Today is the final day of IFJM 2014. You may already have finished your journal, you may be finishing it later tonight. Congratulations!
It's time to move on to other projects—but remember—do a wrap-up self-evaluation for yourself while the project is still fresh in your mind.
1. Today after you finish your final entry take 15 minutes or less to write impressions as they pop into your mind. Jot down what worked, what didn't, what surprises you had. Anything that pops up, jot down. Don't worry about writing complete sentences, just get your impressions down on paper.
2. Set the finished journal aside and walk away. Start a new project today or tomorrow. (This link explains how you can do that.) Put IFJM out of your brain.
3. In three (3) days or so (hey it will be the weekend!) make time to sit down and review your project with a bit more intensity. Page through the entire journal.
Recall what things felt like—jot down all your impressions that come up, all your memories of what fun you had, any inklings of anxiety, etc. Then get out your list from item 1 above and with your new list of impressions take time to write an evaluation and expression of what the experience was like for you in its entirety.
This is the moment to provide yourself with explanations. You want to be able to read and understand this self-evaluation and assessment years from now. Be SPECIFIC. If it was frustrating say so and think about all the ways it frustrated you, think also about ways you can deal with that frustration in the future. If the experience was joyful be specific about what aspects were joyful and WHY so that you can keep incorporating those aspects in your journal practice.
Be honest, detailed, and as I've said SPECIFIC. Dig deep. After you get one answer go back in for another.
Expect to spend a good chunk of time on this—2 hours perhaps. Take a break if you need to, but honor all the time you devoted to the project in April by giving it full attention in the wrap up.
I recommend that you write the wrap up in your regular journal so that you don't lose it. Photocopy it and put that copy inside a pocket in the back of your fake journal. Years later that wrap up summary will be nice to have with the journal.
If you feel like sharing a public write up of your experience please do so, either by creating a specific blog post for that on your blog and sending me a link, or by sending the write up and one jpg to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 11, 2014. I'll post a series of posts on wrap-ups depending on what comes in.
Congratulations on sticking with the project. I hope you met your goals—remember too, sometimes goals change as we work with a project. A new goal might pop up—a goal just to finish! Whatever your goals were, congratulations.
Celebrate all of these goals!
Note: I hope to have my journal pages photographed sometime in May. As you can imagine with pages 22 x 30 inches it's going to be a bit of a project on its own. Once that is done I will post all 30 images here as a short film or slide show, so that you can see them. I'll either post my wrap up at the same time so you can see it with all the pieces, or sometime next week, depending on what makes sense at the time. I think it might be best to wait so that you can read the evaluation at the same time you get to see all the images because I think it will be easier to make sense of it. (Whatever sense there might be.)
If you were kind enough to send me your photo so I could sketch a portrait of you, expect an email in the next few days or next week asking for your postal address if I used your image. I will be printing the prints at the end of May and sending them out as soon as possible after that.
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