This year, I signed up for over a dozen reading challenges. I wish I could direct you to the page where I had it all neatly laid out, but Blogger is sometimes a dink and the page got screwed up so I had to hide it several weeks ago and haven’t had time to fix it up again. Anyway…every time I signed up for a new challenge, I though ‘are you insane? Another challenge?’
What’s the point? For me, these reading challenges (or blogging challenges like this one) are the same as setting goals. I’m very goal-oriented - I like to lay things out, have a general idea of what I’m doing, and then go for it. I learned years ago that nothing is set in stone, things change, and there are always hurdles and setbacks, but I try my best to achieve my goals, which is more than I can say for a lot of people I know...but that's for another day's post.
I was on someone’s blog the other day and they wondered what the point of the A to Z challenge was. They said they didn’t have time, they thought people would get sick of it after a few days, and that there were a bunch of people only doing it for new followers. That’s fine, we all have our own opinions. For me, I like a challenge, and it’s also about discipline - when I committed to the A to Z Challenge last year, that was what changed blogging for me. Until then, my posts had been irregular and disjointed, but once I started with the challenge, I had a purpose for my blogging, and I met a ton of great people. The new followers were definitely a bonus (and still are, I'm not gonna lie), but I’m not doing this for new followers. In fact, I’m almost afraid I might lose some old followers because I’m straying from my regular book talk (reviews, blog tours, interviews, guest posts, etc), but if they can't wait a month for me to return to my regularly scheduled book talk, then it's their loss, right? I’m hoping to make up for it over the next few months with some fun things like a reading challenge in July, a summer photo challenge, and a bunch of giveaways.
To me, these challenges are fun and keep me motivated. I love meeting new people, I love learning new things, I think it's incredibly cool to connect with people from all over the world without ever leaving my office, and as a writer and an author I love meeting people with similar interests. What's the harm in that?
What are your reasons for doing the A to Z Challenge, or for participating in any challenge? Did you sign up for any reading challenges this year? What are your goals?