I gave up Facebook and Twitter for the month of January, 2011.
It wasn't exactly a New Year's resolution; I simply wanted to try it, and I ended up sticking to it and even enjoying it. I found in the duration of that month just how much I could accomplish those hours my nose wasn't stuck to my laptop screen. Though not life-changing or significantly habit-breaking (February 1st I was back to updating my statuses religiously), I would call it a success, and this year I want to employ another month-long project.
I recently read Donald Miller's newest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years in which he goes into great detail about the elements of a story. Relating his life to a story in its most basic form, he describes what is called an inciting incident--a principal based on the fact that characters don't change unless they are forced to change. That is, an inciting incident is that which forces a character into his or her destiny (they never choose their destiny, they are always forced into their destiny). Miller begins to use inciting incidents in his own life to get himself out of the house or into good health; for example, he is overweight and agrees to a four day hike to Machu Picchu with a girl he's interested in. He can't complete the hike in the shape he's in, nor had he mustered up the courage to ask the girl out, so now he must start working out consistently and spend days with her, having committed to the trip.
This January I am going to make something every day, Monday through Friday, and blog about the items each day. I've been disappointed in my lack of blogging and my lack of handmaking (what's the point of a blog with such a word in the title if the content reflects nothing of the sort?) and want to improve upon each. Plus, I expect the time I'll spend creating will cut into my internet time substantially. This is my inciting incident.
Furthermore, I'm going to sell all the items I make in my etsy shop and the proceeds will go to my younger brother, John, who is attending the Center for Creative Media in Texas. It's a program designed to train him for a career in media arts, an area in which he is exceptionally talented. His participation in the program is hinging on the support he is able to raise, and he is currently coming up short (in the next few weeks he needs to raise about $1000). Your purchases will directly fund his education.
I'll begin tomorrow. I'm really excited for all the creating that's going to happen this first month of the year! Please feel free to spread the word to anyone you think might be interested in this project, my blog, or supporting my brother. Thank you and a very happy new year to all!