A To Z Blogging Challenge

The 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge is Knocking on the Door

Can you believe another year has flown by?

It is time for the annual A to Z Blogging Challenge once again.

Most of you know that there are some major changes to the challenge this year. The challenge has grown to such an outrageous number ... which is a good thing, but, it's become nearly impossible for the co-hosts to keep track of all the participants on the linky list each night. I had no idea how long it took each group leader to go through their portion of the list looking for spammers, and for those who simply had to drop out for legitimate reasons. Many of us have been there. It's one hell of a challenge. Not for the weak. I mean for those of us who've been doing it for years, we know what we're getting into. Even then, if we don't write our posts a month in advance, all it takes is a bad week at work or a sick kid and the walls start closing in. Now just imagine what it must be like for the newbies signing up for the first time. 

Suppose they don't have a theme. They didn't pre-write any of their post. They wait until April and off to the races they go. They write and publish that first post. They're feeling good. They click over to the sign up list to visit the five blogs below them as they were instructed to. But, while skimming the sign up list they come across several other blogs that attract their attention way more than the blogs they're supposed to read. So, they hop around for a couple of hours reading and commenting. 

They look at their watch. Damn. It's nearly midnight and they haven't read the blogs they were supposed to read. They haven't written tomorrow's letter B post either Oh, they think, I'll write it in the morning and publish in the afternoon. They check their own blog and see that they have ten comments. Wow, this is cool. So, they feel compelled to visit those blogs. But, I have to sleep they think. In the morning they visit the new blogs instead of writing their post, It doesn't get written until the next evening. Each day they fall further and further behind until one or two days of having to work late and that's all it takes to drop out. Or one week with a kid home with the flu. It happens. I promise. 

And the co-hosts have to monitor the linky list like they're the linky police.
Every single time one of the 2000 + people drop off for a legitimate reason or a spammer gets us, they have to remove their name, their blog and the link to it. Then we all get renumbered. Just thinking about it makes me tired. 

In the past when I visited a blogger who used a different platform than blogger, you know like Wordpress or Tumblr or some other, and they couldn't just click on my name or photo and be directed to my blog, I would tell them in my comment: Hey I'm number 655 on the sign up list. Now I feel like such a fool because I didn't realize once the challenge was underway that number wasn't constant. It was always changing. 

I missed the Theme Reveal this year. My theme is always Crime Fiction, but I'm considering something very different. I will post about my theme change prior to April 1.

In case you are not aware, there is a linky list over at Blog Chatter and Lee, the brain child ... creator of this challenge, Arlee Bird over at his blog, Tossing it Out, has another. You may want to check those out. Blog Chatter is also on Twitter@BlogChatter

Be sure to read this post on the A to Z Site If The List Doesn't Exist - A to Z Challenge

So what are you doing to keep track of your blogger buds (new & old) during the challenge, without the list? 


  1. Melissa, you understand completely! Just removing and fixing names on the list took over an hour every day, sometimes a lot more. And that was just my work - there were hours spent finding those links.
    Your posts are always so informative. Stick with what you know.

  2. I was a ninja last year and it was very time consuming - fun, nevertheless :) I'm looking forward to checking in and supporting.

  3. Nicola and Alex: I didn't realize how much time and effort went into the work y'all did as ninja's (co-hosts) until I started adding everything up. I was amazed at everything you did. I truly don't know how you ever found time to enjoy just visiting blogs for pleasure. You probably didn't. I hope you get a chance to actually have fun this year because that's what the challenge is all about. I know how overwhelming it can get and I don't have any added responsibilities. I really don't know how y'all do it. We all owe you and each of the co-host our most heartfelt and sincere gratitude. Without your hard work the challenge would never have grown to the massive success it is today. We'll all figure our way around the master list and everything will be fine - even better, because the main players won't be as stressed out this year and will actually get to participate for the first time in years. Thank you.

  4. Hi Melissa - I too didn't realise the list took that amount of work. Excellent to see you joining in ...

    More importantly it's good to see you back ... I'll have to overcome the challenge of finding my way round - and must dedicate a day to trying to understand what is going on ...

    However if I am touch with a blogger - they get into my feedly ... so I'll see the regulars there - searching for others will be a necessity ...

    Looking forward to your new subject - at least my brain won't be taxed trying to work out the murderer! Cheers Hilary

  5. As a Lawyer , I must say crime is thrilling.

  6. Good post, just hope you didn't scare off any newbies! LOL I always add any blog I really want to follow to my Blogger Reading List. As I see AtoZ Blogs that I know I want to visit again (at least one more time) I add them to a folder in my bookmarks. This year, with no list, I'm going to visit the 5 blogs either previous to my daily comment or the 5 after it. I read your new theme over on the AtoZ and I so hope you stick to that!

    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  7. Hi Melissa - I hope you've got my email ... but I'm looking forward to your posts. I put my 'new' blogs into Feedly - I can add them and then if necessary remove them ...

    We'll enjoy the series - once again ... take care and see you next weekend, if not before - cheers H

  8. Thank for this post. I'm a newbie and am taking all of this to heart. Thanks for stopping by Vi's theme reveal post about being a Cranky Horsewoman and commenting. Am looking forward to this and hope we can keep up!

  9. I'm really looking forward to your theme reveal. Anticipation is killing me! haha! Subscribed to your blog to follow so I can drop in and read/comment your A-Z posts, and possibly stay throughout the year :)

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  10. Followed your test link on the A to Z Blog to get here. What you described sounds like the description of my own blogging history. At the rate I'm doing right now, I may be writing my April posts like that. As of now I think I have about 4 finished.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  11. For some people blogging means money, but for me it has meant hours and hours of labour with feedback as a reward if you are lucky. I think checking the Linky qualifies as one of those thankless tasks.

  12. I know how unwieldy monitoring a list like these can be. I'm liking the changes to the challenge. Unfortunately, I can't participate this year, but I'm out to support those who do. Good luck!

  13. Just saw Pitch Perfect 3 trailer. Looks like its going to be another year of fun ride. Incredibly excited to see the Bella ladies returning on screen. Wish there was something going on between Beca and Chloe in this one. Give something for use queer ladies too, will you Trish ;)
    To know about Pitch Perfect 3 Rumors just take a look and you get all the information you need.


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