You would not believe how many browser windows I have open at the moment. Trust me, it’s a crap ton.
You see, I was going to write about the evolution of blogs, how there are now all these types of blogs (Mommy blogs, news blogs, marketing guru blogs, writer blogs, photo blog, blogs that are all over the place topic-wise, ie. my blog), but someone on Wikipedia has done such a good job categorizing the types of blogs that writing about it here would be redundant. Better to link rather than repeat. (Although I do see that Wikipedia doesn’t mention fictional blogs, so perhaps that’s an idea to follow-up on.)
Anyway, what really has me thinking about the structure of blogging is a news item I saw on Yahoo! about a woman who went a year without looking into a mirror and blogged about her experiment. I’ve heard about these one-year blog projects before, of course, mostly because as a writer who’s been blogging about 6 years, the idea of a limited-time blog is appealing. How does a long-term blogger know when to quit? Does she just drift away from her blog or does she make it an occasion?
(My regular readers will be thinking with that statement that I’m about to hang the laptop on a hook and call it a day with my blog. Nope, not yet. I’m sure the time to quit blogging will reveal itself to me in an obvious way, but I’d like to have some kind of game plan for when that time comes.)
A one-year blog project, however, has a definite end time. It’s manageable. It’s focused. It generally leads to self-improvement, self-reflection and gratitude. And sometimes even a book deal or movie.
Perhaps the most famous one-year blog project was Julie Powell’s “Julie and Julia,” during which Julie spent a year cooking recipes out of Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
I decided to seek out other one-year blog project blogs in service to this post. I started with the woman living without mirrors. Her name is Kjerstin Gruys and her blog is “Mirror, mirror OFF the Wall.” Her project looks at the connection between beauty and social inequality.
Here are other one-year blog projects I discovered in my search. (I’ll be madly closing browser windows as I link to each.)
The 365 Project (a.k.a. Read All Day) by Nina Sankovitch in which Nina reads and reviews one book a day.
Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant in which Robyn vows to live for a year using advice from the Oprah show.
One Dress Protest by Kristy Powell in which Kristy wears one little black dress all year.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in which Gretchen vows to test methods to become happier.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans in which Rachel spends a year literally following all of the Bible’s instructions for women. This reminds me of A.J. Jacobs’ “The Year of Living Biblically,” although I’m not sure Jacobs’ project had a blog component.
Fed Up with Lunch by Sarah Wu in which Sarah spends a year eating school lunches with her students and describes the meals via her blog and Twitter.
The “One Year of Intentional Living” Project by Crystal Flaman in which Crystal lives by the wisdom of her mom.
Man Project by Wesley Donehue in which Wesley spends a year becoming the man he wants to be.
New Dress a Day by a very cute girl who does not name herself on her About page. Very cute girl started her challenge in 2009. She decided to transform 365 pieces of vintage clothing in one-year’s time with only $365. Her project was inspired by Julie & Julia and continues on.
The Clean Bin Project by Grant, Jen and Rhyannon in which they decided to live without producing garbage for a year by avoiding buying material goods. (A project after my own heart. We DO have too much manufactured stuff in the world.)
A Collection a Day, 2010 by Lisa Congdon in which Lisa documents her various collections in pictures over the course of a year.
The Year of the Blog by Dru Johnston in which Dru creates a new blog every day for a year. Really. Here’s Dru’s opening line describing the project: “My name is Dru Johnston, and I write unsustainable blogs.” I love it! Isn’t that the way most of us feel about our blogs? I’ve started my share of unsustainable blogs over the years.
And to bring this list full circle, I’ll end it with The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project by Lawrence Dai in which Lawrence watches Julie & Julia every day for a year. Seriously.
With that, I only have 4 browser windows left open (WordPress, Gmail, a search on fictional blogs and The Clean Bin Project – gotta read more on that).
Have you run across any intriguing one-year blog projects? If so, share them in the comments.