At the end of November, we gave shout-outs to bloggers and artists who participated in month-long projects like NaBloPoMo and NaNoDrawMo. As 2012 comes to a close, we also want to highlight writers and photographers who challenged themselves all year — who posted each day or each week, or have established an ongoing project on their sites.
These bloggers caught our attention:
JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project
An inspiring international project focused on play, fun, and the positive in our lives, JUMP FOR JOY! presents Eyoälha Baker’s vision of a world united by our expression of joy. Eyoälha has taken nearly all the images on her blog — with the exception of the photos of her. Her jumping subjects are captured in locations around the world: at the beach in Kauai, at a park in Vancouver, or even between city skyscrapers . . . while holding a ninja sword! We love how she showcases the beauty of the human spirit — in mid-air.
A Year of Reading the World
In 2012, writer and editor Ann Morgan planned to read her way around as many of the globe’s 196 independent countries as she could, sampling one book from every nation. The result? Her thoughtful, sophisticated blog, A Year of Reading the World. In each post, she focuses on a particular book and digs into the country’s history and culture. Recent places included Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and the Maldives.
Kurt Blumenau’s grandfather kept month-to-month calendars — 15 years’ worth! — on which he recorded significant events that affected him, such as the flight of Apollo 17.
These calendars remain in Kurt’s family, and each Monday on his blog, Hope Street, Kurt picks an interesting calendar entry and writes something about it. ”It might be a reflection on my grandfather’s life,” writes Kurt, “or my family’s history and tradition . . . or American life of the 1960s and 1970s . . . or my own life today.”
The blog celebrates his grandfather and family and is a unique, thoughtful project of personal and American history.
Sketches From Memory
We admire the sketch-a-day regimen of comic artist Chuck Cottrell. Chuck posts simple sketches to mini comic strips, mostly in black and white (with some random yet effective bursts of color). We recommend you dive in, as he lets readers in to his personal world — including sharing stories of married life — in a fun, candid way.
Ian Spagnolo Photography
Outdoor landscapes. Dramatic long exposure shots of the sea. Light painting sessions. Follow photographer Ian Spagnolo‘s “365 Project” to sample his work, especially if you enjoy seeing a photographer play around with exposure, light, and other elements. Ian is from Coffs Harbour, a coastal city in New South Wales, Australia, which means he certainly won’t run out of stunning subject matter to shoot.
52 Brand New
For 2012, the personable blogger behind 52 Brand New promised to try 52 new experiences with her children, from tasting new cuisines to attending a family yoga class to collecting rocks. In each “new experience,” she includes playful Polaroid-style images and links to other experiences her family has undertaken, as well as external resources offering ideas for family activities. 52 Brand New is a fresh, creative take on a parenting blog.
A daily photoblog, Instamatic Gratification succeeds because of its simple and focused approach: one image per day. (We also love the daily quotes that accompany each photograph.) In January 2010, Caryn launched the blog and successfully posted 365 images in that first year. In 2011, she wasn’t quite as diligent, so this year, she decided to challenge herself once again. She writes: “I’ve come to realize that, for me anyway, quantity (or rather the consistency of daily practice) is the surest and most direct route to quality.” We totally agree!
Dar’s 52 Mondays Blog
Dar’s “52 Mondays” project compiles photographs as well as her thoughts on nature, art, education, creativity, and more — a space in which she can share her ideas in one place. We appreciate her weekly dedication to “make Mondays more marvelous,” and think her approach is inspiring.
Since the New Year is just around the corner, we encourage you to start your own 365-day or 52-week project in January. If you have big, exciting plans for your site in 2013, let us know in the comments.
Happy New Year!
Jan 1st at 11:15 pm
I’m a new blogger and active writer that intends on “getting serious” with my writing this year. I’m hoping my blog will help inspire me to write more essays/short stories and hopefully…a manuscript. This was a wonderful review that showed that I don’t need to only be bogged down by words with my blog. I can incorporate so many other things to it — even as a writer! I am fully inspired and look forward to where the journey takes me. It’ll showcase my writing and what I also go through as a person, as I am legally disabled with many health problems, an avid animal lover that owns a service dog and I also suffer from bipolar disorder. Life is a roller coaster! Why not share that roller coaster with others…and in the wake of the mental health talk going on in the U.S. we need to be actively talking about these issues and showing that those of us that suffer are not “crazy.” We live our lives and we all with the right inspiration can get better and strive for all the successes we want/need in life. I’m still on my journey and have even only started my blog with one single quote, but join me. The journey is bound to be a wild/fun/inspiring and hopefully for some touching/helpful for some. Happy New Year!
Jan 2nd at 1:02 am
Makes me want to do something cool and creative after seeing all of these blogs!
Jan 2nd at 3:06 am
I am totally inspired! I am making the commitment to blog every morning for 365 days. For me it is an exercise in discipline, pure and simple.
Jan 2nd at 4:47 am
This is such an inspiring concept! I’ve definitely been tinkering around with some ideas of how to get myself on a more regular blog schedule, and want to start trying to blog weekly, at least! I think one step for me is a more focused approach to my topics.
Jan 2nd at 5:09 am
After just setting up my ‘blog’ on ‘a finished piece of art every day’ , i found this page, and thought what a wonderful world we live in. Did set it up to keep myself accountable to be arty at least once a day!
Jan 2nd at 10:08 am
Thank you for showcasing these blogs! They’re very inspiring. I’m challenging myself to write for 365 days with my new blog ‘How to be a Wild Thing’. (http://howtobeawildthing.wordpress.com/). It is inspired by the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. I hope to further the idea of the Wild Thing by writing steps every month and daily examples people taking these steps. Hopefully, I will be up for the challenge.
Jan 2nd at 10:45 am
I will start a 51-weeks project instead of a 52-weeks project. My dad died a year and almost 4 months ago. This year he would become 51. That’s the reason for my 51-weeks project. Every week is a year of his life. At the end of the 51 weeks, it’s his ‘birthday’. Every week I will post something on my blog that reminds me of him. A memory, a picture, a song, a quote, a poem,… Anything. By doing this, I hope this helps my grieving process.
Jan 2nd at 1:20 pm
I am in love with the idea of reading a book from nations across the globe! I want to focus my energies on becoming more acquainted with my global environment, and what better way to indulge than through fiction (since my finances leaves little left over for travel)! I have so many plans for 2013, thoughtful blogging is definitely on my resolution list.
Jan 2nd at 2:45 pm
Hi, nice post… it inspired me to write a comment.
Personally I do not have such big plans for 2013, but maybe you may find interesting that I had a big plan for 2012, which I described and reported of it on my small blog http://exsmokerexperiment.wordpress.com
The most important think on it: I had a plan and I DID IT. I succeeded. Thus I am really happy.
I know it might be useless for many people, but I also think it can be inspiration reading for those, who already tried to quit smoking but did not succeed for any reason.
A few days after the 2013 has came, wishing to all readers they will succeed in their small and bigger plans.
Jan 2nd at 4:27 pm
hurray! how lovely to see all of the wonderful people completing their yearlong projects. it inspires me to believe that i will be able to complete my own daily poetry challenge (http://bethanymclellan.com/2012/12/27/a-year-in-fragments/) for 2013. the “read the world” blog is particularly inspiring, especially here in the states where bookshelves are glutted with too much American-centric literature. bravo to these wonderful bloggers!
Jan 2nd at 6:57 pm
I commented a few days ago, but it still seems to be pending. I wrote “I feel motivated already! I’m turning 52 in 2013, so maybe writing about the numbers 1 through 52 (as they relate to my blog) would be a fun weekly challenge for me!” I’ve already started and I’m looking forward to improving my writing skills and discipline this year! Thanks for the inspiration!
Jan 2nd at 10:21 pm
The highlighted blogs are wonderful projects. I decided to try the 52 week project challenge. I am learning to play the banjo, and will chronicle my progress over the year. Most of my time goes to practicing the banjo now, so a one day a week post seemed a better goal. Thanks for the great ideas.
Jan 2nd at 11:56 pm
Here are my resolutions, complete with a 365 project AND a 52 week project. I’m getting super ambitious, I know. http://evdecleyre.com/2013/01/01/from-now-on-resolutions/
Jan 3rd at 5:20 am
I throw away my calendar every year, but not before looking through it to see all that my family has accomplished and endured over the year. I considered saving these calendars. After reading this post, I am going to save my yearly calendars from now on. Thanks for posting and inspiring!
Jan 3rd at 5:15 pm
Great showcase of blogs! Thought they were all brilliant – especially Jump For Joy and 52 Brand New. Launching Jan 28th, at TheHouseOfBethan.com will be my 33 Before 33 project; 33 comfort zone smashing challenges into Mama Nature (possibles so far are spear fishing, catching a wave – I don’t do cold water – climbing Snowden and hanging with some lions (er, really?).
Inspired by 52 Brand New, I’ve also had my kids create their own 8 Before 8 (I’m going to make a creamy chicken and mushroom pie from scratch, Mum) and 13 Before 13 list (well, I’m going to throw a Japanese dinner party, ha!).
It’s going to be a colourful and sensation 2013. Muchos gracias for the inspiration and a Happy New Year to an awesome bunch of people (your Support team are brilliant).
Jan 3rd at 10:33 pm
It’s nice to see WordPress showcase such inspirational blogs. I’m going to attempt to accomplish this goal of 365 days in 2013 and hope that I too can inspire others. What a great way to start off the new year.
Jan 4th at 5:58 pm
O wow this is INSPIRING!
2013 will be an inspiring year for me. Though I am known by my friends to be the Adele of blogging (as in I can’t write “happy”). I will strive each day to love, live, and write happy
Jan 4th at 6:27 pm
I made my “Sam I Am Blog” unique by not “trying the 52 idea.” I just did it. I love to write and publish photos. I covered a wide range of topics: Childhood in the Ozarks, Life in the Philippines, political editorials, move reviews, Memorial Day, Halloween, pro-Christmas articles, not so pro-Christmas articles,toys I had as a kid, a toy I lost as a kid, a toy I never got as a kid and the fact that I was a pretty big kid when I got my “first electric train set.” Of course, I like photos as well, so I published many of my photographs and some recent snapshots. My challenge to my fellow Word Press bloggers is to try and find a more diversified blog than mine and in the process I bet you come up with plenty of ideas to keep you blogging all year long. Happy Blogging in 2013 !
Jan 5th at 8:33 am
I’ve been taking at least a picture (often, dozens) every day for several years – I’ve missed a few days, but not many. I have played around with blogs over the past few years, but haven’t been consistent with blogging. I started a WP blog January 1 & hope to have a new post every day. Jan. 4 I actually had 2 posts – after I’d written one about watching a movie with my grandsons, a young woman that I’ve known since she was in about 5th grade posted (on FB) a wonderful note thanking me, along with over a dozen other women in her life, for mentoring her over the years. I just had to write about how her comments affected me…
Jan 5th at 2:52 pm
Yes…This makes me want to do something more. I am doing a January series called, “Beauty for Ashes. Stories of God’s Redeeming Love.” But I would like to turn that into a year-long thing….maybe 52 stories. Thanks for the great idea.
Jan 5th at 6:27 pm
I’m probably not the first to try this – but I am embarking on my own “52″ challenge and thats pounds to lose in 2013. I have returned to my blog after an absence of more than a year, to de-stress my life, and will be charting my successes (positive thinking) on this challenge and the others I have set myself over the coming months.
The blogs you show case are inspiring and my blog is pale by comparison, so to help me with my challenges I will aim to visit 52 other blogs this year.
Jan 6th at 12:43 am
Thanks for sharing these blogs. It’s confirmation that I need to commit to posting a new entry each week. One down, 51 more to go!
Jan 6th at 9:42 pm
I started a 365 blog of photos in April, having decided to try and not wanting to wait until January. http://threesixtyfivefoto.wordpress.com/
Jan 6th at 9:49 pm
I am on my first ever sabbatical leave and have decided to write every day during my sabbatical to record my thoughts and experiences and successes and challenges during this special time of my life. I hope it’ll help me keep track of time and stay focused on the projects I HAVE to do during this sabbatical, as well and the fun stuff I WANT to do