Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A to Z Themes

As I've been visiting signed up blogs, I notice quite a few are choosing themes for April. As an unorganized pantser, I'm rather impressed by this. My theme was going to be the alphabet.

There's a few ideas swirling around in my foggy brain. Last year I did literary terms, which was fun and simple, lending itself to short posts. (one of my requirements for A to Z'ing it)

What do you think of A to Z themes? Yes? No? Do you like blogs that stick to a theme for the month, or do you find it tiresome? And if you're participating, do you have a theme yet for April?

I'm leaving for Houston in two days, and when I return next week, I hope to bring back a theme!





56 comments:

  1. I like the theme idea, and was impressed by the people who stuck with it last year. I am going to try for a theme this year - - and as a result, haven't blogged in da-a-a-ays during March, as I ponder and work out things in my head for April. Not really the point of the exercise ;-)

    Have fun - I'll definitely check in for A to Z to see what theme you choose!!

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  2. I didn't go with a theme last year. Kept it kind of random, though still writing related. This year I have reason to go with a theme, and I'm loving the creative challenge of finding a topic for each letter of the alphabet. I also like seeing how other's tackle a theme.

    And, yes, keep the posts short! That's actually my biggest challenge as I write up my posts right now. There's so much I want to say, but know I can't. :)

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  3. I support the theme revolution. I do have a theme. I actually have 5 themes so hopefully my posts do not hover in the tiresome realm.

    Hope Houston brings you good luck in the theme department. Have fun on your trip!

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  4. I liked the bloggie ones with themes because I kept thinking - how on earth will they find a word for the next letter and still stick to the theme!

    But the unexpected, random ones are also fun! Take care
    x

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  5. I have a theme as well which I will be disclosing soon. I'm really excited for April.

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  6. nah - I'm completely random - always have been and always will be - but I do rather admire the themed offerings !
    Lx

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  7. Hi Karen .. I quite like going to the next letter following a theme, as it makes it easier to relate.

    I'm doing a similar concept to that I did last .. British aspects ..

    Houston .. enjoy the time - you have so much on your plate ... good luck. Your mind will swirl, but you'll be back with an A, B, C themed idea .. Cheers Hilary

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  8. I did a theme last year and will do so again. My posts are usually not more than one paragraph during the challenge, both for my benefit and for those participating. Short and sweet is my motto for this.
    karen

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  9. Yeah, I like themes :) I'll be focussing on a musician each day explaining how they've inspired me.

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  10. A theme is a great idea, but I'm unsure if I'll be able to stick with one and fulfill the alphabet idea. I'd like to relate every post to writing somehow, be it craft-related, an interview, something. But I'm traveling to the Southwest next week, so Im thinking I'll have a ton of ideas when I'm out there. So who knows...I'm a pantster like you.

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  11. I think it would only be tiresome if it was a theme that didn't interest me. But I like your writing, so I'm not worried about that happening. :) I think A to Z challenges sound good, but I haven't participated in anything like that because I'm usually only able to write one or two posts a week. And it'd be hard for me to think of something that begins with "X". All I can think of right now is "xylophone".

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  12. I don't care if someone has a theme or not. I did pick one though this year. Just flipped into my mind. Golden Movies, since I grew up in the Golden Age of Hollywood, in the 40s and 50s, and LOVED the movies, and this feeds into my memoir writing.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  13. Last year, I didn't have a theme - largely because my father's initial fell on the anniversary of his death and I wanted to blog about him that day, so a random approach to the rest of the month worked best.

    This year, I'm writing daily microfiction themed around place names, suggested by readers, and I can't wait. I'm hoping that the variety of place names will keep things fresh, and it it doesn't - well, at least my posts will be short!

    I enjoy both random posts and themed ones during April. Good subject lines hook me!

    Ann, your Golden Movies idea sounds fab, I'll be checking your blog often next month :)

    Karen, have a great time in Houston!

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  14. "My theme was going to be the alphabet." That literally made me laugh out loud!!

    No theme for me. Just wing it!! :)

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  15. I still haven't quite decided whether to do it this year or not. I really enjoyed it last year, trying to post each day just on something that I saw or that happened that day. But some days were just so tough and I don't know if I can come up with a different X Y or Z this year. Mmmmmm... still pondering...

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  16. I've compiled a big list of words and prompts to springboard from, but I've yet to see whether I have enough of a common thread throughout to whittle a theme from (aside from the vague writing theme that my blog has).

    I'll try to weave a thread if I can, but I;ll impress myself if I'm simply able to meet the challenge!

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  17. I do have a theme, otherwise the challenge scares me, of course if I think about it too much it still scares me . . .

    Last year I did words that I didn't see used too much. This year I am doing food memories . . . as in my first entry is Asparagus. If you wonder what my memory is come see me on April 1st.

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  18. I'm going with the theme. This is my first time participating so I'm really excited. My theme is actually based off the song "Set fire to the rain" by Adele.

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  19. Overall I like the theme ideas too. As I've visited blogs and read about their themes, I think, "Oh, I don't want to miss these posts!"

    Nicole Mc (haha, didn't know if anyone would get my little joke. Glad to know you did *smile*)

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  20. "My theme was going to be the alphabet" - that really made me laugh!
    The first year, I winged it. And came up with brilliant items, such as Q*Bert for Q. Last year I went with the theme of featuring my blogger buddies. So much easier!
    Yes, Q*Bert the old video game. I was desperate.

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  21. I have picked out a theme this year which has made writing those posts a lot easier :)

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  22. Good luck finding your theme, Karen!

    Jai

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  23. LOL! I appreciated your joke. That would be me if I was participating. I don't think I'd be organized enough to have a theme, but it must make coming up with posts easier.

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  24. I never have themes - even if I think I will, it never happens :-D But I don't mind if other's do it - I watch in awe and go ohhhhh!

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  25. A theme is a must have for me. I'd never make it otherwise.

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  26. Yep - first time and with a theme. I'm psyched!

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  27. This is my first year participating at all and I signed up a while ago so I am going to go for a theme: musical instruments

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  28. Yep, as a rookie I figured a theme would be a good idea for my posts, too.

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  29. I opted to go with a theme. Seems to me that most of the A-Z challenge blogs I read last year (as an outsider) followed a theme, so I didn't even consider not having one.

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  30. I'm a newby to this and I actually just made a post about it on my blog which you can check out here - http://yadinbromberg.blogspot.com/2012/03/apocalyptic-change-z-challenge.html

    I was also wondering about peoples A-Z ideas and I still have to get a theme. I was playing around with my top 26 movies of all times which I might do. It's just an idea but I hope to have a theme by the 24th.

    Anyways good luck to you and enjoy Houston! Keep on brainstorming. Your sure to come up with something soon :)

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  31. My theme last year was publishing and promoting tips. This year, it's leadership and goal-setting tips.

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  32. "My theme was going to be the alphabet" - this is the best thing I've read all day! I actually laughed out loud - and how often does that really happen??? :)

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  33. I don't like themes, because deep down I am lazy, so it is clear to me I need to do a Theme so that I can be...less lazy

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  34. Theme? Theme? Surely you jest. That would totally destroy my "here's what I'm thinking today" approach to the world, and to life in general. As well as to blogging, in particular.

    With me, A is for. . . . Well, you're just going to have to read and see.

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  35. Have a good trip and good luck finding a theme. This is my first year doing the Challenge. I'm a pantser too. I decided to write a story that goes through the whole month.

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  36. Have a good trip, Karen. I am off in three days. I am traveling overseas but I will be in touch and will get that interview ready. I've had some problems commenting on blogger lately. Thanks for your patience.

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  37. I couldn't stick to a theme - ever! That's why I have three parts to my title LOL No them for the A-Z - just the usual eclectic offerings.

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  38. I like the theme idea! I don't have one but we will see what happens between now and April. Looking forward to hearing what yours turns out to be. Have a great trip!

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  39. This is my first A to Z challenge, and I am super excited! My theme is "my favorite things that start with the letter ___" Not very original, but like I said, I'm a beginner.

    Which reminds me, for some reason I'm unable to add new gadgets to my sidebar, so I haven't added the linky picture. Can I still participate?

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  40. Shelley, Of course you can! Some participants have a lot of A to Z stuff on their sidebar, etc but that's their personal choice, not required!

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  41. I kind of winged it last year and that worked for me. I'm guessing that'll be my plan this going around, too.

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  42. Have a great time in Houston! I like the idea of a theme.

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  43. I was impressed by the themes last year, and I tossed my hat into the ring with short fiction markets, from A to Z. I won't be participating this year, but I'll post a link in April to last year's posts, in case they're helpful for my fellow manic short story writers out there.

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  44. You could do an A to Z of Houston like I did of Leicester last year. I definitely think that a theme is best and I certainly will be keeping my posts brief. Looking forward to finding out what you've chosen.

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  45. It probably depends on the theme, but I did rather enjoy those with themes last year (I didn't have one). This year I keep coming up with fun new themes, and I have yet to settle for certain, though I think I've chosen the theme. Now to get writing!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  46. The first year I had no intended theme, but did start leaning toward "encouragement" to keep everyone going. This year I'll be dealing with some themes.

    I like themes in general, but of course it depends on what it is. Sometimes I don't get what's being talked about. Other times it can be very educational. I especially like the themes like favorites (movies, books, songs, etc)

    Have a great time in Houston. One of my daughters lives there.


    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge
    Please vote for your favorite A to Z Video

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  47. I think the themes are great. It helps people brain storm and it's fun! Have a great time in Houston! =D

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  48. Having a hard time concentrating on much besides the gorgeous weather here in Houston :) It's like I left Utah and flew into warm, beautiful springtime.

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  49. I forgot it was nearly A to Z time. I don't care for this game but I'm wishing all your AtoZheads much luck and fun with it.

    Happy Blogging.

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  50. Themes are fine. I think it can make it easier to keep the posts going. I don't think they are essential, but they might make it easier to develop a readership.

    In my case, I think I see a theme or two emerging in my topic choices (I'm doing a little pre-planning, and doing some pre-writing would be a definite plus!). I like to consider myself an eclectic in topic choices, but I'm not sure that's really what happens.

    As for you, the alphabet is definitely a theme. You think it sounds obvious, but there's quite a lot you could do with that theme (perhaps, origins of the alphabet, for instance). I know what you meant, though. Good luck!

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  51. Here's to themes. However, this is my first time out on the A to Z, so I'm just testing my endurance in April. Maybe next time I'll go the theme route. Enjoy Houston and I'll look for your theme.

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  52. I hope you feel a theme coming on as soon as you hit the city limits of Houston.
    dreamweaver

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  53. Hope you come up with something.
    Last year I concentrated on writing. This year, I'm thinking things Jamaican. Wish I could get started though and make my work easier.

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  54. I have picked a theme but I don't think people are gonna be very interested in it... but they can kiss my butt cause I don't care :P

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  55. Nicki Elson did an 80s TV show them last time, which I enjoyed. She inspired me to do a theme this year. When I read other people's blogs it doesn't bother me.

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  56. Just popping over to say hello before the challenge begins. I'm already a follower :)

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