Gearing up for 31 Days 2011!

So in case you were lounging by the pool with a summer novel in your hand a few weeks ago (as you well should have been!) and missed the big announcement, I’m once again going to do a 31 day series in October! UPDATE: IT HAS BEGUN! Here is the link!

Last year, if you recall, I hosted a series called 31 Days of Autumn Bliss, along with a group of other blogging friends who each wrote on their own topics. It was my first time ever attempting a 31 day in a row series and it was challenging and exhausting for my brain, but fun. I think I learned a few things on what not to do. My friend Nester is our 31 day ring leader and is the one to blame thank for this idea. It is great to have friends who have good ideas.

This year, we are doing the same 31 day series format, with a couple of twists. One, our topics will be fresh and new. Secondly, we are opening up the challenge to write your own 31 day series. Yes, you are invited to join in!

So what will I be writing about this year?

This October, I’ll be expanding my favorite seasonal topics a bit more to inspire us (eh, hem, OK, who am I fooling, I write these for myself) to embrace all the wonderfulness of the  entire holiday season from Fall to Christmas. I haven’t quite mapped out what the entire month will look like, but I’m thinking along the lines of this basic week by week timeline:

Week One: Cozying Up Our Homes for Fall and Winter
Fresh ideas to embrace the fall season of contentment and prepare your home for the cozy season ahead.

Week Two:  Thankful for Fall Traditions
Be inspired to creatively embrace fall traditions at home.

Week Three: Holiday Entertaining
I’ll share simple ideas and tips to prepare our homes for entertaining and really enjoying the holiday season.

Week Four: Christmas Bliss
And finally near the end of our 31 days, we’ll gear up for Christmas with ideas for gift giving, tips for creative wrapping, simple crafts and ideas for decorating your home.

Those topics might change or move about a little without warning, but that little outline is basically helping me avoid a panic attack.  I can do this. I can. It seems much more doable when you have an outline.

Can you write for 31 days in a row on a subject YOU are passionate about?

We’d love to have you join us in this challenge.

Here is how to get started if you want to participate 31 Days:

1. Pick a topic you love to talk about. It can be a single topic or a series of related topics forming a 31 day series. There are no real rules! There is a list of last years participants and their topics here if you want more inspiration for how to do this. Only one blogger quit blogging after this series so the chances are, you’ll survive too (just kidding, kind of).

2. Put together a general outline of post ideas to make sure you feel comfortable with writing 31 posts on your chosen topic. You don’t have to write complicated posts, they can be as simple as a photograph or a few lines of text. Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Simple is really best.

3. Once you know your topic, commit. Publish a post on your blog telling the world you are doing a series in October. You can make a button if you want to! I made mine with Picnik and I’m pretty dang proud of myself if I do say so. Design one you like!

4. On October 1st, we’ll host a linky (details on how to link up will be provided closer to October) where you can link up your blog and your 31 day topic so we can all be inspired by YOU.

5.  If you don’t want to write but just want to enjoy the series,  that is OK too! In fact, that would be awesome if someone was still around to read my blog. Crickets can be SO LOUD!

Did I forget anything?

Feel free to delurk right now and ask questions in the comments, or share what you think you’ll write about!

Note: It is A-OK to write on the same basic topic as someone else because there is no one else like you — no one else will approach the same topic the same way! But you might try to find a unique angle on a topic to help it stand out as being distinctively yours!

I hope you’ll all participate in 31 days — we’ll be blowing up the internet!

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Comments

  1. I can’t wait! xo

  2. Michelle Starling says:

    YAH!!!!! I can’t wait to read everyone’s ideas. And thanks for opening it up to others. I’d like to try this as my blog is new. Also just wanted you to know I love your blog. It has “inspired” me in my own home. Thanks!!!!
    Michelle

    • Thanks Michelle! This is perfect for a new blogger so I’m glad you are jumping in!

      • Michelle Starling says:

        Okay Melissa, I just wanted to tell you that I’ve made my button and posted on my blog. 31 Days of Thankfulness.
        *What is Thankfulness
        *Why be Thankful
        *How to be Thankful
        *Sharing Thankfulness
        *Are we ready for Thanksgiving
        I’m looking forward to reading all who post.

  3. You know we had a blast doing this last year, and our friendship even survived it! Guess we should get our brainstorming on!
    -kristin

  4. This will be a huge challenge to post everyday…I better get started now with my blog posts and pictures! I have a few ideas myself and I like your approach to organizing ideas weekly. Thanks for the sound advice! I can’t wait to be inspired!!!

  5. Wow! 31 days in a row….of writting! Yikes….I’ve gotta go read your “last year event” and see what it was all about…I wasn’t around then and jut starting a month ago blogging….so I might be a LURKER & a READER…I’ll keep the crickets away :) I am sitting here asking…..what the heck would I write about for 31 days….IN A ROW! :)

  6. I’m diving in! I’m doing something like yours last year: 31 Days of Autumn Inspiration! Can’t wait! Because of my Fall Friendship Swap going on, I haven’t really announced it on my blog yet…do you think I should start the PR now – or wait until closer to Oct.? Excited!

  7. I am a natural health practitioner. This is a FABULOUS idea. I was going to do a big push in October anyway. Having others doing it will keep me motivated. You can find mine by clicking on my Lotus Lady Blog button on the website above or going to http://www.lotushomeopathy.wordpress.com.

    Thanks for giving permission to just write a few lines and a photo. I’ve been meaning to work up my photography again too.

  8. You have inspired me ~ I want to participate this year! Thank you for the helpful “get started” breakdown. I’m going to head over to see last year’s participants and topics. I’m a reader and library advocate so my topic will be on how to use your local library to its fullest .

    xoxo michele

  9. Love this! I just started blogging a few months ago and this sounds super exciting. Tomorrow my husband and I begin a trek from Texas to California, where we will be living for the next 2 years…so I’m thinking of maybe doing this centered around making a new home, home….or since we just got married and this is our “first” with everything I may center it around that. I have no idea, but thanks for inspiring me. i need to narrow down a topic and a name and start this up!

  10. What a great way to inspire! I can’t wait to read all of your wonderful ideas for fall decorating.

  11. not sure what to fit into my 31 days that will fit my weird eclectic blog…we shall see.

  12. I’ve been bouncing back and forth from your site to Nester’s. After 10 minutes of deep, deep soul-searching (!) I’m gonna do 31 Days of Easy Holiday Paint Projects.

    For those that follow my blog, it’s not a huge stretch – but it’s still a s-t-r-e-t-c-h for me! 31 days?!?

    I better get offa here and get busy painting!

  13. Posting 31 days in a row will be a challenge, but my dear friend (and blogging buddy) Laura and I will take the plunge and write about Capturing the Spark, ways to love your husband well while and live creatively as a couple. We’ve already got a great list of ideas, now we just have to start writing!

  14. Hmmm? Got me thinking! What can I talk about for 31 days?

  15. I am so very excited about this. I’m doing 31 Days to an Organized Home. I made my button on picnik too…isn’t picnik awesome!?

  16. Just finished my first trimester, so my blog writing has really taken a hit lately. This is a great idea to get everyone pumped up about writing (and also forcing me to get back to what I love! I wonder if anyone still reads my blog….lol)

  17. I want to join. I really do. I just need someone to hold my hand and tell me it will be OKAY. Why does this make me nervous?

  18. Hi, thanks for posting this! I just posted about this, I’m excited!! I’m writing about 31 days of love. :)

  19. Hi,

    I am so excited about the 31 days of change!!! A couple of weeks ago I decide I wanted to particpate in the challenge when I read your last post. I started to talk about on my blog and even have a name for the series. The series is Everything Fall (Miami Style) considering that fall starts on Friday and the temp is going to be in the record highs of 95 degress LOL. I figured it would be a good series to inspire people to get into the spirit of fall even if feels like summer. But last week I got bad news and I will most likey be having surgery end of this month begining of next so that may curve my challenge. I was wondering if it would be ok for me to enlist my friend and fellow blogger to help me out with the series since we both live in the same state.

    • Sounds like a great series and yes, get help!!! Sorry about your surgery, that stinks. But doing this as a pair or a team makes things a lot less daunting so pair up and have fun!

  20. I’ve been pondering this for over a month since I first post about it, and wanted something wonderfully inspiring to write about. But all I can think about is FOOD! :) Allergy-free eating to be exact (I have multiple food allergies just discovered in the last couple years. So although I almost NEVER write about food on my blog, I’ll be doing 31 days to Less Stress in Allergy-Free Eating. Really looking forward to your posts.. my fall inspiration is very lacking this year!

  21. Hi,
    I’m doing
    “31 Days…and 31 Minutes to a More Organized Home”
    Quick and easy tasks taking 31 minutes or less…

    I have a list of topics already planned.
    I’m so excited to play a part.

    Dana
    Cooking at CafeD

  22. So fun! I remember your challenge from last year. I loved reading along. And I love that you opened it up to everyone this year!

    xoxo

  23. Love it — wish more people would “delurk” around my blog too… hehe The crickets, oh the crickets… =)

    I’m excited!!! I can’t wait to read your 31 posts, especially weeks one and two. Oh three and four look great too, really. I’m totally stoked.

    I’ll be blogging too — 31 Days to Happier Children. Thanks for promising a link-up!

  24. Just last night I wrote a post on Fall Decorating inspiration from Pinterest and linked to your Fall Nesting Party. I mentioned to my readers that I was going to do a daily post series in October on everything halloween, and then i read your post this morning on the 31 day party and I couldn’t be more excited!! Count me IN!! This will definately be a challenge, and as a new blogger it will probably make me or break me! Thank-you so much for opening this link party up to the rest of us:) Can’t wait!!
    Sarah

    • Hooray! Glad you’ll join in. I love when new bloggers join parties like this because it definitely puts you in a FULL STEAM AHEAD mode with your blog and will bring you new traffic too. Have fun!!!

  25. I took part in the Fall Nesting Party and it was great. I will take on the 31 day challenge and do “31 Days of DIY Flower Tips.” But what is a button?

    • Oh, thank you for asking! I should have made that more clear!! If you look up in my post, you’ll see a small square image that says 31 Days: Inspired for the Holidays. That is my “button” that I can use to promote my series on my blog or anyone else could use it and promote it for me! :-) Not required, but just fun to have a visual!!

  26. I would love to do this! But the timing might be not quite right for me. We’re going to be moving at the end of the October so it will be a month full of working and packing and job hunting. I think (if I remember :s) I might attempt it once i know better what our timeline is going to be. This blog is awesome!

  27. Thanks for inviting us to join you. I have been thinking about this since you first mentioned it. 31 days of Christmas Wonder is my topic and I have a button (a first for me.) Oh boy . . . 31 days.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  28. I am here via the reluctant entertainer and I must say this sounds very exciting and..well…challenging as well.
    A part of me feels like participating but in October I’ll have guests at my place for practically the whole month, which may not allow sound writing time.

    Still, I’l try. Or, I’ll just lurk around here and enjoy all the happenings. :) Glad I discovered your blog, Melissa :)
    Greetings from India!

  29. Yay! I loved reading and following along last year and I can’t wait for this year’s series.

  30. I like this idea! I like this idea A LOT! I have a baby blog and I think this will help me to be organized to write 31 days. I’ve never done that and with a plan I think it’s possible. Thanks for opening this up and I’ll look forward to everyone’s blogs!

  31. Hey Melissa!
    I really admire and appreciate your this firm and well fabricated idea of 31 days writing event.I am really excited to take part in this amazing event.I have basically two ideas in my mind to write on.The first one is “How to create stained glass pieces matching with fall season” and another one is “Exciting Christmas dishes”.Hey Melissa tell me,whether these ideas will work or not???…..I want your precious opinion for my encouragement.Thank you for sharing such a great and amazing idea with us.

    Good Luck and God Bless!!

    With Regards!
    Samuel Joshua

  32. I’m joining up! I’ve done my initial post about it, sketched out my list and now I’m ready to go!

    http://embracingtheseason.blogspot.com/2011/09/31-confessions-of-natural-mommy.html

  33. I started my blog in late spring…and then lots of “life” happened that kept me from being as aggressive with it as I wanted. This is the PERFECT…albeit daunting and scary…project to get me restarted! I’m not positive, but I think I’m writing 31 Days of Smiles…all the things that make my heart smile (like fields of tulips & holding hands). But I’ve got some other ideas, too, so we’ll see…this is exciting!

  34. I’m so excited about doing this! I’ve been writing an interior design blog but would like to launch a new name for the site, so this challenge is perfect timing to write 31 posts for the new site – http://www.theburgundyline.blogspot.com

    I’m travelling to Thailand tomorrow for a weeks holiday so The Burgundy Line will showcase the interesting things I find in my travels during the month of October.

    Can’t wait to see what everyone else is doing too and how we all get along with it.

  35. Wow so I was just randomly searching for new blogs to follow and came across yours. I blog about scrapbooking and memory preserving and am up for a “step up my blog game challenge”:-) 31 days of…I have options… so excited

  36. I made my button tonight and did a post on it! I have been thinking this week of a way to challenge myself. This is perfect! I soooooo want to follow through and I hope my 31 Days series is a success. :)

  37. I LOVED all the 31 days series last year. So excited for this year. You all are such an awesome group of bloggers!

    Since I started a blog recently, I’ve decided to join in the fun too: “31 Days of Fall Fun”. Nice, broad topic because I’m a little intimidated about posting every day!

  38. I am so excited to share my 31 days of building character in your home. I just wish I could build a cute button. My attempts have been awful :(

  39. While I’m certainly not new to blogging. I’ve just separated my love of home projects and DIY into its own separate blog. This is just making my creative juices flow. The possiblilities…

  40. I’ve been pondering this wonderful idea for a couple days and finally decided,why not? I started writing out words that bring to mind fall and I’ve come up with a substantial list that are developing into blog posts. My goal is to have the month well-thought out. I look forward to reading the posts of others who joined in,too.

    Now to make a button.

    Thanks for the fun-filled opportunity!

  41. Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in the fun this year! I have enjoyed this series and look forward to following even more bloggers on the adventure. I’ll be blogging on “31 days to a Remodeled Room.” Hope you’ll join me!

  42. This sounds terrifying and FUN all at once!! I think I may try my hand at 31 Days of learning to CARE more completely- C for Celebrating, A for Affirming, R for Remembering and E for Encouraging! What a great invitation! Gets my gears turning…I’m making my list now! Thanks for putting it out there!

  43. I enjoyed very much all the inspiring 31 Days series that you and all of the other talented bloggers shared with us last year. What a wonderful idea, and how generous to extend an open invitation to join this year! I’m outlining a series I’m calling “31 Days of Heart & Home; Inspired by Nature”. I hope to share some fun and unique seasonal & holiday decorating ideas, mixed with some insight into how Nature nurtures my soul and inspires my heart. Looking forward to visiting your blog and all of the talented gals who will be participating as well. Thanks again for the invite….this will be so much fun! :)

  44. Wow! I am so new here but I know it was a blessing to find your site today(night here). I started my own blog/website in August and I have done nothing but research really, but now it’s time to write and I love the way everything comes together here to inspire others and that’s what I would like to do also. So I will be joining your feed or facebook, whichever will keep me up to date and I will start getting my ideas together as well. It is on! And I am excited!

  45. Oh, I’m so excited! I loved this series last year, and yours this year sounds just as wonderful! I’m in, too. I’m going to write about 31 Days to Joyfully Thrive – in life, frugality, organization and of course, joy! What a great time October will be!

  46. So excited!
    I’m writing about starting a cleaning routine – you can see my post here:
    http://cleanmama.blogspot.com/2011/09/31-days.html

  47. After much deliberation, we (my husband and I) have decided to join you for 31 Days of Improvement. We have a list of improvements both big and small. I look forward to following your series!

  48. Hi Melissa,
    Just saw your blog post and wanted to let you know we have started our own four week blog challenge. We’re posting M-F for four weeks, first week just completed. It is my business partner and I and we do interiors and event decor. We came up with an editorial calendar and at least have somewhat of a gameplan with room to change if we want to be spontaneous (like write about your 31 Day Challenge!) Can’t wait to see the posts!

  49. So excited about this! I will be joining you for 31 Days of Going Green — Beauty, Style, Food & Home. Can’t wait—thanks!

  50. I’m new to the blogging world but will be joining in on this series! I’m going to be writing about 31 Days of Strength <3

  51. Hi! I’m a new reader – I came here via someone else who is doing this challenge, and I’ve decided that I want to join in as well. I’m going to do 31 Days of Real Housewife Confessions. {Yikes!} :)

    Here’s my intro post: http://redandhoney.com/2011/09/announcement-introducing-31-days-of-real-housewife-confessions/

    • I love this idea and am dying to start. I’ve created a button (30 Birthday Wishes) and have committed to a theme of 31 daily posts on things,places and people I’d like to see – mostly from an interior design perspective).
      As it’s my 30th birthday today, thought I’d use my Krispy Kreme Kake Kreation as a pic for my button – any excuse ;-)

      So where and how do we link up?

      Surely this much excitement will give way to laziness no?

  52. OK, I’ve thought and thought. 31 days to getting my organization back. Kids come in and make your life explode in your face, in both good and bad ways. The bad way is that there’s enough hair on my bathroom floor right now, to make a wig. I’m hoping that if I keep things more organized, (a project I’ve slowly been trying to tackle for awhile now) the cleaning will happen more often.

  53. hmmm so want to do this too just not sure on what … to many ideas in my head plus a lot of the ones above! :) Decorating cheaply but beautifully? Mothering? our life chronicles? Grace in all it’s forms? Homeschooling? Army/military wife stuff? what to do what to do….

  54. I’m totally in…and I will do “31 days to the Green Gables Life”….get where I am going with this?

  55. I’m really quite excited about this… and there’s no turning back now – I just posted that I’ll be doing “31 Days of Words to Live By”. I’ll be sharing my favourite quotes and sayings and try to incorporate them into daily life and art projects. Thanks for the inspiration!

  56. You have inspired me to do my own 31days on my blog! I am nervous but so excited to share my passion for meal ministry. I hope you come visit my series! : )

  57. I’ve had a blog for awhile now, but I have been waiting for something to put on it. I’m going to participate in this challenge and call mine “31 Days of Small Changes.” They’ll be quick tips to help streamline your life and hopefully manage some of the stress that comes from that feeling of failure we get when we aren’t doing everything “perfectly.” Hope I can keep up the whole time!

  58. I’m in! And just as scared as the rest of the crew, 31 days oh my!

    At Decor Adventures {my blog} you’ll get 31 Days of Pumpkins! Come see how to grow em, carve em, eat em, decorate em, and more.

    And I look forward to the other amazing topics selected by everyone. See y’all soon. {Now I have to go write about pumpkins}.

  59. I’m a little nervous and hope I can keep the momentum going!

    I will be doing 31 Days of a Handmade Home. Since my blog is all about the crafts I do to add to the home it’s no different than what I do now BUT there’s more of it. Some projects are little (so I can manage it) and a few are big and it’s going to be fun! Thank you for inviting us all to join in!

  60. I’m in too! 31 days of Grace …. talking about God’s grace in our lives in the midst of wrapping up our 4th deployment to Iraq, mothering, the beauty around us etc! :) nail biting begins….

  61. I have decided to accept the challenge and do 31 Days of Thanks. Thank you to The Inspired Room and everyone’s comments for helping me develop my idea!

  62. I already posted that I want to join in, but I am not sure how to link up (I’ve never done that before) :) I see some have linked their first post up in the comments. How do I do it?? Oh, by the way, mine is 31 days to Creating Home!
    Treisha

  63. WOWZERS!!!!! 31 days….I have never done it…but I work better under pressure…..hahahaha!! I will be posting “31 days of Prepping for the holidays at the Cottage” My husband and I are on a mad dash to get our cabin in “Cottage” order for the first holidays to be celebrated by the family at our cabin…oh I mean…”Cottage”.

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