A few years ago I took part in the A-Z Blog Challenge that takes place each April. The idea is to blog every day except Sunday and visit other blogs to comment. I had hoped it would help build a habit of writing regularly as well as being a bit of fun. Whilst I had a few comments and have indeed kept in contact with a couple of people it did take up a lot of time and meant I got little other writing done in that period.
This year I repeated an experiment from two years ago and instead wrote magazine letters daily. These went to a variety of publications and covered a range of formats including tips, funny photos, comments on previous issues and TV programmes and anecdotes. As I searched publications for suitable pages to target I noticed three things. Firstly it is now quite common for only a Star Letter to be rewarded and in some magazines letters are not remunerated at all. Secondly published letters are more likely to be awarded a “prize” in kind than in cash. I can recall being paid a guinea for a letter I wrote when quite young to one of the many magazines my mother read. Over the years I have had a number of cash awards although some of these were in the form of gift vouchers. The third discovery was that many publications which once welcomed feedback in the form of letters no longer have a page to record the opinions of their readers or to have the readers entertain each other.
In the event I did miss a couple of days during the month although I continued beyond the end of April to compensate. Before the month was out several of the items were published, two in different issues of the same publication, and all the rewards have turned up in good time, something that has not always been true in the past. Not only pleasing to have some small successes but I am now writing on a regular basis once more so it seems to have done the trick.