(Just to let you know how far I went for that joke, I have three grandmothers and I still created a fourth who enjoys the internet and playing bridge. To my knowledge, this would describe none of them. This, however, is the lengths I am willing to go to provide you with a tired, hackneyed joke. Please, no need to thank me.)
In any case, the January Project, despite the somewhat grandiose ring to its title, is actually just a writing exercise. Well, “just” might be a bit of an understatement. It is a writing exercise that challenges me to write a new piece—be it prose, dialogue, monologue, or poem (probably not poem though)—every day for the entirety of January.
The inspiration for this was born of a little think called National Novel Writing Month. For those not familiar with it, here’s the website. And here’s a brief description: write a novel over the course of November. Being a grad student pursuing his Psy D, having to go a practicum on top of course work, and having some other freelance writing work, I did not think that was much in the realm of possibility to me. Nonetheless, I wanted to challenge myself, writing wise, in a similar way. Thus, the idea of doing a different piece every day for a month kind of wormed its way into my head.
(Aside: as you can see this is the January Project, not the November Project. The reason is achingly simple...it was meant to be done in November as well, but a.) I was gone several weekends in October and never got the website built and b.) it turns out November’s a busy month in the life of a grad student.)
In and of itself, however, this was not much of a hook (to keep me interested) or a challenge (to, you know, challenge me beyond my comfort zone). Around the same time, however, I discovered this website, Phonic Phebruary. Here, an artist challenged himself to create a piece a day— often drawing, but he utilized some mixed media as well—for the entire month as inspired by a song that, I believe, was chosen by doing shuffle on his Ipod. And there was my hook! Eureka, I might have said if I had the forethought to add an emotional outburst to the moment. Instead, I probably just nodded in my understated way.
And thus, the January Project!
Except, I can’t draw worth a damn, so writing it is.
While the Project itself starts in January, I will be updating this over the course of December with descriptions of how it will work, pictures of the tools being brought to bear, and other random tidbits of possible interest. I’d say checking back about once a week will keep you fairly in the loop. Or you could, if you’d like, follow me on Twitter ( @UnGajje) for various bon mots and links directing you to the newest updates on this site as well as my other various writing gigs ( Marvel, Complaint of the Week at the Living Room Times, and New Paris Press, set to debut in January although information may be available before then here).