Retirement, Blogging, the A to Z Challenge, and a Request for Help #socs #atozchallenge

I’ve been more or less retired since I went on disability a couple of years ago. On the one hand, I don’t miss having to deal with office politics, having to dress up (even when we went “business casual”), rush hour traffic, the phone going off every ten minutes, my email being full all the time, 90% of it being junk that I didn’t need to be included on but was because someone wanted to look important, status reporting, expense reports, etc. etc. On the other hand, I miss the camaraderie of working with people, the paycheck (of course), and people telling me I’m doing a good job, which made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile.

That’s why I blog: it gives me something worthwhile and rewarding to do. My “Wednesdays for My Wife” stories have gotten some good reviews, and more than a couple of people have recommended that I gather them into a book and sell it on Amazon. It’s a big step for me, and I’m not certain I have enough for a book yet, but then I consider that I have stories strewn all over the blog, some of which I wrote for the A to Z Challenge, others I’ve had on my hard drive for some time, and a few I’ve got fermenting in my mind, and I realize yeah, I could do this. Just have to find everything, gather it up, and get it published. Then spam the hell out of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. trying to sell it…

I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the A to Z Challenge, but I’m already signed up for it and plan on having everything for it written and ready to go by April Fool’s Day, when the festivities begin. I’m one of the co-hosts for it, too, meaning I have to make sure that everyone who signed up for the Challenge is participating. I mean, I don’t have to check all 2000 or so blogs that are going to be participating, because I’m not the only co-host, but I will probably have a couple hundred of them that I have to check every day. (I’m hoping we have a lot of partcipants this year!)

Fortunately, I get the chance to recruit a few people (what we call “minions”) to help me get the job done every day. I have one so far and have requests out to a couple of other folks, and I know there’s a list of people who volunteered to do the job, but I’d like to ask you, my readers: If you’re doing the A to Z Challenge, would you be interested in being a member of my merry band of minions, i.e. Holton’s Heroes?



Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill, who I know is doing the A to Z Challenge (see? all the cool kids are!).


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

41 thoughts on “Retirement, Blogging, the A to Z Challenge, and a Request for Help #socs #atozchallenge”

  1. Yeah, I miss my paycheck too and my job wasn’t bad. I rarely had to dress up other than when I’d go to trade shows. Blogging is now my main job. Did I mention I miss a paycheck?

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote


    1. I’ve been learning to appreciate what I have and what I don’t have now. I always wanted to retire early, just not for the reasons I did. But I’m staying busy with the blog and considering what else I can do, and I’m finding much more I can do than what I can’t.


  2. I’d love to help, John, but I’m afraid I won’t have much time with all the other things I have to do. I could possibly help out with, say, ten blogs if that helps? Let me know. πŸ™‚


  3. I don’t know if I’m doing A-Z this year. I’ve done it the last two, but sometimes it’s hard to maintain the momentum.
    Good luck with your Wife Book Thing πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks about the book. I probably need a bunch more stories, but I’ve got enough to get started.

      It is rough keeping the momentum going. A lot of people try and get the blog entries done ahead of time and queued up to be released on the correct day. I did that last year and it worked out well. There’s much more momentum going into the month than coming out. Anyway, give it some thought; we’d love to have you…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck with the getting the book finished. I’ve signed up again for the A-Z challenge. Last year was my first time and I made it by the seat of my pants on many days. I have a plan for this year to be ahead of myself but the schedule has already been blown by a family bereavement and now a week of something flu like so not sure signing up to be a minion is the best idea. But I hope you get enough volunteers. It’s a great challenge.


  5. Hi John, I’m a newbie to your blog (visiting from SoCS) and I’m definitely curious as to what you consider crap. I bet you have more gems than you think. Anyway, good luck with getting your book together.

    I’m doing the A to Z Challenge this year on this blog. I’ve done it a couple of times before on another blog I have. I’m in the process of prewriting too. I think that’s a huge part of not burning out. If you still need a Holton’s Hero minion let me know. By the way, I like the name. Shh, don’t tell anybody. I watch Hogan’s Heroes every night on MeTV. πŸ™‚

    Erica @ The Ink Slinger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, welcome to the blog! Hope you like what you see. I think the line was I was going to spam the crap out of Facebook and Twitter, which seems to be the way everyone thinks is the best way to sell books these days.

      I appreciate the offer to be a minion! So far, I have three full-load and two half-load minions. We’ll probably have 100 to 150 blogs to check every day, so the more people we have, the less each person has to do.

      We never miss “Hogan’s Heroes.” It’s just as funny now as it was 50 years ago when it started. It’s interesting that most of the actors playing Nazis were victims of the Nazis themselves, and had to escape from Germany as Hitler came to power. Adds a different dimension to the humor.


      1. I am enjoying your site. I feel like I have so much to catch up on here, but definitely enjoying it.

        Awesome about the minions. And the offer stands if you find you need help with A to Z let me know.


    2. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner on this, it’s been a little crazy at this end.

      Yes, I would love to have you as a minion! In fact, I was assuming I had already told you that. I’ll be in touch by email soon.



  6. Hi John, I’m happy to be a minion in a small way (10 blogs a day sounds good to me). One of our supermarkets over here has a tag line of ‘every little helps’ so hopefully if you get a few people offering a small number that would ease the load. Kind regards.


    1. I certainly appreciate it! I think Linda will be helping part-time, too, and that at least lightens the load. Last year we had about 100 blogs to check; I think we’ll have about the same amount this year, maybe 150 if registration takes off (from my lips to God’s ear), so we can really use the help. Thanks, I’ll be in touch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi John – the A-Z is a good way to gather some of your new material together for your future publication/s … Looks like you’ve got some offers of help – which is good.

    I’m doing the A-Z as well, but I have to do something else rather important in the next few months .. so the less I commit myself to the better – I’ll continue blogging and get the A-Zs done … and concentrate on the other things important to life …

    Take care and do get those posts into publication format .. cheers Hilary


        1. Just letting you know you’re signed up. The number’s not especially relevant. πŸ™‚

          Sorry, already told you that… You have the basic idea. Most people arrange the entries around a theme, e.g. favorite books or bands. You don’t have to, though (I didn’t two years ago and might not this year).

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m doing the challenge this year, but it’s the first time for me, and I’m juggling a day-job. I think it’s going to be hard enough to keep up with reading the normal slug of blogs I follow. Maybe next year, after the experience and when I probably won’t be participating, I’ll be able to help you guys. Good luck with the wife stories!


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