Tag Archives: platform challenge

Looking Back at April

April was freaking crazy. I think when I described it as a vampiric month I hit the nail on the head. Now that I’ve had a few days away from it, however, I can see that it was also a very energising month. I think it was good for me. I tend to shy away from taking on too many things at a time, but April pushed me in that regard and showed me that I really can funtion outside of my comfort zone. Now, I’m not going to be signing up for multiple challenges like this again anytime soon (if ever) but I have a strong feeling of accomplishment for surviving it when I did, and I’m finding that very motivating as I move deeper into May. I’m going to take a quick look back at the three main challenges I tackled in April.

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge: This was by far the most time-consuming challenge. Not only did I have to publish a blog post almost everyday of the month, but I had to visit 10 other people’s blogs, take a look around, read thier posts and leave a comment. What’s more, I replied to every comment left on my blog and visited those people’s blogs as well. Now, from what I can tell, a very large proportion of people who did this challenge skipped that part, and frankly, that kinda pissed me off.

The challenging part may have come from writing blog posts everyday, but if that’s all you did, you missed out. What’s more, you took advantage of the people who embraced the challenge in its entirety. The point (at least in part) was supposed to be to meet new people and expirience new blogs, not just sit back in your cozy hole and enjoy free traffic from the Blogging From A to Z participants list. /rant

Anyway, I did meet some new people and added a couple new blogs to the list of places I’ll visit regularly, and I did get to blog about somethings that I might normally not have had an excuse to. I don’t know if I’ll do this challenge again though, because I worry that it was a bit too much. Not necessarily for me (if I were to do it again I would have a theme, shorter blog entries and they would all be pre-scheduled LOL) but for my readers. There were far more comments on my posts at the beginning of the challenge than at the end, and I suspect that’s at least in part because people were tired of hearing from me everyday ๐Ÿ˜‰ So… I’ll consider doing this again next year, but I don’t know. I don’t know.

The Platform Challenge: Robert Brewer offeredย  his readers the first annual Platform Challenge this April, and I participated. It was, by far, the easiest challenge I did. In fact, it wasn’t much of a challenge at all. For me. I know it was a huge challenge for a lot of people, but for the most part the daily assignments were things I’d already done or do regularily (sign-up for Twitter, get a blog, make a blog post…). If you are just starting out in social media/platform-type stuff than this challenge would be great for you. It would push you to jump into the fray, but at a pace that was designed to avoid overwhelming you. If your already social-media savvy and running a blog, however, it will be less helpful. That being said, I did learn a few things and discovered several ways to tweak my blog to be more betterer. Those share buttons at the bottom, for example, and the ability to follow the blog via email from the thingy to the right there (not available on LJ, sorry). So, yeah. I’m glad I did it. I won’t be doing it again though unless Robert puts out an intermediate version.

The April Poem A Day Challenge: This challenge was also hosted by Robert Brewer on the Poetic Asides blog. The idea was a poem a day for thirty days. I finished up to and included Day #26 by the end of April. That means I have four more prompts to write poems for over the month of May. It was a struggle this time around. I think largely because I didn’t have any focus, I didn’t have a theme. Allow me to illustrate:


Day One
ย 
Day Two
ย 
Day Three

Day One. A fresh new notebook, a big fat blank spot where theme should go. Not a great start, right? Okay, so, then we have Day Two over to the right there. Happily I have a theme, a theme I really, really like. In fact, someday I will write a poetry collection with a corvidae theme. Alas, that day was not situated anywhere in the month of April 2012 LOL

Day Three. Okay, says I, maybe corvidae is too narrow a theme for this particular poetry challenge. If I broaden it to be ‘Wings’ that can include birds, and planes, and angels and metaphoric wings and… Yeah, so that theme last until about day six when it, too, got crossed out and I went with a big fat question mark for a theme LOL

I think I have a few poem seeds as a result of this challenge that I’ll be able to make grow into something cool, but right now I’m not blown away. Many of the poems feel unfinished, like I had the start of an idea but I didn’t know how to end it. Or there’s the gems where I obviously just wasn’t feeling the prompt, like the haiku I wrote as my rejection poem for Day Eight:

It’s not quite for us
but please submit again
stabby, stabby, stab

Still, it’s a bunch of poem starts I wouldn’t have had without this challenge, and you bet your ass I’ll be doing it again next year ๐Ÿ™‚

eXhausted

It’s snowing again today. Not nearly as much as in that picture I took a couple weeks ago, but enough that it’s staying on the ground and ruining my weekend yardwork plans. The weather *sigh* whatcha gonna do, right?

So, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. I honestly wanted to come up with an X word that wasn’t a cheat, but April has been an energy vampire and my creative gas tank is running on fumes right now. I have a very finite amount of emotional, physical and creative energy (which is likely thanks to depression.) and I took on far more this month than I should have. Let’s take a peek at what I’ve been doing this month:

– The Blogging from A to Z Challenge

– The April Poem a Day Challenge

– The Platform Building Challenge

– The NaNoLJers Anthology

– The Niteblade Fundraiser

But wait, there’s more! This is a busy Niteblade month because I need to have the table of contents for the June issue set and good to go by the end of this month, which means getting all the edits and paperwork and stuff done. I’ve also been managing to stick to my exercise goals despite the fact my weight loss has hit a plateau (how depressing is that? Ugh). Also, there’s all the ‘life’ and ‘wife‘ and ‘mother‘ stuff. And stuff. Yes. Lots of stuff :-p

Overall, I’m pretty stinkin’ proud of myself, but I’m looking forward to the month being over so I can have some recovery time.

Then Amber posted the sign-up form for Writo De Mayo (the annual challenge NaNoLJers hold in May) and I went ‘Oh. Shit.’ I thought about not signing up this year, but I think I should. If I don’t have some solid goals for next month I may well spend my days curled up in bed getting nothing done and turning into a lump. So I signed up, but I didn’t pick super challenging goals. Their job won’t be to stretch myself but just to motivate me to keep going.

Writo De Mayo goals for 2012:

  • Do the 200 Sit Ups Challenge (beginning on Week Two in Column Two) without straining or otherwise injuring my neck in the process
  • Stay on track for W1S1
  • Write the first draft of at least one new short story (not a poem)
  • Write the first draft of a query letter for Shadows and get feedback on it
  • Get back to the HTRYN course I’m using to revise Twixt (and that I’ve neglected all April)
  • If I’m not successful in finishing up all the prompts for the April Poem-A-Day Challenge finish up any I missed.

What are your goals for next month?

~*~

This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and the letter X. Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about something to do with Y (actually, I expect to go with ‘Why?’ but, ya know, it’s the thought that counts) so pop by then to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

Lull Before the Storm…

I don’t usually blog on the weekend. Hell, I don’t usually work on weekends period, but I’m making an exception today because today is the last day of sanity before the crazy that is going to be my April hits. Before I get into that though, I’d like to take a second to say yay. Yay! I am still on track with my Write1Sub1 goals. And also, thank gawd for Write 1 Sub 1. Without it to use as motivation I don’t think I would have produced any new material this month. But I did.

In March I continued to work my way (slowly) through the How to Revise Your Novel course with Twixt. I also started, then re-started a short (ghost) story. It’s going to require at least one more restart before I make it to the end, I think, but still… I also wrote several new poems which are currently resting before I go back and revise them next month and I revised two of the poems I wrote in November (O_o) and added them into my “submission pool” (for lack of a better description). That means I have 16 pieces all currently out looking for new homes. I made 10 submissions this month too, and if you’re paying attention that means you know I collected 8 rejection letters. Whee! LOL #trytryagain

Now, enough looking back, it’s time to look forward.

April.

April is going to be nuts, because I, apparently, am nuts.

In addition to everything I usually do I am going to be participating in three separate challenges. O_o I know, right?

First I’ll be doing the Blogging from A to Z challenge. The good news on this one is that I’ve got roughly half of my blog posts already written and pre-scheduled. That doesn’t mean I won’t have anything to do on those days though, because one of the more time consuming parts of that challenge is going to be visiting the blogs of other people who are participating. Also, I expect it to mean I’ll have increased traffic here, and I like to try to reply to all the comments on my blog, so… Yeah.

I’m also going to be doing the April Poem-a-Day challenge. I’m not actually interested in entering the contest portion of the challenge, but I want to write a poem to go with each prompt, ideally on the day the prompt is offered. If you don’t think that will be a challenge perhaps you weren’t aware that I’m still working my way through the prompts from the November 2011 Poem-a-Day challenge LOL

But wait! There’s more!

I also decided to check out Robert Brewer’s April Platform Challenge. I’m not sure how much of that challenge will be applicable to me because, well, I’ve never done a platform challenge before LOL, but it should be fun to find out.

So yeah… the crazy is going to start tomorrow. I hope the daily blog posts won’t drive you all away and I hope I’ll still be standing when May 1st rolls around.

Wish me luck, I’ll need it, and if you’re participating in any of those challenges with me, let me know. Company is always a good thing ๐Ÿ™‚