I stumbled across the A to Z Challenge this year through one of the blogs I follow. I immediately realized it was a perfect opportunity to try out my SF Writer’s Glossary of Alternative Aviation. I’m planning to take The Glossary to some SF conventions as a presentation, and I wanted a chance to refine and run through my topics. The A to Z Challenge was ideal for that, and I found stronger entries for many letters of the alphabet. For instance, I only hit on Nuclear Powered Aircraft and Rotastat as I prepped for the Challenge.
Because my posts were short, I didn’t have a lot of headaches getting ready. I knew nearly all my topics ahead of time and I had most of the posts roughed out before April began. Then I just I touched them up a day or two in advance. That usually included adding external links for the curious to see more info and pictures of each uncommon type of flying machine in the glossary.
As a newbie, I made two mistakes: I forgot to include a topic code in my entry’s title listing, and I missed the deadline for the theme reveal. Either of those could have cut into my potential traffic.
On a day to day basis, the Challenge sent a steady trickle of visitors my way, but where it really made a difference was in the monthly stats: they took a big jump for April. I also got a few nice comments, and a lot of likes. Special thanks to AJ Vosse, who read and liked all 26 of my Challenge posts. That kind of support made it fun every day.
I have one or two ideas for next year. I’d quite like to do famous aviators. I love the idea of starting with Alcock and Brown, who flew across the Atlantic before Lindberg, although I don’t know how I turn that into two posts. I’m stumped for X, so it may not happen. Or I might do SF Worlds: Arrakis, Bajor, Coruscant… we’ll see.