It might seem a bit early to start planning for April's Blogging A to Z Challenge, but then again, people start planning for NaNoWriMo in August. Usually I have the same reaction to that as I do to stores putting up Christmas decorations before Halloween. Seriously? Can't they wait?
But if I'm going to do this challenge, I need to start planning now.
I did the #atozchallenge once before. While it was good for making me write, I didn't enjoy it very much. The novelty of seeing letter-themed blogposts in my stream also wore off pretty quickly. So I wasn't planning to do the challenge this year.
BUT THEN I had a shiny new idea!
What if...I did book reviews A to Z?
"But Laura," you shudder, "why would you do that to yourself? You have a senior project to do, college to attend, papers to write, and a recital to prepare for -- not to mention all those wips you keep having to put off. Why?"
Really, though, one of my resolutions for this year was to write more book reviews. I have an examiner.com book review channel, but I really slacked off on it last year. It's been a goal of mine to pick up the pace. I would probably publish all of the reviews on the examiner platform, and write weekly blogposts here about my progress.
Also, it's different. I like doing challenges when I can twist the parameters to fit my own goals and needs. I NaNoRebelled in 2013, for instance, which was way more helpful than starting a new novel would have been.
Then there's the fact that I need to read for fun more often. Last year was my most stressful year of college, and I barely read at all. This year, I've been taking time out to read a few pages of a not-for-class book every night. The effect it's had on my stress level is unbelievable. I've finished two books and am halfway through a third. As long as I budget my reading time, my schoolwork won't suffer. Sometimes it's necessary to put Official Stuff To Do on the sidelines in favor of your mental health. After all, I do worse on the Official Stuff To Do when I'm stressed, bored, and stuck in the same mental rut.
"Er," says the pragmatic voice in the back of my brain, raising a hand. "How is forcing yourself to read 26 books and review them all going to relieve stress?"
Well...maybe it won't. But it will be fun to try. After all, I can start reading now. The challenging part will be making up a reading list by letter. More on that in a later post.
What do you think? Good idea? No? Will any of you be doing the #atozchallenge?