Why in the world would I take on two internet challenges because my life isn’t busy enough?

Every month the interwebs crackle with bloggers answering challenges—painting a day; photo a day; poem a day; recipe a day, a workout a day, et cetera. I don’t normally participate in these—they’re a lot of work—but every so often I stumble across one that I like. The most recent was the Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days from Leslie Saeta. It was fun, but at the end of the month I felt like a horse that had been, as my best friend is fond of saying, “rode hard and put away wet”.


I’d busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy. But my favorite challenge—well, not really a challenge, but more like a personal project —is Roz Stendahl’s International Fake Journal Month. Roz isn’t about making you work like a dog. This project is so low-key and so much fun that it makes it easy to join. If you’ve got a sketchbook and 15 to 20 minutes a day, you can do it. As it indicates, you’ll be keeping a fake journal. You get to be someone else in your journal. It’s a lot of fun.

BloggingUThis month I also got caught up in the WordPress “class” Writing101. Everyday there’s a prompt with a twist. My personal challenge is to write to the prompts in a way that fits the subject matter, tenor and tone of Mockingbirdsatmidnight.com. That is, how do I write about art and music using the prompts from the Happiness Engineers? Will I be able to add an illustration? I don’t know if I’ll make it everyday, but it will be fun to try.

That’s what I’m doing in April. What are you doing?


International Fake Journal Month

Never heard of IFJM? Neither had I, until I started reading Roz Stendahl’s blog. Every April she hosts (sponsors? facilitates? masterminds?) a brilliant idea to make a journal you would not normally make. You can choose to pretend to be someone else doing the journal, you can work on something you don’t normally do, and you can just have fun. It’s all about exploration. Because who cares if it’s successful? It’s fake!

I’m going to try to join in the fun. I’ve got my journal, a spiral bound Daler-Rowney watercolor book, bought on sale. It’s got 25 pages, so it should last about a month. I’m going to watercolor the pages beforehand, because this is something I’m not very good at. I like to plan and plan obsessively before I even start a painting. I’m going to try to break out of that. Then I’ll use pencil and pen for the drawings.

My theme is going to be divergent thinking, because, again, it’s something I’m not very good at. I’ve found a good website that offers some strategies for creative  thinking. Hopefully their instructions will help. And I’ll lean on my Mathemetician heavily for help, as he’s excellent at the sport of wild-thought voyages.

And I’m going to add another ripple to it: The person writing it is going on a trip, to the land of Divergencia (yeah, silly, I know, but who cares? It’s fake!) so that I have something on which to hang my hat. Or wear my hat. Or just dance around my hat.

Where will I find the time? Well, there is an hour every morning that I normally spend surfing the net, reading blogs. To try to break that routine, I’m going to jet off to Divergencia during that hour.

Bon Voyage!