The Journal Project

Sharing lives through the process and art of journal keeping.

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Location: Lubbock, TX

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Game Plan

So here it is guys. I feel like I've written this post at least a dozen times because of all the thinking and talking that has gone into this. This is what I have in mind. Please know nothing is set in stone. This is what I've been thinking and it is certainly open to change and discussion. I throw it out here so that you will have an opportunity to pass along suggestions and ask questions before we actually begin (which I hope will be next week!) Recently I did have an e-mail or two wondering if we were each going to have an individual journal to send around to all the participants. That is not what I had originally planned but we can certainly do that if that's what you all want. This is OUR project. I'm flexible. The reason I had not thought of the project in those terms is because I think the final cost on shipping all the journals around would be overwhelming. With over 60 participants, receiving each journal and then mailing it to the next person (if shipping were about $5 a journal) would end up costing each of us over $300 apiece. I know the concern is wanting to be able to have a final/complete copy of the project for yourself. I want everyone to have a final copy. I don't know how to accomplish that yet but surely with this many participants we can brainstorm and come up with some kind of plan. Who knows, maybe one of you has a friend, or a friend of a friend, who has the ability to copy and bind books for each person. If you have thoughts on this let me know. Now for the plan:

When I originally conceived of this idea I had planned to purchase one journal, make an entry, then mail it to the next participant, who would then make an entry and mail it to the next participant, and so on and so forth. At the time I had no idea we'd have over 60 participants. Wow! It quickly became obvious that that wouldn't work so well. It was a possibility that the people towards the bottom of the list wouldn't even see the journal for a year. I didn't want them to have to wait so long to participate. My next thought was to break the group up into 2 or more groups. Well I wasn't too fond of that idea because I really did want everyone's journal entries all together, not as separate groups. So after tossing my thoughts around with family and friends I think I have come up with an alternative that will satisfy all of us.

There will in fact be two journals but the group will not be broken up. Everyone will have chance to make entries into both of the journals. Let me break it down:

I have purchased 2 journals--red and black. I'm the first one on the list so I will make an entry in the red journal then mail it on to the next participant who happens to be Melba. Melba will then make an entry and then mail it on to the next participant, and so on and so forth. In the meantime, I will send the black journal to Corey (whose at the bottom of the list--excluding Ali who we are going to work in somewhere once we know a little bit more about her mailing status). Corey will make the first entry into the black journal then mail it to the next participant, who is Meg, and so on and so forth. In other words the red journal will be making its way down the list while the black journal is making its way up the list. I like this idea for two reasons: 1.) It means the people at the bottom won't have to wait so long to get the journal in their eager little hands. 2.) With only one journal the participants at the top wouldn't ever get the full effect of receiving a journal that they could flip through and read the thoughts of others. There wouldn't be very many entries. Now they have that opportunity because they will end up with the black journal--and the bottom will end up with the red. I will start and finish the red journal while Corey starts and finsishes the black journal.

Now wait a minute, you may say. I didn't sign up for two journals. I only wanted to participate once. No problem. Once you've seen the first journal simply e-mail me letting me know you don't want to make an entry in the second journal. I'll remove your name from the participant list so the second journal will bi-pass you.

How do we know where to send the journal after we've made our entry? You will contact the next person on the list (for the red journal it will be the person below you, for the black journal it will be the person above you). Most people have a blog which has e-mail information. Simply make contact with the person letting them know you're ready to send on the journal and they can tell you where to send it. For those participants without a blog link you will e-mail me and I'll get you in contact with them through their e-mail address. (NOTE: If you don't have a blog please make sure I have your e-mail address.) This is the ideal scenario however I understand that handing out your address to a stranger is a very sensitive matter. For those of you who don't want to do that I have another option. You will e-mail me with your address. When the person contacts you about sending on the journal simply let them know to contact me instead. I'll have the person send the journal back to me and then I'll mail it on to you. The only person who will ever see your address is me. I hope that most people will be okay with giving their address to the participants below and above them but I do understand the sensitive nature of this and want to offer a second option.

Cost of shipping? I don't know. I haven't taken the journals to the post office to find out. I will say that with this many participants I did have to get fairly large journals. I didn't want to run out of pages. However I don't want shipping to be an issue for anyone, possibly preventing someone from participating, especially since now there will be two journals instead of the original one. Believe me I completely understand. The first two years of Britton's life I was a single-mother with very little assistance. I know what it's like to get to the final week or two of the month and wonder what you're going to eat, just praying someone will have mercy on you. I wanted to provide some type of postage assistance plan. I propose a postage kitty. But I don't want anyone sending me money and then find myself trying to keep up with it and responsible for getting it to the person who needs it. I had this in mind: When I send off both the red and the black journals I will also include a pre-paid envelope. If anyone needs the envelope USE IT. Don't be embarrassed. That' what it's there for. Let me reiterate--I've been there. I know what it's like. If anyone else would like to contribute to the postage kitty you'd do the same thing--insert another pre-paid envelope before you mail it off. If the journal makes its way to the end of the list and there are some pre-paid envelopes still available please use them. I don't want a lot of pre-paid envelopes coming back to me. Please let me know what you think of the postage kitty idea: is there a better way to do this? Do you think it won't even be an issue so I shouldn't worry about it? Thoughts and opinions are appreciated.

Eventually both of the journals will make their way back to me. I do want anyone who wants completed copies to receive one. Please send your thoughts and ideas on this to me. We have plenty of time to decide how to go about this but we might as well start thinking about it now. And like I said, if the group would rather do an individual journal type thing that is an option. Please give me your thoughts on this. In the long run I think it will be much less expensive to go this route, but this is OUR project so let me know what you want to do.

This is your chance! Please give me feedback, ask questions, offer suggestions. This is just a game plan. There is still time for any tweaking that needs to be done. There are a couple of other minor things I will add to the instructions once we finally get going but I don't want to touch on those things tonight. For tonight I just want to throw this out there and see what you think.

And finally, if you have e-mailed me within the past couple of days I have not had a chance to add you to the list or make the necessary changes. My computer crashed so I've been posting/reading blogs when I have a computer available. Please pray for my computer's sad, sad, sad. I will get all this done before the weekend is over so please be patient with me. And if you have not read the previous post with the requests I made please do so. It's necessary in order to make the participant list work as it needs to. Thank you for choosing to participate in this project. I am so excited about it and can't wait to hear your suggestions and to actually get this underway!

So, that's the plan Stan! Whaddaya think?

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I think I finally have a complete list of participants. The response has been overwhelming and I'm really looking forward to getting the ball rolling. I purchased the journal(s) this weekend so now it's only a matter of working out all the kinks. I'll post a game plan this week and that will give you an opportunity to see how this is going to work and offer any suggestions you may have. It's also a good time to get any questions you may have answered. In the meantime there is a little something I need you do to for me.

Please review the participant list on the sidebar and make certain you are there. Also please make certain your blog link is correct and that I don't have you on the list multiple times. With a participation list this large I'm bound to make errors. Please e-mail me if something needs to be corrected or if you find you're not on the list. For those of you who don't have a blog link please just be certain I do have your e-mail address. Today I sent out a bulk e-mail to the participants letting them know I made this update on the Journal Project blog. If you did not get the e-mail and want to be added to the e-mail list please send me your e-mail address and I'll get you added. I either didn't have your e-mail, overlooked you, wasn't certain you wanted your e-mail address published, or couldn't locate the address at your blog. I thought it would be a good idea to have an e-mail list going in order to let you know when I've updated the blog with a new post or just to let you know the status of our little project. One other thing to check for me--I've tried to group the participants from the various countries together. Currently the order is US, Canada, UK, and France. If you are not a US participant please make certain you are on the bottom of the list with your fellow participants. If not, please contact me so I can get you moved. I thought it would be easier to keep each countries' participants together so the journal wouldn't have to make so many trips back and forth across the ocean. Someone told me they were from Australia but I can't remember who it was so please contact me and let me know. I want to get you moved down the list as well. Don't be discouraged about being on the bottom. That doesn't necessarily mean you're last to get the journal. You'll just have to wait for more details. Finally, if you find yourself on the list of participants and have decided you no longer want to participate that's perfectly fine. Just send me an e-mail letting me know you've changed your mind and I'll get you removed. I'll post the game plan in the next couple of days so be on the lookout. As I mentioned earlier I've had to make a change or two due to the massive amount of participants but I think you will be really excited about the least I am!

I think that's all for now!