The Year of Months began in November 2009, though the idea itself hadn’t been born yet. I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the second year and finished the first draft of The Demons You Know. After November, I decided I wanted to do National Blog Posting Month after hearing about it from my friend Angela, so I ended up writing a blog post every day in December 2009.
Halfway through December, the idea of The Year Of Months started to form in my head. I think most people (myself included) want to expand their horizons, but don’t have the discipline to do it without setting concrete goals. I realized that a month was a good amount of time to stick to something new; it’s long enough to provide you with an experience but short enough in case you end up hating it.
Every month, I commit myself to a personal challenge designed to expand my horizons. The Year ended in October 2010, but I’ve decided to continue the challenges indefinitely.
Here are the challenges I have done so far:
- November 2009: NaNoWriMo. The challenge was to write 50,000 words or more in one month. This worked out very well for me as I was able to complete a first draft of THE DEMONS YOU KNOW…
- December 2009: NaBloPoMo. The challenge was to write a blog post every day for the month. Not only did I complete the challenge, but it got me into the habit of posting on the blog regularly
- January 2010: Non-fiction month. The challenge was to read one hour of non-fiction every day. I completed this, but discovered that my aversion to reading non-fiction isn’t for lack of trying.
- February 2010: Walk Month. The challenge was to take a 30 minute leisurely walk every day. I loved this month!
- March 2010: Bike Month. The challenge was to bike (or walk) everywhere within 7 miles. Unfortunately, soon after it started, my bike tire went flat and I couldn’t fix it. So I walked most places
- April 2010: Photo Month. The challenge was to take a photo every day. Though I’m far from a good photographer, I liked looking at the world through a lens. It definitely gives you a different perspective.
- May 2010: Post Card Month. The challenge was to send a post card to someone every day. I really enjoyed this month and still send out occasional post cards.
- June 2010: Recipe Month. The challenge was to try a new recipe every day. Though it was a lot of work, I found some awesome new recipes!
- July 2010: Work Out Before Work Month. The challenge was to workout before work on every weekday as long as I wasn’t working a double shift. I didn’t do so well; I averaged about twice a week.
- August 2010: Revision Month. The challenge was to work on revisions for THE DEMONS YOU KNOW for at least one hour every day. This was kind of a cop-out month but it was something I really needed to focus on. And it worked out because I was nearly finished with revisions at the end of the month.
- September 2010: Craft Month. The challenge was to work on a crafty project for at least 30 minutes a day. I didn’t exactly succeed, but I do have some nice jewelry now!
- October 2010: Vegetarian Month. The challenge was to not eat any meat (the flesh of anything that had once been alive and had eyes). I succeeded, but pigged out the first week of November.
- November 2010: NaNoWriMo Month. Again. I didn’t do as well this year. I got to about 20,000 words when I realized the story was boring. Don’t worry, I’m going to start over with a different take, which should be AWESOME.
- December 2010: #reverb10. The challenge was to respond to the #reverb10 prompts every day with either a blog post or a photo. I made it about half way through. If I’m being honest, it was a little too navel-gaze-y for me.
- January 2011: TED month. I watched a new TED video every day.
- February 2011: Was supposed to be Meditation Month, but unforeseen circumstances made this a “break” month :-)
- March 2011: Meditation Month. I meditated for at least 15 minutes (almost) every day.
- April 2011: Sketch Month. The challenge is to spend some amount of time sketching (by hand) every day.
Ideas for the future:
- Shop Locally Month
- Conversation Month
- Geocaching Month
- Month Without TV
- Documentary Month