International Fake Journal Month

I love this concept, and wish I had heard about it before now, as it occurs in April each year: International Fake Journal Month. Here’s the creator’s explanation:

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)?

What a great creative exercise! So many of us keep journals but have those times when you just worry it’s a bit boring– but with a fake journal, you can make it as interesting and action-packed as you want!

For some interesting thoughts from one fake-journaler, Melinda Bilecki, about the whole process, check out this post. A few sample pages from fake journals are below.

Above: The final image from Melinda Bilecki’s 2010 fake journal. ©2010 Melinda Bilecki.

Above: an image from Spy Girl’s 2010 fake journal. Image ©2010 Anne M. Bray.

This is such a wonderful idea, mark your calendar to participate next April!


4 thoughts on “International Fake Journal Month”

  1. My wife and I did something like this on our honeymoon. We went to a cabin in the mountains where they proprietor had all these composition books for the visitors to use to record their experiences. We decided to write entries as if we were in some sort of Stephen King story, with the stuffed animals in the cabin coming to life and roaming about at night. It was a lot of fun to make up a new installment every day.

  2. Love love love this idea. This is sooo great to help combat writer’s block or to help come up with new characters or give your current fictional characters some added layers.

    I’m doing this starting tonight.



  3. I have to use too much computer at work, so I am always looking for excuses to flex my fountain pen muscles. Unfortunately, I never feel like I have anything interesting enough for a journal. I’d love to write fictin, too, but a little thing called “lack of imagination” keeps getting in the way.

    The idea of a fake journal tickles me so much I may not wait until next April. Like Victoria suggested, this could really uncork some ideas! Maybe even prepare some people for National Novel Writing Month in November.

  4. I was so intrigued by this that I sat right down and wrote a whole list of ideas for a fake journal. Now I don’t think I’ll be able to wait til next year to do it. And I do have all those notebooks lying around …

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