to do any motivational posts regarding the Challenge.  This could change just as it did last year when I revised some of my topics in order to cheer on Challenge participants.

A Few Closing Thoughts

           Don't forget-- the Challenge is yours.   You have your reasons for doing this, so I encourage you to stay true to yourself and what you hope to achieve.  At the same time don't forget to be courteous to your fellow bloggers.  Try to be fair in your visitation and comments.    And if you believe in the creed of following other blogs and wanting them to follow yours--do so.  Just remember that not all blog owners care about the follow, so respect that.  Be in this for you and for others as well.  We all want this Challenge to be a rewarding experience.

             Finally, I am going to give a plug for a blogger on the list who has a special circumstance.  The Saga of the Concrete Jungle is #525 on the Linky list.  Dan, the owner of this blog, is a prisoner who does not have access to a computer.  He has sent all of his posts for April to his sister, who regularly posts for him.  My understanding is that his posts for the Challenge will be a serialized story themed in accordance with the alphabet challenge.  Dan is unable to respond immediately to comments on his blog due to his circumstance, but he eventually does respond.   If you visit him and leave a comment, be sure to subscribe to the comments so you can see his responses down the road.   And realize that as much as he'd like to visit all of your blogs, this is not possible.    So if you're willing, check out his first couple of posts and see if it's something you'll want to stick with till the end.

              In parting, I wish all of you the best blogging event you've ever had as you head into the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2011.   Let me or any of the other co-hosts know if you have any comments, questions, or problems concerning the Challenge and we'll do our best to address them.  Now let the fun begin!

          Have you devised a Challenge strategy for yourself?   
 
 
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71 comments:

  1. Arlee,
    I like your plan and actually this is the first time I've done something like this so wasn't actually certain how to approach it but I think I'll devise one off yours; if you don't mind.
    thanks for the tips and good luck! I can't wait :)

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  2. I am trying to remain dedicated to book reviews, author interviews, and news of the authors that I speak with regularly. I'm wishing I had started preposting a little earlier now that I am trying to do it lol.

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  3. Sounds like a solid plan. I can't wait to meet new people!

    Your post makes me think I need to do a similar one so people know what to expect. I'll put one up as soon as I get home this evening.

    I don't know if I can do 100 blogs a day, though. Wow!

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  4. What a great plan! I am going to grab your link for visiting blogs, thanks for sharing. I don't think I can do 100 blogs a day, but I shall visit all that I can at least once. I don't expect comments, but I shall try and respond when I can. Thanks for this challenge! I'm going to post my plan for the challenge tomorrow (I LOVE prepost scheduling!). Thanks again - here we go!

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  5. My plan for the challenge: I've fixed only my theme, which is Writing and my possible daily topics. I want to have the possibility to decide spontaneously, which of the prompts inspires me most on that particular day.

    Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing

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  6. Wow Arlee, 40-100 blogs? I'm suitably impressed. I'll probably try and read new stuff first thing in the AM, then my trusty fave blogs in the PM. And I've already added some great new people from the challenge list. I even came out of my cave to join Twitter. I'm so glad I signed up for this!You've done a tremendous job encouraging and promoting, so a big thank you. :)

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  7. This should be fun! Wouldn't it be awesome if everyone totally exceeded their new follower goals? I'm excited to meet and discover new blogger friends! Many I've visited so far are fairly new bloggers, and it's so fun to add myself to the follower list and be #4 follower or something like that.

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  8. I posted tips and a plan of attack today - and my theme for the month!

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  9. I have a bit of strategy, similar to yours. To keep up with the new blogs, I've added a new folder to My Favorites in Explorer. I plan to use that to keep myself organized. :o)

    I considered writing posts only about sewing, but quickly panned that idea. I've always wanted to try writing fiction, and this challenge gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that. In addition to my regular sewing posts, my AtoZ posts will be short-story fiction loosely based on events that have happened in my 40 years of existence.

    Looking forward to Friday! Thanks again for hosting. :o) Happy Wednesday!

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  10. My initial thought was to not go into the challenge with any definite plan, and see how things go. It worked for most of last year (with the occasional copout i.e. Z for (gad)Zooks! Hehe). I think this year I'll try to come up with a cohesive thread so my A-Z makes some kind of sense when strung together.

    Can't wait to start on Friday! It's gonna be awesome!

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  11. Right now all I am feeling is PANIC. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? I don't do well under pressure. Still, I will do the best I can. This challenge will help me in more ways than one.

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  12. Arlee, I'm so impressed with you. Hard to believe I've been around long enough to see the second challenge! Unfortunately, I won't be participating, but only because April is a really rough month for me schedule-wise and I wouldn't want to half ass this challenge.

    I think it's a mighty lofty goal to try to hit 40-100 blogs a day. Good luck to you!! All of you, actually. I'll be rooting you all on from the sidelines.

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  13. Anxiety....I'm feeling it. You know, those strange warm sensations. Fingers are feeling tingly about now, too. And I think my heart may have stopped. Having issues with breathing as well...

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  14. Lee,
    This sounds like a lot of fun. I just signed up... and posted about it :-)

    Thanks for the tips. The Navigation button seems like a good help.

    Have a great day!
    Doris

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  15. Arlee, I have no plan, and have never blogged everyday before. I am just going to go for it. I didn't write in advance, only A, but that's because I forgot there were 31 days in March, and was ready to go for tomorrow. I generally can find humor in most things, we will see how it goes. I did add the button and a blogroll for those I will follow. I am sure it will grow. I am really impressed that you will read 40-100 posts. Wow.

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  16. Hi Arlee - my, this is impressive! Here's my plan which I think I will post today as I have a bit of time -
    my theme: what I know for sure about being an artist/writer.

    my strategy: respond to those who respond to me as best I can - I want my responses to be real and not just for the sake of doing it. I will also attempt to visit those sites that look interesting to me. I will attempt, over the month, to visit each site at least once.

    my deep deep wish? That those who enter this challenge get rid of their barriers to people commenting easily...no word verifications!

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  17. Wow, I love your plan... Wow, 40 to 100 blogs a day! I wouldn't get much writing done.

    Happy visiting, Arlee. If you drop by mine I'll make you a nice cuppa and cake before you head off to the next.

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  18. thanks for all the tips. it's already been so much fun learning :) and the challenge hasn't even started! Good luck to all! see you soon :)

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  19. sounds like a great and well-thought battle tactics, my kind Sir, we shall be at the tournament to applaud at your victories and your story telling sessions.

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  20. I think your plan is Fabulous. I am so very excited for this challenge to start. I have chosen 25 different poetry "forms" each starting with the Letter of the day. Not sure what I am doing about X but I have time for that. If possible I'm going to make the subject of the poetry start with the Letter of the Day.

    As for commenting, I am setting as a minimum goal to comment on the 20 poems before and after mine in the list and then the last 20 of the week (so they don't miss out). If I can do more I will. I will go comment on any of the blogs I follow off my sideboard.

    Thanks so much for doing this. I'm a new blogger. Really been serious only since beginning of March but already have posted 75+ postings.

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  21. Great tips for a newby. This will be more than a "challenge" for me but let the games begin. Ta-dum. Thank you for all the work you put into this and made it possible for so many people.

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  22. First a big congrats on such a successful event, who knew? :) Strategy.. just to get through this, the numbers are mind numbing :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  23. I have planned about four days ahead because I'll be travelling at the beginning of April and I've (maybe foolishly!) taken up the challenge on two blogs.

    I'm looking forward to my a-z of the 80s the most and have made several lists in my head of 80s related things that start with every letter of the alphabet.....it is constantly changing so it'll be fun :D

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  24. Yup, all strategized and ready to go. My goal is just to have fun and not stress.
    Karen

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  25. Looks like today is an opportunity to put my commenting strategies to work. Thank you all for your comments. I'll address a few specifics that some of you have asked, but first some general issues that many of you raised.

    I am going to try to visit at least 40 sites per day and possibly as many as 100, but I make no promises on this. I've been trying to keep track of how many I actually do now, but I haven't been accurately successful.

    Yes, anyone who wants to can free to use my plan or adapt it to your own needs. I posted it here today in order to help anyone who is flummoxed by how to approach the Challenge.

    And don't worry if your plan is different or you don't have a plan. We all have different ways of working and having fun. Your method of attack should fit your personality. Just don't get stressed over the Challenge and have a good time with it.

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  26. I have a plan of sorts - that is to say, I have mapped out what each of my 26 posts will be about and the first week's items are already done and sorted and ready to go! There will be an eclectic mix of reviews, things I'm interested in and of course a few pieces of flash fiction - some favourite pieces already out there in the blogosphere, some newly penned specifically for this challenge!
    I will do my best to visit as many blogs as possible but with the best will in the world I'll probably hit fewer than I'd like to - but I'll do my best.
    Good luck, everyone, I'm looking forward to seeing what our collective imaginations have cooked up!
    :-)

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  27. Darn you! I was planning on using Ambitious April too! I even wrote that one already but I think I'll be up to the challenge and think of something else. I'm excited for this and don't have much of a plan at all!

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  28. I think the navigation buttons Marcus created are great. I also plan on using them.

    I feel prepared as far as reading other blogs, but not as far as my posts go. Go figure since I was most worried about how I was going to visit all the blogs before I even signed up for the challenge.

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  29. Absolutely, I'm going to pack all my supplies, memorize the map and then drink all the tequila I packed for the natives and get totally lost in blogland. Seriously though I'm going to start with #1 and try to visit at least 20 a day until the end. I'll pay special attention to those who comment on my blog but will give a blanket "thanks" comment on my post. I am going to keep my posts short and sweet to make browsing other blogs easier.

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  30. I am in awe of your accomplishment, Arlee. You had a great idea and it just keeps getting better.

    Last year I kept to a "words in writing" theme (sort of) and had hoped to have a new theme and a strategy going in this year. Or not. My plan is to work it all out tonight while I watch Survivor and American Idol... :)

    The biggest goal for me is to get back to regularly visiting other blogs and leaving comments. Hubby and I have been so distracted by the ailments of our newly adopted kitten that we've both let our other activities slide (especially housework!!!).

    See you Friday -- and thanks for the A to Z Challenge. I love it.

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  31. Yes I have also devised a plan I hope works. First, I too and going to respond, visit, and comment on the those who comment on my posts.

    I already written my posts through the letter U. I hope to finish today but if not in the next couple of days so I don't have to write just visit,

    Second, I will look at each post the day before for a last going over.

    Third, I want to visit 50 new blogs a day and meet some new friends.

    Fourth, I have loved selecting my topics for each day back in February and early March. I like them and hope I don't second guess myself and rewrite any of them.

    Fifth, I intend on taking the evenings and responding by email as I normally do to each one who graciously took the time to comment on my blog.

    Finally, I will not respond to "meaningless, empty, fluffy, comments that show my post wasn't really read and the commenter just wants a comment or a follower. When I choose to read a blog, I read it carefully for its intent and content and I try to respond with a meaningful comment. I am not looking for followers, I am looking for folks who have been blessed, inspired, challenged, instructed, encouraged, and/or benefited and would like to return regularly.

    As you know my blog is different. I am not a writer, novelist, or techy geek (which there is nothing wrong with those things.)

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  32. I haven't really thought of a plan. I'm just trying to get as many blogs pre-scheduled as possible. I've been wondering how I might get as much visiting done as possible. Your plan sounds good. And, now back to pre-scheduling...

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  33. I like your strategy. This is my first time participating in the A-Z Challenge, so I'll be figuring out my strategy as I go! I'm looking forward to Friday! :)

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  34. I sat down last night, listed the alphabet and randomly thought of a subject on each letter till I completed the page. I may change them as I go, but at least i have a starting point each day and can schedule ahead when possible.
    Looking forward to visiting several blogs in my spare time.
    I found some favorites from last years A to Z. Truth is, I don't care if they visit me or comment. When I enjoy a blog- I go back there regardless of any feedback from them. I treasure the creativity, inspiration, humor, or other gifts that those bloggers share unselfishly. Good luck, All!

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  35. I liek the sound of those next blog and surprise me buttons. Enjoy your journey.
    My concern is that my posts might become less spontaneous and therefore not as engaging as usual. I hope not :O)

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  36. Those buttons sound interesting I will have to check them out. I don't know if I could do a 100 blogs a day. I had thought of doing like #20-40 on the list on the first day then #60-80 the next and so on then once I got to the end I would come back and do the odd numbers. That is really the only thing I have planned out at the moment.

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  37. Thanks for the continuing comments. It's good to see a variety of approaches to blog visiting. I'd hate to see anyone on the list be neglected. But don't forget that one of the most surefire ways to draw readers to your own site is to visit other sites to let them know you are there. A blog can get easily lost in that long list.

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  38. I have all my post ready, I will comment on as many as I can, hospital visits permitting on Monday. but the main thing is to enjoy taking part and comment as nicely as you yourself would expect to be commented.

    Yvonne,

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  39. I am really excited and can't wait to get my creative juices flowing.

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  40. Arlee,
    Thanks for sharing your plans with us. It has definitely given me some ideas and has eased some of my anxieties. The A-Z challenge is daunting for first time participants such as myself and any tips you share really helps. THanks again.

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  41. I like your plan but I decided that I will be posting a recipe a day for the month, along with comments. The recipe has to be something I prepare or have prepared and if I can't think of one I will find something else to talk about on that day.

    I do hope that you will try one of my recipes - most are simple and delicious.

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  42. Sounds like a great plan. I want to visit a lot of blogs also. I'll start off with plenty of blogs and then narrow down to the most responsive people. I really want to meet other bloggers...that would be a major point of joining this challenge. Working together towards a similar goal.

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  43. I am scared! I just started a blog and a friend suggested I get involved in this challenge and now I am freaking out! lol I hope everyone goes easy on me, I will do my best to keep up (if I can ever figure out how to even navigate the blogger site in general). Please tell me again why I got myself into a challenge? Omg! What have I done?

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  44. @Snakemom
    That's exactly how I'm feeling. I just started blogging this month. However I think if we can make it through this, then the rest of blogging journey will be more manageable. This is great bootcamp, lol.

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  45. I'm a new follower and have joined the A-Z Challange. It sounds like fun, thanks.

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  46. No one should be scared or stressed about this Challenge. We all have different reasons for being here and different ideas of how we're going to approach it, but is FUN isn't part of the equation I think something is missing. Nobody's getting graded and we're not going to lose our "job" of blogging. Go with the flow and try to learn and experience new ideas and meet new bloggers you might otherwise not have come into contact with.

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  47. I love your plan, and I can't wait to start the Challenge. Thanks again for hosting this event Arlee! :)

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  48. @ D Heath
    We shall try this together! :)
    I love the "bootcamp" idea!

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  49. Sounds like a completely reasonable plan, lee! I don't have a specific plan exactly, but I think your 'getting around' is a good option. I sort of thought I'd work my way through systematically, but start somewhere arbtrary... like the 3/4 through mark, as that seems a batch who may not get hit as much as those at the beginning or end...

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  50. I like the sound of your plan - though I'm doing it "seat-of-th-pants-style" absolutly no prep allowed. But for following and getting around everyone's blogs, I'm going to try and hit around 40 a day - Thanks for the buttons!!! how helpful are you?! (have got them straight on my blog, dead easy)

    Enjoy your challenge and see you on the otherside!
    Lx

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  51. You're getting this down to an art. Good for you!

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  52. Hi, Lee! Thanks for stopping by. A chapbook is pretty much whatever fits into 48 pages (or no more than 7,000 words.) Mine will be hand-sewn (no staples), have a cover and so on. They're sold in cute little boutique shops. But I'm thinking of getting a web page as the story I'm doing now can lead to others (with a store in my village offering also some for sale. But, and this is important, my goal is to get the stories down because they're from another era that seems to touch today.) We'll see. Anyway, I'm going thru Red Bird Publishers. Because of the hand work, it's a 100-copy run, each time.

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  53. All excellent tidbits on how to approach the Challenge. I put a linkback to yours and Alex's blog today. Over 800 sign us. That's just amazing!!!

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  54. Oh dear...

    I better get going on a plan. Last year it was random stuff for each letter that was writing-related except for Saturdays. But in the last few months, I've found myself blogging about more broad topics.

    I think I'll do this: a high school friend of mine was doing a thing on facebook where he posted a new photo each day. I think I will try and do that, and write something interesting in the post about the picture. Each photo will be of something that begins with that day's letter.

    There is NO WAY I can read that many blogs in one day. Arlee, you are a superman. 0_o Work has gotten way worse this year, plus I'm doing a freelance job. I'm afraid I've been neglecting my blog lately. :( I hope I can get all my posts written and at least check out some people's blogs. I'll do my best!

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  55. Don't really have strategy yet, so I guess I'll wing it!

    I do have a question, though. One person that signed up from my recruiting efforts signed up with five different blogs. I know they were they this morning. She just told me that four of them have disappeared off your list and wondering if you know why.

    Blog names were:

    Help Michigan Pets
    Diary of a Non-Person
    Ellie's Attic
    Ellie's Couch
    Ellie's Writing Desk

    ... originally numbers 801-805

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  56. I'm excited to start the Challenge, Lee. In fact, I have already started. A through C are written and scheduled to post -- being tied up this weekend, I had to work ahead.

    I started with a scribbled list of topics and moved that to a calendar. It's in my purse at all times, so I can check the plan and start drafting any time I get a spare moment, like on the plane this morning.

    I've got a few options for each letter and I'm keeping my calendar. I have a feeling you'll be challenging us again in the future. I want to keep some of my powder dry!

    And tonight I've blogged a reminder to my few readers to whet their appetites for the festivities to begin Friday. I've suggested my readers check out your list of bloggers on the challenge.

    And I hope to find time to follow other bloggers to see where the challenge takes them.

    Thanks again, Lee for your support!

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  57. I'm really excited about this challenge and am so happy to have come across it unexpectedly. I love the idea of the two buttons because there are so many blogs and I want to try to get to as many as possible. I'll try the buttons, but if they aren't helpful, I'll just go down the list.

    Thanks again for hosting this challenge. It think it's going to be great!

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  58. Ok, I just decided to join, so no game plan. Eeep.
    But like Tony Horton, I'll do my best and forget the rest. LOL

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  59. Hi, Friend! I'm looking forward to reading and writing a lot this go around. I will just be clicking on the one list on the right of your blog and reading as many as I can. Thanks for inviting me again.
    your friend, Ruby

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  60. I am so excited for this and all the ideas that are running through my mind, that I'm already planning for next year. Thanks for all your efforts, as a new blogger I truly appreciate the motivation and inspiration. :) Have a wonderful A-Z month!

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  61. I love the idea of this challenge. I am but a humble librarian attempting to get the crazy out on my blog. This challenge is a good way to get a little structure into my otherwise chaotic posting schedule, and maybe stretch my mind a bit. Tentative plan is to use an "A is for..." format on my challenge posts, filling in with library jargon and going from there. Thanks for this opportunity!

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  62. Well my first attempt at this....I plan to visit exactly 33 different blogs each day for each of the 25 alphabets and all blogs for the last alpahabet through May. Hopefully covering atleast 2 posts by everyone on the list.
    As for as my posts go...most of my pictures are lined up for my photo blog and my word posts are going to be pieces of micro fiction based on women in real life and an odd poetry piece thrown in...hopefully I will survive the challenge creditably.

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  63. I am very excited about this challenge and the best part is, I could do it all in my pajamas! Love the Ambitious April kick-off idea! I will probably post a combination of double and single titles. Thanks for all of your tips. This will be a great learning experience! Julie

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  64. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for organizing the challenge.

    You left the tag #atozchallenge in the comment and I'm hoping a lot of the bloggers will tweet their posts on that tag. I find twitter invaluable for spreading links...and this would allow me to easily tweet/ retweet the posts I dig :)

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  65. I'm the person Marie Anne mentioned in a previous comment. I registered five blogs, but three were deleted from the list. I contacted Jen, and we got it straightened out, so I resubmitted them.

    I started my blogs last year but eventually had to neglect them for a while. I'm ready to get back to them, and this challenge is the perfect opportunity.

    Ellie

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  66. This challenge is right up my ally. I can be neglectful of my blog, although March has been a good blog month for me. This challenge will help make April just as productive and make for an interesting month of blogging. Thanks for hosting.

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  67. Yes, I have a plan. I broke the week down into themes - a new topic every day.

    Mondays: Book Reviews
    Tuesdays: Inside AlexWorld – Novel Teasers
    Wednesdays: Kindle Sample Reviews
    Thursdays: My Indie-Publishing Experience
    Fridays: Friday Flash
    Saturdays: The State of Writing in AlexWorld

    On the plus side, when I'm done the month, I'll keep the themes even if I don't publish every day. For example, if I have something to say about indie-publishing, I'll schedule it for a Thursday so that readers always know what to expect when.

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  68. I made up my mind to do the challenge too late to come up with any particular plan... but since Cinema Steve is the blog where I post general commentary and stuff that doesn't fit on my other blogs, it's basically just going to be more of the same. Only alphabetically. :)

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  69. My strategy is to lose the fear of "publish post". I will try to visit as many blogs as time allows (I'm a homeschooling mom). My one rule of commenting is: if I've taken the time to read you, I will comment. I'm not a follower-seeker or comment hog, but that said, yes, I obsess over who has read me. I'd rather have someone say, "Wow, that wasn't as good as..." than just leave with no comment. Ok, so I love attention ;-) Also, if you follow, I will contact you however I can to acknowledge that. We're all in this together, and I'm looking forward to meeting new people, and to encouraging each other in this whole writing endeavor which we all love.

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  70. I am totally the type of person who has to double check everything. But when it comes to this challenge I have a feeling I will end up being that person lost in the wilderness. ;-)

    Dreams Of Nyssa

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee