I was in India, wandering around on the ‘Year of Uncertainty,’ with, like, this internet connection that was iffy and a feeling like the old dream I had had, a dream of taking my design studio ‘on the road’ and somehow managing to ‘wing it,’ would, in fact, yield nothing different from the days when I was in one place. An office, desks, a routine, and people getting used to me being around ambiently and often enough to the point where they could ask me, ‘Hey. Are you doing something there? It looks fun. I want to try.’ And that is how Design Kompany was made. It was 2006 when blogging led to connections, which led to people coming to the office, and that turned into projects and I liked all of that. I did. I just… felt like after ra while maybe I didn’t want an office, which led to undoing some programming that says ‘you need to have X and Y to be a legit outfit for work,’ and I got rid of most of the things. Then I left he country. That was 2013. I’m in Vietnam, writing this. It’s June, almost. The years is 2021. Yes, I have been ‘stuck’ here but it’s really not about that. It has been a choice, and I’m grateful for the time that it has opened up for me to go back into this website, this page, this dream of making something out of scratch and discovering a handful of people to loop into things. Things like online circles, for writing, mostly, but beyond that, and I guess more mostly, for accountability.
Make yourself make time
You show up every day for your writing because you were a journalist and you’re used to it, that would be my story, but most people, I think, wish they could just take more time for it. To be creative. To ‘carve out me-time’, as they say. I get that. You want to have your stuff to do, to make, and practice your craft. Or just share its sometimes and see what people think. You know what? I started Cojouranling with people in 2014 when I was in the north of India like I said, earlier, with that internet connection. I just wrote emails to people and asked if they wanted to have me share prompts and stuff, and maybe met 2-3 others, also, along the way, in each ‘pod.’ This is the jigsaw method, as I understand from educational texts afterwards but experienced, personally, and loved, in fourth and fifth grades. I like peer-to-peer stuff, and I love small circles. Like, 4. I don’t want too many people around. That’s why I don’t go and do ads and stuff for things even though my friends in business think I should ‘scale this thing.’ No, no, no. It’s for me to enjoy it, the getting-to-know-you stuff that I really like, over time building towers something that means something because we have had… time… to build trust.
Do you wish you had more time? To write, to meet people who like to write, and who might offer a fresh angle on things? Maybe even be in another country. Or have a different life story, naturally, we all do. But we don’t get to know each other because we don’t… slow down. And talk.
So that’s why I did it. Made the weekly prompts, and sent them to the people who said ‘yes’ to me. We talked. Weekly, some of us for two years. Some of us for four. I’m doing something else, related to it, called Papers, now, but the whole thing started here. And I’m opening this project up, again because… start with something simple…
Here’s the idea.
Welcome. Or welcome back.
Are you curious about The Cojournal Project?
Let me share what this is.
For those who want to write, write more, and want to write with others, I made up this thing. The Cojournal Project. It’s been going now for six years, in various versions, ever since the beginning. That was at a time when I felt like it was impossible to find a small group of people to write with, over time, and build up to something that felt… intimate, close, comfortable, and Third Place-y. Just google ‘the third place,’ and ‘Wikipedia’, to see what I mean by that.
‘Tell me more. Specifics.’
It’s $10/week for 12 weeks. It’s pay-as-you go. So you can leave whenever you like, and if you complete the program, we’ll send you a 1-page report customized with feedback just for you on your writing progress with us in the journaling. It’s designed to be a safe space to share, share what we feel, and share when we like. No pressure to conform to anything. Aliases are welcome. No social media stuff. All relaxed, light, low-key, pretty much like everything we do and even the tone of the books Kismuth publishes, too.
‘I’m in! Now what?’
It’s USD $10/week and it goes for just 12 weeks. That’s it. You’ll get a prompt a week, then you’ll hav a chance to converse with others in your group. After, at the end, you’ll be given a mini-report in a one-page format with feedback on your progressions. I’ll write that, myself.
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