Theme: “They grouped under the lamp post, alone.”

Lamp Post

The inspiration for this theme came from a people watching moment at Richmond station in Melbourne. I noticed that the areas under cover were getting crowded. Mainly because thats where all seats are. People had drifted into the open area for a little peace a quiet (i assume).

But the thing was, though everyone was doing that “pretending no one else exists” (something I specialize at while using public transport) they were grouping around wherever there was a sign post. It was as if no one wanted to take the extra few steps to stand in a completely empty place.

I’m probably reading too much into it, but I still think of it from time to time.

Responses to this month’s theme will be due the first Monday of next month, 6th of June.

As usual, you can send us through a link to the response on your own site, or, if you don’t have a space of your own, send us the file at themondayproject85@gmail.com, and we’ll post it up here.

Happy creating!

~ Sophie, Kate & Mr Sketchy

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Theme responses: Beach Baths

I’m still hassling a couple of people for typed-up versions of their responses to the Beach Baths theme, but thought we should share what we’ve already received.

Duck Reach has posted a sketch up over here.

Pseudo Rhys has put his response up here.

Mr Sketchy has tried to avoid rambling about what’s behind the picture over here.

And I’ve put up a very rough draft of a short fiction piece here.

Thanks everyone for playing along! If we get anymore responses sent through in the next couple of days, I’ll add them at the bottom here.

For now though, check out the new theme, due Monday 2 May.

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Theme: Canberra Autumn

Canberra Autum

 

This is an image I took just outside my parents’ house in Canberra in the autumn last year. Canberra is stinking hot in summer and freezing cold in winter, but in autumn and spring it’s really very beautiful.

I usually find myself in Canberra in the in-between seasons — in fact, I’m heading there in a couple of weeks for the Easter long weekend — and the prettiness of those seasons never gets old. Canberra is oranges, browns and yellows in the autumn. As the leaves fall, the temperature drops. The air is crisp and the skies are clear. I revel in the chance to wear a coat, scarf and gloves.

Responses to this month’s theme will be due the first Monday of next month, 2 May.

As usual, you can send us through a link to the response on your own site, or, if you don’t have a space of your own, send us the file at themondayproject85@gmail.com, and we’ll post it up here.

Happy creating!

~ Sophie, Kate & Mr Sketchy

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Remember, you’ve got until midnight tonight to send us a response to last month’s theme; we’ll be posting the responses some time tomorrow. If you want to play along, get cracking and send whatever you come up with through to themondayproject85@gmail.com.

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Submissions: Redux

Hey everyone, I hope you had a fun and creative month.

The time has come to show our work on last months theme, Redux.

First I’d like to send a special thanks to Pseudo Rhys for letting us see his submission ahead of time.

Other submissions we have is from Duck Reach with a interesting collage here.

Mr Sketchy’s work is here along with a rambling story.

If you have yet to send us your submission, don’t panic. You can send it or a link into us at themondayproject85@gmail.com
For the next few days we’ll update this post with the extra submissions, after that you can still enter something, but you’ll need to put it the comments below.

~

And, in keeping with past habits, Sophie’s submission is late. But here it is.

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Theme: Beach Baths

This is an image I took at the beach baths in Newcastle, just after I’d discovered (and subsequently become obsessed with) the Hipstamatic App. The day I took this picture, I went for a big long walk with a good friend of mine, and we talked about writing, strange architecture and all sorts of other things. I came away from that morning with very sore legs and lots of new things to think about.

Beach Baths

So it seemed appropriate that this photo should eventually make its way into a Monday Project monthly theme, since the circumstances of its creation were themselves so inspiring. The other reason for having this particular shot in March is that I often spend much of the third month of the year looking back over my summer (hopefully some of which has been spent at a beach); I like that Hipstamatic shots instantly evoke that sense of nostalgia.

Don’t forget if you’d like to share your ideas and your progress on the theme, drop us a line or leave a link in the comments to this post.

Remember above all else, have some fun.

Responses to this month’s theme should make it to our inbox (themondayproject85@gmail.com) by midnight Monday 5 April. We’ll do our best to make sure they go up within the week.

If you’ve got your own blog or online space, feel free to post your response up there, but remember to let us know it’s there, so we can link to it. If you’d prefer just to send us a file, that’s fine too (try and keep it small, if you can!), and we’ll post it up here.

And if you have any ideas for future Monday Project themes, please drop us a line.

Happy creating!

~ Soph, Kate and Mr Sketchy

——

PS. Oops. We forgot to change the date of publication for this one. Rest assured that you can still send us responses to last month’s theme until next Monday, 7 March. You’ll just get a sneaky extra week to work on this theme!

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Deadline!

So the first monthly theme for the year is due in a week. We got the date a little wrong in the original post — the first Monday of the month is actually 7 March.

To give you some idea of what you might be able to do for this theme, here’s a work-in-progress on the theme by Pseudo Rhys, who’s a Monday Projector from way back. He calls this “Reducks”.

Hope you’re all having fun with the theme — happy creating!

Soph

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Monday Project Motivation

I decided I’d copy Mr Sketchy and write here about some of the reasons behind the Monday Project — and more specifically why I personally am involved.

Before we started the MP blog a few years ago, Kate and I both spent an inordinate amount of time whinging to one another about how difficult it was to stay motivated to actually produce anything. It is difficult, to be sure, but there comes a point where whinging about its difficulty is just another form of procrastination.

I rarely find myself lacking ideas. Inspiration is everywhere. But I’m an impatient person; I want to do it all right now. Choice is not usually a good thing for me. If I have to choose, I’m likely to want to do everything, so I’ll spend huge amounts of time and energy trying to work out how I can do that, end up feeling frustrated or disheartened, and then do nothing at all. Not ideal.

Similarly, if I do manage to start something, I often find that about halfway through I come across another, completely different idea and am plunged into uncertainty about whatever it is that I’ve been working on all this time. Again, not exactly conducive to getting much done.

Hence the Monday Project. And its deadline.

Each time I’ve been at uni (I’m a sucker for punishment, and keep sending myself back there), I’ve found deadlines incredibly useful. With one looming, I have to actually make a choice about what I’m going to see through to completion, because I have to hand something in. And so I finish things (not always happily or well, but that’s another matter entirely). I have to admit that there’s additional pressure with the Monday Project, being one of the organisers. (That’s a good thing.)

A good friend of mine and I have recently re-started trying to do three creative writing exercises a week. Last time we did this (about six months ago), we also spent a lot of time talking about how difficult it was to let go of that fear that you’re producing something crappy, and just go ahead and do it anyway. She started using a typewriter so that it wasn’t as easy to delete something she deemed a mistake, and I tried to force myself to type up my handwritten notes faithfully. Funny thing was, we discovered that by producing writing of varying success levels we were able to highlight things in our writing that we needed or wanted to improve on. Equally, we were both pleasantly surprised to discover some skills we didn’t realise we had.

Avoiding doing something because you’re afraid you’ll be bad at it is really just missing out on an opportunity to develop your writing (or painting or drawing or playing or whatever) skills, as it turns out. My Dad told me recently that one can not call oneself an expert at anything with any less than 10 000 hours of experience or practice in that field. No skipping from novice to expert — which irritates me greatly, since patience is not one of my strong points, and you can’t hurry 10 000 hours.

I recently moved house and, among other things, I learnt that I’m much more a hare than a tortoise. I can get in and get lots of things done quickly and with lots of energy, but after a while I run out of steam. I lack the stamina of one of my old housemates, who worked tirelessly from 6am to 10pm each day of the move. To bring any kind of creative project to completion you need stamina. The Monday Project and its deadline have helped me work on that.

Which is not to say that something needs to be completely finished for you to post it here as a response to the monthly theme (I can assure you my pieces usually aren’t), but hopefully sharing it will encourage you to work on something you might otherwise give up on — and maybe even continue working on it after we’ve posted it here. Mr Sketchy also mentioned being encouraged to work on themes and ideas he might never have otherwise. Like my friend and I doing creative writing exercises, I’m hoping that the different themes and ideas will help me learn more about skills that I have already as a writer, as well as learning more about — and pushing — my limitation.

Of course, this month’s theme is Redux — the perfect opportunity to return to an older project and maybe inch it a little closer to completion.

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