A to Z 2016 : A to Z

Now, I know what you all are thinking — cheat post. Using "A to Z" or "April" is an easy out, especially when just starting the challenge, but I assure you that isn't the case here. Not that there is anything wrong with using those each and every year, it's pretty common, so no offense meant if you do. The challenge is already hard enough as it is. This year's theme for I,Jak, however, is my 2016 Highlights and as I've mentioned in years past, the one thing that gets me active on my blog after a lull is the annual A to Z Challenge!

For those happening by, but not participating, this challenge consists of writing a blog post every day in April (except Sundays). Each entry's subject/title must correlate with a different letter of the alphabet, starting with "A" and working through "Z". Many times there is a Theme Reveal and a Reflection Post associated, but not mandatory. Just an FYI, linked above is a more detailed explanation of what A to Z is and where/how it originated.

Ever since coming across the blogging challenge in 2013, it's been a yearly event that I look forward to. It's a lot of fun to participate in, definitely challenging (themes help!), and has always been a great source for networking — meeting new people and seeing their work. After that first year, admittedly, I have failed on that last part the most. I start out strong, thinking I will have the time and energy to not only write my posts the day they are scheduled, but to also visit other blogging sites, read their content, and then comment. Eventually I'm struggling just to get my post up before midnight, leaving no time to visit others.

While I told myself I would make shorter entries (I do this every year, I'm not known for my brevity), I made the decision to participate with multiple blogs this year. Not just one additional, but three. So basically I'm causing myself 4x the stress and I'm still uncertain how it will all pan out. I'm trying really hard to draft entries beforehand, but it's not working very well. I seem to lack focus. Surprise, surprise. So even though I'm doling out shorter posts, I have worked myself into a grind of fulfilling four of them per day of the challenge!

What I'm saying in a roundabout way is: I apologize in advance if being unable to reliably network with participants stopping by, but do hope to try. Even if it's after the event ends.

But don't let this discourage you if you've been contemplating participating in the A to Z Challenge! Even if I can't engage in the more social aspects of the blog hop, many others can and do. You can actually make some everlasting bonds/friendships this way in the blogosphere and I would highly recommend you check it out!

Anyhow, while it may seem cheesy, the A to Z Challenge is, without a doubt, one of my 2016 Highlights! Even if it does turn me into a raving, nonsensical-babbling husk of my former self!

Are you participating in the 2016 A to Z Challenge? If so, do you have a theme? Do you find yourself having time to actually engage in the social "blog hop" aspect of the challenge? If not participating, does it sound like something you'd enjoy?