A Story by T. F. Rice




            The 1000 Journals Project could be... an amazing collaborative experiment to resurrect a global belief in the

creative spirit of humanity. While attempting to follow the travels of 1000 journals, the Project’s only stated goal is “to provide a method for interaction and shared creativity among friends and strangers”. However humble its beginnings may be, the Project is on its way to becoming as hugely popular as its journal pages are incredibly fascinating. 


            When most people hear the word “journal”, the word privacy first comes to mind, so this very public project will not be loved by everyone. The art of journaling, or journal writing, can successfully be both. Some journalers write daily, even religiously, while others may visit less frequently. Little treasures of life’s good days can be added to a journal. Sketching, doodling or marker-art might fill the margins. A journal may begin as an empty notebook, or evolve from a published book well-loved, worthy of being add-ed to over time. Art therapy (an approach to growing, under-standing or healing the mind with art) may utilize journaling. No matter how one chooses to journal, or whether the work-in-progress is shared with others, journaling is a very worthy art. 


            How the 1000 Journals Project works is simple. Those who find the journals add something to them, such as a story, drawing, photograph, or some other token of their own unique existence.  The journal then resumes its journey, is passed along to any person, friend or stranger. There are only 1000 journals, so the odds you will encounter one, on a bus or in a café, are slim to none… unless you visit their web site  www.1000journals.com to initiate a connection. You may read more on the internet about signing up for a journal or launching your own.  Over 250 of the best entries (so far) have been put together into hardcover book form, titled 1000 Journals Project , available from bookseller Amazon today at under $18.


            Launched in year 2000 by author “Someguy”, a California artist and designer, the 1000 Journals Project has only accelerated from there. The author explains he has “always been fascinated by what people scrawl on bathroom walls and in public spaces. I had been taking photographs of this writing for years, and wanted to put together a book. It seemed appropriate to encourage readers to become contributors…why not 1000 of them? It’s such an absurd number.” The first 100 journals were released to friends, left on park benches and in restaurants. Additional journals were sent to those who heard of the Project and personally requested them. Says its author, “It’s been a roller coaster ever since.”


            The Project is about rediscovering creativity, which is something many humans truly suffer without. Ask any young child if they are an artist and they will tell you “yes”, but as they advance in schooling and see more of the world, it trains them to be critical. Subconsciously, the U.S. as a society has become the jury of every public and private act, especially crime. Think of what opinions you, or those you know, have recently voiced about “news” topics. We are all guilty of feigning omnipotence at least once in our lives. We can do better.


            Because of this trend towards faultfinding, many truly gifted artists exercise their talents only in private, a few sharing their art at elderly age. Family may discover a “closet artist” after their passing. Visual or written artists need not be published to experience true success in their art, but should they hide in fear of criticism? Private journaling is admirable in its own purposes. These 1000 “public” journals become more beautiful as they are added to, because the humanity they represent is so full of contrasts, flaws, & sincerity… “Plain dealing,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, a thing hard to come by these days as we see greater society focus more heavily on personal gain.


            Asking big questions of themselves, some write to find their own answers. Why art? Why write? New Moon: Writing, a book for young writers, has a solid approach to the difficult subject of art’s purpose. In the introduction to Writing, one of its young editors explains more about New Moon Publishing& its New Moon “...a magazine that gives girls the power to believe in ourselves, to help stand up for what we think is right, and, most of all, to let us just be girls.” To put this into better context: Writing is edited by the New Moon Books Girls Editorial Board, an eclectic group of girls aged 10-14, readers of New Moon magazine who were selected from all over the U.S. and from various walks of schooling and life. 


            Chapter one of New Moon: Writing suggests that what writers seek most is the understanding of their readers. Also mentioned is the importance of journaling and letter-writing, that a writer can write for themselves only and still consider themselves a writer. Perhaps they seek to know themselves. Success is not so much about what others think, as it is about how one perceives their own private accomplishments. “You don’t even have to want to be published. Plenty of wonderful writing is done in journals, as letters, and for the joy of writing itself.” This book has much to offer any writer, of any age!


            Writers are constantly comparing themselves to other writers, almost as severely as a teenager distorts self-image in comparison to what is temporarily “popular”. Some readers prefer a certain type of writing. Most readers get excited about  true creative intent, characters with flaws they can relate to, & unique delivery, so why are writers trying to be alike? Be yourself, writer! New Moon: Writing offers ideas for an uninspired writer. 1000 Journals Project encourages us to create and share with the world. Collaboration is an idea that answers what the writer seeks: Everyone has something unique to give that is desired by another. Will you dare to share?


Originally published in The Other Herald, May 2007

© 2008 T. F. Rice

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Added on February 9, 2008


T. F. Rice
T. F. Rice

Wyoming County, NY

T. F. Rice lives with her husband and their teenage son in a small town in New York state in the U.S. She also lives with her creative clutter -- she presses flowers for making candles and cards, recy.. more..