Journaling, on the other hand, I despised unless I was extremely emotional and needed to unload my thoughts some where safely and securely. It was never really a “fun” thing that I would keep up daily. I wish I could have though. It’s a skill of dedication that I most definitely need to require.
But then I found out about International Fake Journaling Month, which perfectly marries the idea of journal writing and fiction writing in a unique 30 day challenge.
From April 1 to April 30, you keep a fake journal and pore out the thoughts and feelings of a person other than yourself. Now’s the chance to imagine yourself as a CIA agent or monkey trainer or president of a third world country about to depose you.
The idea was created by Roz Stendahl, a self-proclaimed lifelong journal keeper, in 2001.
All you need to participate is a journal, a pen, and maybe some coloring utensils if you want to get crafty and draw pictures and doodles along with your entries.
Set aside a bit of time each day to write in your fake journal in order to make the month worth it. Unlike NaNoWriMo, there’s no word count you have to fulfill, so there should be decidedly less pressure.
If you’d like to enter the IFJM challenge and win some cool journals for your entries, you can publish them on your own blog or send photocopies of the spreads to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure to read tips on how to prepare your fake journal and start coming up with ideas for the character you are going to become for one month.
At the very least, this exercise will work as a longer sustained writing prompt and should jog some inspiration for a future short story or novel idea.