This year, I had the pleasure of hosting a monthly challenge called #12MonthsofDIY. Each month, our group of 12 Canadian bloggers each made something out of the same type of material. It was such a wonderful challenge, and not only did it spark my creativity, but it made me realize how important it is to collaborate with my blogging friends. Today, let me share with you a recap of our #12MonthsofDIY challenge, what my favourite project was, and what I've learned about collaboration. Also, make sure to scroll down to the end of this post to see all of our favourite projects from the year!
At the end of 2015, I had an idea. Wouldn't it be fun to challenge a group of bloggers to create a new DIY every month of 2016? If we all used a similar material, it would be exciting to see what we each made and how creative we could be! This is how #12MonthsofDIY was born. Each month of 2016, we had a specific material we had to work with to create something unique to share on our blogs.
Here's what I made during our challenge this year (click to visit the posts):
I'm proud of all of these projects, and looking back at them makes me smile, but my favourite one has to by my wooden spool clock from our "wood" month in March.
I adore how this clock turned out, and I haven't taken it off my mantel since. I'm sure it will be a fixture in our living room for years to come!
For me, learning how to be creative with a variety of mediums was fantastic, but learning how important it is to collaborate with fellow bloggers was even more rewarding. This group of ladies are genuinely wonderful beings, and I felt so supported and encouraged throughout this year as we worked alongside each other. We shared each other's work, we vented to each other, we helped each other... our relationship was invaluable.
I think that it's easy for a creative sort of person to get caught up in competition. We think that if we share too much with our fellow creatives, we'll somehow lose. What I've learned - especially this year while doing #12MonthsofDIY - is that working with other creators is a huge WIN. If you love to make things, stay authentic to your own voice, and constantly think up new ideas, you'll never run out of creative juices and your brand will keep on growing. Lighting someone else's creative flame, supporting their creative journey, and sharing your own journey with them will not make your own light dimmer, but it will help brighten BOTH of your journeys!
I know that there are instances where bloggers and other creators can get burned (think: intellectual property theft), but if you can find a trustworthy group of like-minded friends in your field to collaborate with, there are SO many benefits. I'm getting better and better at turning off the "compete! compete! compete!" voices in my head, and turning on the "let's build each other's blogs TOGETHER!" voices. It's so much better.
Thanks for doing this challenge with me, my friends. I've been so amazed by your creativity and encouraged by your support.
What do YOU think: do you like to collaborate with fellow bloggers, or creatives in your current field of work?
Now it's time to see which projects were my blogging friends' favourites, and what they thought of our yearly challenge. Click on the project name to visit their project post, and their blog name to visit their blog and see their last #12MonthsofDIY post.