Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

What is IFJM?
Please read the page "What Is IFJM" for details.
Learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals.

2019 IFJM Celebration
IFJM has been suspended indefinitely. Please read the pinned post about this below.

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.

Read an explanation of Roz's insanely complex 2011 fake journal.

Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal
Click on "tips" in the category cloud.

Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Is International Fake Journal Month?

Basically it’s a free pass to put anything in a journal that you might not otherwise put in. At least that’s one way to see it. From April first to April 30, you are encouraged to keep a fake journal different from and outside of your regular visual journal. (Writers are welcome to participate as well, just keep a separate journal for the purpose.)

Take on a new persona, alter ego, or be the same person you are now, except in an alternate universe. Maybe you are a cat person and always draw cats, well for April you’ll start a fake journal and just draw birds, with a passion, as if they were the most important animal on the planet. (You can of course continue drawing cats in your real journal, if it suits you.)

The only catch is that you need to date your entries in present time, as you complete them, i.e., April 1, 2009, 8 p.m., April 3, 2009, 4 a.m., and so on. Oh, and it has to be a self-contained journal, not your regular journal (that's two catches).

Maybe you want to live somewhere else? Well make a daily journal as if you are already there. It may mean that you’ll need to draw from your imagination a lot because things won’t be in front of you, but there are ways around that. Go to an antiques store or thrift shop and draw those items incorporated in a new reality. Or draw them as your daily drawing activity and make up stories about them.

Perhaps you are always working in pencil. Now is the time to become that artist who always works in pen, just go for it. Or if you are always image heavy in your journal, spend some time writing, pages and pages.

Why? because it’s fun, that’s why. And how often in life to you get a free, no guilt, no shame, just go for it pass on making things up (after the age of 3 of course)?

How Did International Fake Journal Month Get Started?
I founded International Fake Journal Month in 2001. It went sort of like this:

In 2000 I kept two journals. My regular journal and the journal I was keeping as part of the Minnesota Journal Project 2000. It made me think a lot about journals in general and my journals in particular. (Created a little bit of a crisis actually, keeping two journals.) I spent a lot of time (more than at any other time in my life) with other folks who kept journals. It was actually rather odd! I went from being the only person in the room with a journal to being one of many dozen (depending on the event) drawing away in my journal. (There were 46 participants in the journal project, but they were rarely together all at one time.)

Well, my thoughts led to other thoughts and I decided that it would be interesting to keep a fake journal. (I had kept fake journals for brief periods of time since I was 11.)

My good friend Linda humored my lunacy in 2001 by designing official pins for me. (They are still great conversation starters. The original typographic design can be found on my regular blog, at the bottom of this post, should you want to make one for yourself.)

Every year since then I’ve let other people know, nudged them into mendacity. Some past students have taken up the call in various years, but it’s still a small movement. I figure now that I have a blog I can push a little harder, reach a few more people.

Why Participate in International Fake Journal Month?
If you have to ask why then maybe it isn’t for you. Maybe you haven’t ever wondered what your life would have been if you had entered the Peace Corps or become White House Press Secretary like you planned? Maybe you don’t want to explore the day to day thoughts of the inventor of Never-fade Flavor-packed Chewing Resin (patent pending).

But if like me you are always wondering, “what if?” then it makes perfect sense.

Where else can you have so much fun for only the cost of a journal and a few art supplies? (Well OK, you can have that much fun simply keeping your regular journal, but this is different!)

What Are the Costs and Benefits of Participating in International Fake Journal Month?
The costs are minimal: some sort of journal and some art supplies. You don’t have to go to the place your persona lives, you don’t have to live his life, you just have to jot it down. Buy the cheapest over-the-counter journal you can find (you only have to live with it for a month) and a pencil and you’re all set. Or get a hardbound book with sewn signatures and make an altered book journal for the month. (See an example of an altered book journal here.)

The only real cost in this fake endeavor is your time. And you have to do something entertaining with that anyway right?

As for the benefits—they should already be springing to mind. Freedom to play, experiment, explore (especially if you can’t get away right now because of work, health, or the “Economy”), and an opportunity to toss things up.

When we take a moment to take our habits and jostle them up a bit, what shakes out is self-knowledge. Are we obsessive, are we happy, what would make us happy? All sorts of insights pop up when we give our brain the happy little task of fabrication.

Also, keeping a Fake Journal is non-threatening (and mentally hypo-allergenic!) because if you don’t like a page, it doesn’t matter, it isn’t your journal anyway, RIGHT? (It’s about letting go. It will drive your internal critic crazy!)

Come on folks, make this the best April ever for International Fake Journal Month! (Sure it starts on April Fool’s day, but it isn’t an April Fool’s day joke. That’s why I’m telling you about it now, so you can get ready to go!) A page now and then, in a journal designated for the purpose, just through April. Could anything be more simple?

I’ll write more about IFJM (International Fake Journal Month) as April moves along. And I will be announcing a contest on April 9th contest, so check back.

I hope you’ll join me.

Life’s so short, why live only one?

Visit me at Roz Wound Up for other journaling, book arts, and life adventures.


sandy said...

This sounds interesting and one I may join in with.

Anonymous said...

OK, you've got me hooked. I have the perfect whimsical little journal sitting on my shelf that I made in February 2008. I am usually not into fantasy but why not. The hardest part is picking a theme or idea to run with, but stuff is bubbling up in my imagination as I type.

Roz Stendahl said...

Chris and Sandy, YES. You'll have fun. Sandy that little book you mentioned sounds PERFECT.

Check back on April 1 as I have some tips and thoughts that are going up here (and on my main blog if you check there) that may help you both!

anna maria said...

I thought "what fun", then realized you probably need to post the entries in your blog, correct? which means you need one, or one you are currently posting to I imagine....

anna maria said...

Wait, I just went back and read your entry on the other blog, and I think you will be posting entries and images here?

Stampmaiden said...

OK, I can see my other life unfolding now! Ack! Looking forward to playing and living like I've never lived before! Please take my hand.

inki said...

ohh..fun Roz, I have made a couple "fake" pages last summer..but never a full journal..might join in on this! Love your blog btw :)
Hope you get lots of participation!


Roz Stendahl said...

Anna Maria, you don't need to publish any of your fake journal, it can be a private thing. But I am going to post things up on this blog. There will be a note coming up on this blog and my regular blog about posting on April 1.

If you don't want to send stuff in to post on the blog but are going to post on your blog/site/flickr etc. then you might want to send me a note and a link so that I can mention it here.

Whatever works.

Most important for me is that people try doing this and see if they enjoy it.

Ramesh Gandhi said...

I love this idea. I recently began writing a story in which a goddess steps down from her temple pedestal and tries to find out what it's like to be a mortal woman -- maybe she can keep a journal. April is also Poem a Day Month -- maybe I can tie that in too. And then there's Mary Ann's stencil class. It should be a cinch.

Kirstin said...

This sounds like so much fun! My husband and I are both joining in. I can't promise to actually post about it as I'm awful about that, but will definitely have fun.

Roz Stendahl said...

your goddess can most definitely keep a journal here as a mortal and she can do it in verse! Very Homeric. I'd throw in some stencils too! It sounds like a fab month!

Kirstin I'm so glad both you and your husband are going to keep fake journals. Don't worry about posting, just have fun!

sandy said...

I'm leaving town in a few minutes until Thursday but I'm going to start mine while I'm gone. I won't have internet access until the end of the week but I'll probably post it on my art blog when I get back. I'll let you know. It sure sounds fun though.

Joanie Hoffman said...

Hi Roz,
I started my fake journal! Oddly enough, it was a struggle for me (if you get a chance to read what happened, the story is on my blog).
Happy days,

4roomsandthemoon said...

I love this idea and have begun to alter two signatures from an old book - they measure exactly 30 pages, so I may need to add part of another signature if I do double page spreads, the pages are rather small. Hope I am not too late to join in. I will post my first page on my blog 4roomsandthemoon.wordpress.com

Roz Stendahl said...

Olivia, you are not too late. People can start any time. It is great to have you on board. I will check out your posting on your blog. I love that you are using pages from an old book!!!!!

Lisa Rene Aguilera said...

what an amazing idea! I look forward to participating next year!

Roz Stendahl said...

Lisa, I look forward to having you join in next year!

Melinda said...

This sounds like FUN! I'm definitely in. I'll watch here for more details. Thanks, Roz!

Sarah said...

I have been wanting to journal for some time but something has held me back. This seems to be an ideal way to dip my toe in and see what I can get from it. Great idea - I wil be joining in :)

Roz Stendahl said...

Sarah, I'll look forward to hearing from you as your journal progresses in April. Watch the blog in the next few weeks for additional information and news about this year's contest!

T.Davo said...

What a great concept! I am excited to join in. An alter-ego has already started to take shape quite naturally. Thank you for encouraging everyone to join in.

Timaree said...

Okay, I am in. I need to paint the big background sheet and cut it up to be ready. April Fool's Day, here I come! Just being the fool that I am.

Kat Haberlack said...

I'm ready..I have my alter ego ready...my sketchbook ready....materials...and I already completed one page! :) Is it April 2nd yet???

Annie Hooten - Art With Heart said...

I'm diving in head first. Leaving on a road trip today so I'll read up on all the rules (while hubbie is driving of course). Luckily there aren't too many because after I've fallen on my head I may be a tad confused. Thank goodness I have my thinking cap with me, so I'll put it on and figure out my fake journal theme. Here I go.......

Roz Stendahl said...

Kat, I know exactly how you feel. I'm already eager for tomorrow to come as well! One page down.

Roz Stendahl said...

Annie, I'm glad you could join us, and REALLY GLAD your hubby is driving! I'm sorry you've fallen on your head, but as you say, it's really straightforward so you'll be just fine.

Kat Haberlack said...

So how do you know who's links to add? You are free to add a link to my blog. I'm quite excited. So is Fizzgig my alter ego. Hopefully he will let us in more to his head....

Roz Stendahl said...

Kat, see the post on the 2010 contest to learn details on how I find out who is posting and how to add your link to the lists I'll be posting


Have a great time with your character!

Anonymous said...

Roz, Yes, I will participate in this using a journal I bound myself. Don't know yet if I'll post any of my work in flickr.
Thanks for this opportunity. Ambal