Contests for 2018 Currently there are no contests planned for 2018. Check the side bar "Contests for 2017" to see if this changes.
Participants who Post Their Journals A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 appear lower in the same column. Please pay them a visit and check out their fake journals.
View a Couple of Roz's Past Fake Journals Roz's 2009 fake journal takes place in an alternate Twin Cites, where disease has killed the human and bird populations. (It ends up being an upbeat tale of friendship.) Watch a video flip through of Roz's 2009 fake journal here.
Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal Click on "tips" in the category cloud.
Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Tips on Having a Successful International Fake Journal Month
Left: A button design I made for the project which will not be available as a button. Enjoy viewing it here. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Today is the first dayof International Fake Journal Month.
I want to take a couple moments to give you some tips to make your participation successful and fun.Remember there are only two rules for participation1. You must keep your fake journal in journal separate from your regular journal. The fake journal must be stand alone.2. You must date your entries in present time. So an entry made today would be dated April 1, 2009, and the clock time. A date is needed on all entries. I encourage you to also put the clock time on each entry.
What’s Up for Grabs? As the journal’s author you can be anyone you want to be (living anywhere, working in any profession that interests you).
That means you can 1. be yourself but the journal will contain fake happenings and events; 2. be yourself in another universe; or 3. be someone else. It’s what you want to do. Once you settle on an author that same persona creates all the entries.
Getting StartedSelect Your Journal Select Your Journal Since it is April 1 today I hope you have already made your selection. I recommend:
1. Using a thin journal (so that there won’t be lots of blank pages at the end of the month).
2. Select a journal that is portable so that you can have it with you all the time and make entries on the go. Let’s say you’re out and about and you see a dog. Well you can sketch that dog and then date and time your entry and make up something about the encounter to write next to it. Perhaps your persona doesn’t like dogs, this dog, rabid dogs?
3. Select a journal that contains paper you like to work on in a particular medium. If you plan to do the IFJM journal in pen and ink you might want to chose a journal with smooth pages for your pen lines. If you plan to use watercolor a hearty, water media friendly paper would be best.
Before You Make an Entry Take a moment to think about the project before you jump in. It will ensure that you have a comfortable time with the new journal.
1. Make sure you know who the author of your journal is. If you aren’t the author you might want to jot down a little profile of the author in your regular journal. Some back story so you know what would or wouldn’t be in character for that person.
2. Decide who your audience is going to be. This is very important. For me almost all my past IFJM journals have been private, for an audience of one. The reasoning is very simple. My visual journal is already very public because I teach bookmaking and journaling. My students see my journals. Also I post my journal pages on my website and on my blog.
Typically I create my fake journal with a bit more privacy in mind. I want to be totally free in the creation. One year, for instance, I created two journals for this event using two hardbound copies of Plato’s Dialogues. Working in them with mixed media as I do in altered book journals, one volume was the journal of a female hitchhiker and the second volume was the journal of the driver who picked her up. Because I had no intention to share these journals or post them on my website I was able to explore the minds and concerns of the two journal keepers without any thoughts of polished writing, story line, or external judgement. The journals are very dark in content and theme. They stand as perhaps a rough draft of some other work I might do. If I had not viewed myself as the only audience for those journals I would not have ended up with the same results.
So think about what you would like to accomplish with your persona/author.
3. Decide where you are going to be (or travel around to different places).
4. Decide on the media you’ll use in your fake journal. To some extent you’ve already done this when you selected the journal you’ll be working in. This is the time to really consider the pros and cons of your choices. I recommend that you pick something portable and simple. Pencil, pen and ink, maybe a bit of watercolor wash. You don’t want to have a lot of extra stuff to carry around during the day. Also I have found if I keep the media simple I’m much more likely to take the time to make more entries.The flip side of this of course is if I am trying to break out of a particular method or journaling habit I might want to do something more elaborate. Also, if you elect to collage in your fake journal you might find that picking a particular time of day that you are at home will work best.
5. If you select a working method or medium for your journal that is either labor intensive or bulky to transport, and you are working at home on this journal, consider also setting a TIME LIMIT for each day. Remember, you have your real life to document as well. I think that 30 minutes a day is a nice time frame to consider.
Making Your First Entry If you have thought about the items mentioned in this post the only thing left to do is begin. The best way to begin is in medias res, in the middle of things. Someone keeping a journal isn’t going to take the time to explain a lot of background and things about people in his life. All those bits of knowledge will come out as you work through the journal. Knowing what you know about the author of your fake journal, his location, and the audience (i.e., will the pages be private or will you post them) you can then just sit down and make your first entry. Go for it.
Tip: I find it helpful to start with a visual and when that is completed I write “nonsense” about the image I have created.
Continuing Along Like any other journal you just keep filling the pages as you can, as you find time in your life, from now until the end of April.
A Word of Caution This is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to let your mind wander and play. If you find that you are staring at the blank page and sweating, well that isn’t fun. Just stop. It isn’t worth it.
Also if your regular journaling habit is disappearing and that bothers you (some people see it simply as a month off) then you should stop as well. One of the goals of IFJM is to increase the likelihood that you have a regular journal habit when the month is over, not a struggling one.
Some ideas seem really fun when you hear about them but when you get into the execution of the idea it isn’t what you want to be doing. That’s when you just have to be kind to yourself and stop. Making yourself miserable for a month would be very sad indeed.
In the same vein, if you skip a day or two or more, don’t worry about it. Just do an entry when you can. The nice thing about your fake journal author is that he doesn’t have to be ruled by the same rules and judgments you subject yourself to every day. In other words have fun and don’t beat yourself up for taking a day or more off. (Remember I recommended thin books!)
Posting Your Pages Several people have written to me asking if there will be a place to post pages from their fake journals. In response to these inquiries I created this blog. I will be posting pages from other people’s fake journals.
If you would like to post your pages on this site you need to do the following:
1. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Subject line must read: IFJM Submission
3. Body of the email must be one paragraph about your page and one paragraph about the way IFJM is going for you. (TWO paragraphs, neither should be long. I may have to edit them down.)
4. Your name must be in the body of the text so I know how to write the copyright credit line that will appear with your image.
5. Attach a jpeg of your page/page spread. Jpegs should be saved at a resolution of 72 dpi and their largest dimension (either height or width) should be no greater than 800 ppi, and the file size should be less than 1.3 MB.
6. Pages should not contain offensive material. For me that means racist items, and child abuse/porn, gratuitous violence. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than that. I’m really tolerant and like art in a lot of styles. A visual journal selection from someone stuck in a perpetual life drawing session (nude after nude after nude) would make the cut; people having sex—unlikely. (If someone is going to keep a voyeur fake journal then that might be a good one to keep and explore privately.)
Items coming to me in the above manner will be posted as I have time. I have no idea who will have an interest in posting this way so we’ll just have to see. Multiple submissions are fine. If you are sending a second or third or fourth jpeg then you might find yourself with very little in your text body on subsequent posts, and that’s fine too.I hope this post has given you some more support for your participation. Whether I see pages from you or not I would love to hear from you at the end of April and learn how your fake journal experience went for you.Thanks for participating.
To learn more read "What Is IFJM?" Follow the other explanatory links listed in the introduction to this blog. See the right-side bar column for this year's contest guidelines. Also in the side bar column find lists of participants who posted their fake journals and browse through their adventures. Use this blog's category cloud to find "tips." Browse the blog to learn about fake journaling—but also to learn about how you can improve and deepen your own journaling habit. Life's so short, why live only one?