I began reading The Simple Year its first year of existence, having heard about it on a minimalism blog I was following. When Kerry started talking about passing the blog off to another person when her year was up, I thought that was brilliant and generous … and not for me.
But there’s something about reading a blog about a year-long challenge that kind of makes you want to try one yourself. I thought it through completely before applying, though — it’s a commitment and then some. Would I really be able to post three times a week? Keep up a Facebook page? Drag my family into this? Be open and honest no matter how it turned out? Keep plugging away at a zero waste year for … well, a year? I also had another blog, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep both of them up (I was not), but I knew that if my proposal was accepted, this blog would be the one to get my full attention (as it should).
Blogging at The Simple Year has been a fantastic experience. I hate good-byes and I don’t want to even think about leaving you all, but I’m excited that someone else gets to take up the torch. That’s the beauty of the blog and Kerry’s wonderful approach: Every year, we start over with something new.
If you want to apply, here’s what you need to do:
First, really think about your project and be sure it’s something you can commit to for a year. It doesn’t have to be similar to what has been covered here before — it just needs to be an attempt at simplifying and, specifically, what you are doing to simplify.
Second, prepare your application:
- Tell us about your project. Describe what you will be trying to accomplish during your year, who you are and who will be participating with you, and anything you feel is relevant. If you were writing a description of your year — or writing an “about me” page — what would you say?
- How many times per week or month do you plan to post? I don’t think it necessarily matters if you have blogged before, but it helps to be comfortable writing. It’s important to be honest here because you will be expected to uphold your end of the bargain — so if you say you’re going to post three times a week, you have to do it. Just so you have an idea of how much time we’re talking, it takes me anywhere from two to five hours per post — to research, take photos, and write (and edit. That takes me the most time) … and I consider myself a fast writer.
- Prepare at least two writing samples. These can be future blog posts or something you’ve written before — something that shows your writing style. Include photos or any other medium you think you might use during your year. Please send actual samples — links are fine for a third or fourth sample.
- Send all that to me at eta walker at yahoo dot com (only, you know, like an actual email address), Tracy at tjdunnederrell at gmail dot com and Kerry at kerry 3835 at yahoo dot com by April 15. Ideally, I’d like to have someone in place to start on or before May 1.
Additional notes from Kerry:
- I’ll probably have some sort of Memorandum of Understanding put together for us to work together, just so all of the expectations and specifics are written down for both sides.
- The Simple Year has a Facebook page. I will still own it but Trisha will make you an administrator and you can manage it however you choose over the course of the next year. No past Simple Year bloggers will contribute unless asked.
- You will own your written content, photos and video and I will own mine. I still own “The Simple Year” title.
- I will continue to pay for the domain name and hosting fees for the duration of your year. The site was created using Word Press and is a free application.
- No money making with the site of any kind including, but not limited to, things like advertisements (even for used things) testimonials, giveaways, or things I haven’t thought of. I think since we are about simplifying, we should take the high road and abstain from all schilling. The exception would be if you were to publish a book associated with your project.
- If you commit to a specific frequency of posts, (i.e. 3 times a week), you must follow through on that promise. It is my personal pet peeve when bloggers are silent for weeks at a time and suddenly reappear and say something like, “Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while, but__________” insert appropriate excuse there.
- I monitor stats those through Jetpack and Feedburner. I can show you how that works. Ideally over the year, you will help grow those numbers, so your potential replacement will have an even bigger audience.
- I don’t care where you live in this great big world, but the blog has to be written in English please, mainly because I can’t read any other languages and I’m selfish like that.
- Stay on topic. Yes, I am sure the guy who cut you off in traffic is a funky mothertrucker, but if it is not directly related to the project, try to abstain from posting about it, even if it’s the greatest paragraph you have ever authored.
- I don’t pay you and you don’t pay me. This is a strictly volunteer gig both ways, our contribution to the world.
All right, Simple Year friends — I know that is a lot of information to read and digest. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch via the “Contact Me” link above or leave a comment.