The Monthly Build Challenge

CommonSense makes himself build something new every month!

At the beginning of the year, people make all kinds of New Year’s resolutions; pledges to get more sleep, eat healthier, collect all the Dragon Balls, you know self improvement stuff. But if you’re like me, as the year plods on you push those goals back and back until suddenly it’s July and you’re still going to bed at 3 a.m. after eating cheese from a can with nary a Dragon Ball to your name : (

It’s tough to keep to your commitments, builder Common knew this when he set his own personal goal: finish a project in Minecraft every month no matter what.

“The basic premise is that I do at least one build a month,” Common explains. “A piece that displays something I’ve never done before, or something that’s pushed me out of my comfort zone. Something that I can ultimately be proud of.”

Common’s first encounter with Minecraft was with the Pocket Edition. “I instantly fell in love with it,” he says. “It was an amazing place where I could let my creativity run wild with no limits! As a kid playing on his phone though, it was difficult to make anything I thought was worthwhile.”

But even though Common upgraded from Pocket to PC, he still thrives on the thrill of a challenge.

“I really enjoy a challenge. Whether building something really big or something I’ve never done before, I need to feel that struggle. Without it, you can’t advance or grow as a person. With this one build a month challenge I really wanted to push myself to try new things and to attempt things that I knew would be hard for me.”

Whenever I want to push myself, the best I can do is get out the scooter. Common, fortunately, is a little (okay a lot) more disciplined than that.

“I always want to be productive and before I started on this project I just didn't feel like I was. With this challenge, I actually have a goal to strive towards each month and that is what I need to be successful. It keeps me on a deadline and I’ve found I do my best work on a deadline.”

" I never give up on builds, even if I see them going in a direction I don't like "

So far he’s stuck to his one-a-month goal and he’s proud of his results.

“Before, I would attempt three or four builds in a year and most of the time I wasn’t finishing them at all. I would struggle, or see something I didn't like, give up, and move onto the next thing. Now, in order to hit my target, I never give up on builds, even if I see them going in a direction I don't like.”

With that kind of tenacity who needs the Dragon Balls? Sure they’d be nice to have around to undo a little death and destruction, but Common’s the kind of builder who can make anything happen through sheer will alone. It’s a lesson I’m sure you all are sick of hearing but time and time again it proves true. You want to get this good at something? You just have to keep doing it, even if sometimes you don’t really like it.

“Some of my favorite builds to come out of this challenge have been the ones that I just didn't know about, the builds I started off being skeptical of. But when I kept working on them, suddenly it clicked like a major plot twist and everything turned out amazing.”

The one a month marathon doesn’t end when the year does. Common hopes to keep going for as long as he can. It's not easy, but the hardest part isn’t what you may think.

“Although I am pretty creative when it come to building ideas, I’m not so good at naming things. Coming up with a name that’s relatable and attracts attention is surprisingly difficult.”

As a person with a stack of DnD characters a mile high: can relate.

Common’s showing no sign of slowing down and he’s already midway through the next project. “For my next month I’ve cooked up an interesting and exciting build. Very different from everything I’ve done so far. And I already have a name picked out: Red Velvet.”

Is it chocolate cake? Or a tribute to the best girl k-pop group? Keep an eye on Common’s Planet Minecraft page to find out for yourself. Why not also see if you can challenge yourself to making one build a month? Bet you CAN.

Renders by Angel, Donutish, Omardegante, and Blovien

Ash Davis
Written By
Ash Davis