#30Skills30Days Challenge

First, I’d like to apologize for taking nearly three months to write a new blog post. That’s just bad blogger behavior. In the meantime, I’ve lined up lots of new content to share with you over the next few days, months and year. One of those ideas is to create a challenge for myself (and you) called #30Skills30Days. Yes, I will force myself to learn thirty new skills over the next thirty days.

Now these are not skills that require days of research to learn and do them. These are skills that will take one day to learn about them and then commit to actually using what I learned sometime in the near future.

I divided the skills I want to learn into four categories: cooking, life/general, professional development and creative skills. Some categories might have more skills listed than others. That’s because I want to apply the skills I learn in those categories in my everyday life.

In my professional career, I want to stay current on cutting edge technology and thought leadership to remain relevant. In my writing career, the skills I want to learn are a combination of craft and interesting things I can use to develop my characters. For example, one of my characters likes to collect gems and precious stones because her hobby is jewelry making, so I’ve added jewelry making to my creative skills list.

You can do your own #30Skills30Days challenge too. You don’t have to use my categories or even use categories at all. Focus on learning some skills in a short amount of time and commit to doing them in the future. That’s all. Here are some things to think about before you make that list.

Cost: When I did my research, I found that the cheapest way to learn some of these skills is to buy a book, but I’m much more of a visual learner, so I’m taking online courses or video-on-demand lectures like the ones I found on Lynda.com or Writer’s Digest University.  I added up the potential cost of all of my proposed skills learning activities and, with the exception of cooking, each category added up to be between $30-50.

Time commitment:  Realistically, I don’t think I’ll be able to do all of these skills in 30 days’ time, but I can promise you that I will sit down and learn the skill. Even if I don’t try to implement what I learned immediately, I can still share my experience and offer some best practices or lessons learned.

Rating: No, I’m not rating how valuable each skill learning activity is, I’m rating how easy the skill is to learn in one day (in most cases, just a few hours).  The rating range is from 1 – 5 (1 = easy, 2 = somewhat easy, 3 = moderate, 4 = difficult, 5= not possible).  It’s important to know this rating so that you can decide if it’s a skill you want to add to your own list.

Without further ado, here is my #30Skills30Days list.

Creative Skills

  1. Master writing novel openings
  2. Learn how to write good action scenes
  3. Short stories: write and submit
  4. Fundamentals of poetry writing
  5. Weapons: from medieval to modern and beyond
  6. Formatting a manuscript for e-books
  7. Video game writing and design
  8. Jewelry making
  9. Screenplay writing
  10. Submission packages from query letters to book proposals

If time permits…

  1. Writing horror: write and submit a short story
  2. Learn to write an epic war scene

Cooking

  1. Recipe: Kabsa (Middle Eastern dish)
  2. Kuromame (sweet beans, Japanese dish)
  3. Peruvian chicken
  4. Pork shogayaki (Japanese dish)
  5. Slow cooker salsa verde chicken (Latin American dish)

Life Skills

  1. Meditation
  2. Homiletics: the art of preaching or writing sermons
  3. Gardening 101
  4. T25 exercise
  5. Stargazing/Astronomy

Professional Development Skills

  1. Tech Tool: Prezi
  2. iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS8
  3. Tech Tool: Storify
  4. Become a grammar and punctuation master
  5. Project management simplified
  6. Tech Tool: Creative GoPro photography and video techniques
  7. Web analytics fundamentals
  8. Adobe Captivate 8
  9. Grant writing for education
  10. Tech tool: Periscope and Meerkat

If time permits…

  1. Infographics and data visualization
  2. Online production for writers and editors
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