Blogging A to Z Theme Reveal // The World Really is an Awful Place

Hey, hi, hello! Here I am, late to the big Blogging from A to Z Challenge theme reveal, as usual, but better late than never, right?

If you’ve never heard of it, the challenge takes place yearly in the month of April. Bloggers pledge to do their best to write and publish 26 blog posts, one for each letter of the alphabet, on a schedule. Most choose themes, not all, but I hear it makes it easier.

This will be my third year of participation and you’d think by now I would have figured out the ropes and be well ahead of the curve, but you would be wrong. I’m the kind of person that can’t muster up enough enthusiasm or inspiration to complete a task unless there are looming deadlines and real consequences. I’m working on that.

To be honest it isn’t just my awful work ethic. It’s been a rough year so far and I haven’t had as much time to plan for this thing as I have in recent years but I still hope to rock this thing!

My first year’s theme was astronomy and I failed miserably. My second was fiction. I was able to finish but the writing was kind of crap and I beg you not to look.

I thought about doing fiction again, but I’ve just about given up on that kind of writing, publicly anyway. It doesn’t come easy to me the way that essay/memoir does. I thought about poetry but poetry and I are just starting to get along and I don’t want to force the relationship and risk pushing her away, you know?

So, instead, I looked to what has been on my mind lately. What is it that I can’t let go of? What do I feel the need to spend and whole month talking about?

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”

― Albert Schweitzer

Since this past year’s election, all I can see are the ways the world seems to be coming apart at the seams around me. Not just because of that man living in the White House. No, the world was falling apart long before he came into the picture, but he made me more aware of it. His actions have forced me to take notice and face my false sense of safety.

I watch the news nearly constantly now and I think a lot about the privilege I have. I don’t fear bombs. I can find food easily. I have a home and work and money enough that I hardly worry at all, but I haven’t been very good at doing my part to help those who have so much less.  I haven’t even worked very hard to stay informed or raise awareness.

In my defense, I have been a bit overwhelmed but even that is a privilege. So many others don’t have the option of turning away when it all gets to be too much. It’s too easy for me to look away whenever I want to. It’s to easy for all of us to hide inside our homes and go one believing that the fire will never touch us but it will. I promise it will unless we take notice. Now.

The world is full of suffering and bad scary things and I’m not sure what to do now, yet, but it feels right to start by using my platform here for research and awareness. I carry a fair amount of guilt for not doing enough, then or now, to help.

So, my theme this year is the awful world around us.

That’s right, I’m going to write 26 posts, one for each letter of the alphabet all about something in the world that is going wrong but that no one seems to be willing to look at, care about, or fix. Everything from the arctic ice melting, to diseases on the rise, to famine, and war, and much, much more.

I know it’s a strange one. It’s not fun and flashy but it’s real and it’s important. I hope that I can teach you something or point you in the direction of a cause you can care about. I hope we all start thinking more and more about what is happening out there and what our part will be in fixing some of this shit.

April is going to be a real blogging dumpster fire, and kind of a downer, and I encourage you to come along for the ride.

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If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps?

If you want more information on the challenge, head over to A-to-ZChallenge.com and if you are participating leave a note in the comments below and let me know where to find you :)

Featured image via Unsplash

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My Big Blogging from A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal // 2016

I’m here, I’m here! I almost missed it but I am here! It is time to reveal my last minute, half-assed, pulled together in a panic theme for next months big A to Z Blogging Challenge. For those who don’t know, the challenge is to post something every day in April, minus Sundays, beginning with the letter A on April 1st and ending with the letter Z on the 30th. It isn’t easy and since I am the worst at preplanning I imagine it will be even harder for me.

I did this last year, the theme was Astronomy, and I failed miserably. Well, not miserably, people did like the posts, I just wasn’t able to complete the challenge and make it all the way until the letter Z. It’s not easy to post every day and while I was passionate about the subject matter, the work involved to research the topics was more than I could handle. So this year I am going to do something totally different, this year I am going to write a bit of creative writing.

Over on Tumblr, I am a big fan of the “Excerpts From a Book I’ll Never Write” tag. I believe the creator is a user named Sue Zhao and each entry, from her and other writers across the Tumblr-verse, is a bit of dialogue or a scene that suggests a deeper story but is satisfying in its brevity. Each is a small piece of a larger work that cannot be, or refuses to be, a part of anything bigger and is more beautiful for it.

For a long time, I have wanted to participate myself but never had the guts to try. Like anything else I want to undertake, there has to be a deadline, an expectation, and then I can shine.

I am very nervous to go about creating situations and characters that will pop into existence and back out in under 500 words or so. I am afraid I do not have enough imagination for all 26 letters of the alphabet. I am not even sure I know what the letter will represent exactly, perhaps the title of the piece, maybe the first letter of the story, or the name of the main character in each excerpt? I’m leaning toward the latter. There are still several kinks to work out and some ideas I need to get down on paper. Another first for me, drafting posts on paper :/

So wish me luck, and follow along if you are curious. I am hoping for feedback and an idea of whether or not fiction is a field I should explore a little more. I hope to see you all throughout the month and I hope to follow more of you who are participating. Please, let me know what you think and if you have a theme of your own.

I’d love to hear from you :)