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, April 12, 2009

Keeping Your Momentum Going

Above: A photo of my fake journal at the end of day 11 (yesterday). You can see how the pages are rippling beneath the watercolor use, but unlike other lightweight papers this water resistant paper is really sturdy. The book won't even close unless you put something on top of it. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

We're on day 12 of International Fake Journal Month. Time to talk about momentum.

Yesterday was International SketchCrawl day and to celebrate I met with a bunch of "sketchy" folks at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. You can see a photo of the group and as people get things scanned, some sketches from the day, at Twin Cities Sketchers. (Later today you'll also be able to see some of my thoughts on SketchCrawl at Roz Wound Up.)

I bring up this event here to make an encouraging point. It was a long and busy day of sketching—I participated in the full day, arriving at Como at 9:50 and leaving just minutes before 4 p.m. so I could get to Cafe Latte for cake! Despite the refreshments at Cafe Latte I returned home at 6:45 p.m. a bit dehydrated and very, very tired. (I've been recovering from an ankle and foot injury—walking and standing all day was a bit strenuous.)

I had one more task to do, however, before I could rest: I still had not done a day 11 entry in my fake journal.

I believe in being kind to yourself. Sometimes you just have to say "enough." But there is also a point where you have to push yourself even if you think you are really tired, even if you know you aren't going to get the best page ever. Sometimes it is just important that you work through the task, accept the results and move on, because all of those steps make you more prepared for the next task, better prepared. (And this is true of things beyond journal pages.)

That was the way it was yesterday. I had a page spread quota to meet and I was going to meet it. Instead of diving right in I drank 3 glasses of water and put my feet up for 30 minutes. Then I drank some more water and launched into the page spread.

I actually turned to my real journal for help in accomplishing this task. I needed a reference for a penguin and I had just spent time at the zoo sketching them. I based my fake journal sketch on my penguin work earlier in the day (I'll write about this later when I am showing page 11 in order).

I ended up with a drawing I was really pleased with, and more time to really absorb what I had seen at the zoo, when I was sketching the penguins.

So, I want to encourage you, even if you are exhausted from other events during your day, even if your family has been pulling you in all directions, even if you think you are too tired to draw one more drawing, just go for it. You'll be pleasantly surprised. And your internal critic will be very pissed off.

Something to think about, when that internal critic starts harping on you about your fake journal (or any project for that matter that plays out over time)—how can you talk back?

If you look at the photo of my fake journal at the start of this post you can see that the pages are starting, at day 11, to add up. Take heart in that. Point it out to your critic if you have to.

When I am involved in a long-term daily project, whether it is a year-long project (like my Correspondence Labs project when I wrote a letter a day), an on-going project like my Daily Dots (which after the first year I had no idea how long it was going to last), or a month-long project like A bird a day painting project or the IFJM journal, I break things down into to component parts—weeks, months, even hours if it is a weekend project. Then I look at what I have already accomplished and tell myself, hey, I'm 1/8th of the way finished, or I'm 1/3rd of the way finished, or whatever.

Last night I looked at the fake journal sitting on the scanner where I had left it, sprung open, unable to keep itself closed. My first thought was how yummy the pages were with all the crinkles. My second thought was, that's 10 days down, I'm already 1/3rd of the way through. If I do my 11th spread today I'm over that hump.

I didn't need to talk to myself any more about it. Sure, I can think of a couple scenarios where I would have given myself a pass, but I'd really have to struggle to think one up.

Here's the deal, and I want you to think about this if you are working in your fake journal (or any journal for that matter, or any project) and thinking about stopping, and letting it go:

It is always easier to just do a thing than to spend any time talking yourself out of it.

In other words, in the amount of time you might spend talking yourself out of doing your project you actually could have finished it.

Which would you like to look back on at the end of the day? All of the time you wasted talking yourself out of something, or all of the stuff you finished?

Don't worry about the quality of that stuff. There are good days and bad days. There will be days when you look at your work table and want to cry because it all looks like crap. But don't cry on those days. (In fact don't cry period.) Just keep on going because all those pieces are merely the cost of keeping current, the price you pay for doing a little bit better tomorrow. The entry fee which is non-refundable, but does pay back with interest even if you don't notice it a first.

If you put in your time there will also be days when you look at your work table and want to cry because something there is more beautiful than your last piece, better than anything you have ever done. (Don't cry then either, just keep working!)

Today, even if you are tired, even if you are busy enjoying the wonderful spring weather, take 10 minutes and work in your fake journal (or your regular journal). Make an investment.


Meliors Simms said...

Thanks for the useful pep talk to keep momentum. That's been on my mind this weekend too, with sketch crawl and all my other projects (too many to even consider joining the fake journaling this time round). The day after the sketch crawl (which came after two seders and a dinner party) I was so tired I had no motivation for anything, but I forced myself out for a walk in the woods which revitalised me so much I came back and collaged for two hours.

Roz Stendahl said...

Meliors, I'm glad that despite being tired and having so many pulls on your time you got some collage time into your day.

I think that holidays are especially difficult time for people to make time for themselves and make time to make stuff.

And the walk in the woods is a good thing too. Just changing and shifting our focus and energy for a short while can make all the difference!

You know, it isn't too late to start a fake journal!

I'm just kidding. You've got a full plate. I'm just glad you're making stuff!

Zoe, ontheroad said...

Inpired by your post to do another page.

Struggling along, only 3 in 12 days, but perhaps I'll find steam ahead.

Roz Stendahl said...

Ontheroad, 3 pages in 12 days is just fine. There is no necessity to create a page a day during IFJM, only the quota you set for yourself. And perhaps a rate of one page every 4 days is exactly what you need for it to fit in your schedule.

Look at what you are capturing and ask what else you can document, that would be fun or interesting to your "author."

I hope that takes a bit of the struggle out of it.

sandy said...

Great post and great encouragement. I will have to pick a month coming up and do a practice run on fake journaling. Then next year I'll join you.

Love the illustations.

Roz Stendahl said...

Sandy, just a little nudge, you can start any time with your fake journal and still have it be in April, no practice runs necessary. Just go for it.

Someone was writing in about having 3 entries in 12 days—you don't have to journal in the fake journal every day.

So, just some thoughts. You don't have to wait until next year.

sandy said...

okay throwing the idea around!