A show of support for blogging’s annual marathon

I’ll let you in on a little secret: A lot of professional journalists feel pretty snooty about bloggers. I know because I used to be one. In fact, I probably would have created a blog much sooner if not for the fact that for the longest time, I didn’t want to be associated with “amateurs.”

With a bit of understanding, journalists (and retired journalists) might be excused for the hostility.

  • Most journalists went to school to learn to do what they do, while many bloggers went to school and learned to do something different … something that probably pays better.
  • Journalists view writing as their career, their milk and bread, while most bloggers view writing as a hobby.
  • Journalists wrongly view bloggers’ hobby as something that helped put them out of a job. The truth is a lot more complicated than that.

While I am disgusted by some of the careless crap I see in the blogosphere, I’ve also seen lots of great writing by non-professionals who take great pride in their blog’s appearance, and who have shown great dedication to the writing craft.

Journalists and other professional writers who deride bloggers are grabbing the wrong end of the stick. It makes no sense to alienate people who love the written word, and if they show a proper respect for the language, they should be encouraged, not beaten down.

With all that as my introduction, let me introduce the real purpose of this post, which is to lend my support to this year’s A-Z Challenge, one of the finest examples of dedication to the art of writing that you’ll ever see.

Now I am NOT participating in the Challenge this year because I knew I wouldn’t have time, but I did participate last year, and found it to be a grueling event that invites participants to somehow be creative 26 times during the month of April. It’s not for the feint-hearted, and I know plenty of professionals who would blanche at the requirement.

Completing the A-Z Challenge takes drive, discipline, determination and no small amount of skill. If you do it right, the Challenge instills good writing habits that will serve you well down the road — things like planning, attention to detail, and networking.

Yes, networking is important during the Challenge because the more you reach out to fellow participants, the more you get back in support for your own blog. Reading and commenting on other people’s work gets you noticed, and nets potential followers for your own blog. From a personal perspective, I met some really nice people during last year’s A-Z, people who have become good friends and a blessing in my life.

Although it’s a little late to participate in this year’s Challenge, it’s not too soon to make a mental note for April 2018. Remember what I said about planning? Well here’s a hint: Start writing early!

Something you can do right now is to show some support for those bloggers who are currently in the throes of alphabetic agony. It’s like a marathon — a writing marathon — and you can imagine yourself standing on the sideline, passing out tiny cups of much-needed water as participants run past. So give them a cheer, won’t you? Call it professional courtesy!

The link to this year’s 2017 A-Z Challenge information is HERE.

The link to my first post in the 2016 A-Z Challenge is HERE. You can find the rest under the A-Z category heading on Roamin’ Gnomials.

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26 Comments

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  1. Wow, Glenn! So cool!
    I, too, participated in the 2016 A to Z Challenge and I remember you! It was an amazing experience and this tribute to the A to Z Team and the A to Z Bloggers is well deserved.
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/category/a-to-z-challenge/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Me In The Middle and commented:
    A well-deserved tribute to the A to Z Team and the A to Z Bloggers for ‘Blogging’s Annual Marathon’. Like Glenn (AKA Roamin’ Gnomials), I participated in 2016 and was grateful for the rewarding experience ….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a former journalist … hell, as a former editor-in-chief, I applaud this post … and will be reblogging it. Thank you.

    Sharon E. Cathcart
    Award-winning Author of Fiction Featuring Atypical Characters
    #atozchallenge

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Sharon E. Cathcart and commented:
    A great article about the #atozchallenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Way to go, and thanks for your encouragement. You’re so right that the A to Z challenge really is a challenge. This is the second time I’ve done it, and I find it gives me a real life in my writing life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great – and wonderfully encouraging – post on the subject. I wish I’d found it when looking for guest posters on the subject of A-Z on my shared – and non-Challenge participating – fiction blog: Fiction Can Be Fun

    Will check out the rest of your blog for other re-blogging opportunities. And in the meantime, if you fancy writing a bit of fiction, or a #secondthoughts piece for us, we’d be thrilled to hear from you.

    In the meantime, I’m A-Zing on this one: Bunny and the Bloke

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great tribute and A to Z promotion! Thanks for that. As far as journalists, I am so disappointed in much of the journalistic scene these days. I stopped getting newspapers last year and don’t miss them. TV journalism is starting to give the profession a bad name–or actually they are more in the entertainment business much of the time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Like

  8. I followed Mary Lou’s link over here. 🙂 Nice to meet you and thanks for your words of support. I went to journalism school but didn’t finish. Life took a different turn. This is my fourth A to Z Challenge in a row and yes, it IS gruelling, yet rewarding. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you!! I should add here that my sister in law worked for a suburban New York City newspaper for over 20 years until she was laid off some two and a half years ago. So I’ve seen it, in a way, from both sides. I have much respect for journalists. I do not pretend to have their courage, or their skills. Nor would I ever call myself a journalist. I make my living in a field unrelated to professional writing, and have for the past forty years (for several employers). But make no mistake, blogging is hard, and bloggers deserve respect. It has taught me a lot about writing (and has allowed me to expand my love of photography). This is my third A to Z, and I’m doing it this year (gulp) with two blogs (one anonymously). Fortunately, I’ve had the time this year. Most years, I wouldn’t have had.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, a salty A-Z veteran! I really didn’t have time this year, but I’m really not sure if I’d have done it again even if I did have the time, the first one took so much out of me emotionally, but that probably had a lot to do with my choice of a topic. I drained me! Looking forward to checking out your blog, but unfortunately I’m on a mini-vacation and probably won’t see it right away… but eventually I will! Thanks for reading!

      Like

  10. I so LOVE this post!!! I’m sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on The End Justifies the Journey and commented:
    Something A to Z Challenge-related, but now exactly an A to Z post…Okay, I confused you. But do read on 🙂

    Like

  12. Thanks for the shoutout, Glenn! Hope you can make it next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nope I gave up that writing crap; you all can have it.

    Like

  14. As freelancer, for me it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. People feeling like every single company on earth needs a blog keeps the fridge stocked, but I do sometimes fantasize about the nigh-mythical time when I could’ve just gotten myself regular work with local papers and such without clubbing half a dozen aspiring peers over the head to get there.

    Liked by 1 person

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