It’s April! Well it arrived about a week ago but… April is here and there’s just so much going on. This is one of my favourite months here on Aumsome. It’s like Christmas in the stationery world right now. There’s just so much going on and this amazing month is going to end with my favourite week: National Stationery Week! Even before that though, this month is full of so many great things that I thought I would kick it off with a very quick overview of some of the amazing challenges that are taking place this month.
Let’s start with my favourite… National Stationery Week
As a stationery lover, National Stationery Week is – without a doubt – one of my favourite weeks in the year. It’s a fun week for anyone who prefers to go offline, even if it’s only for a few moments. Every year, the week has different themes for each of the days – sponsored by different companies and organisations.
I’ll be sharing a more in-depth post soon, highlighting all of the different sponsors and themes for the year so that you can get involved too. For now, however, I thought it would be worth quickly mentioning that I am particularly excited about it this year because a number of my favourite brands are taking part!
Top Highlights so far:
– This year’s first sponsor was Ryman. They are great for all your stationery essentials – and are really affordable too. I really like some of their own branded products, like their notebooks or the variety of papers they stock. I’m also a fan of Theo Paphitis, who is the chairman of Ryman, after watching him on Dragon’s Den.
– Derwent joined the list of sponsors to host ‘Feel Good Friday’. I have no idea what they have up their sleeves for this one but I’m excited to find out. Being creative is a great way of looking after your mental health. I’ve spoken a lot about using stationery in your self-care routine so I’m thrilled to see that other companies agree and are getting involved in it.
– Paperchase is sponsoring one of the days! I’m a huge fan of Paperchase (what stationery lover isn’t?!). They have a lot of fantastic products that are pretty, as well as functional. I’m really excited to see what they do on this day. They’ve decided to kick the week off with a theme based on writing that Monday morning To Do List.
– Sunday’s #SendALetterDay does not have a sponsor yet, I don’t think but I am really excited for this one. As I said before, letterwriting has so many different benefits. I know I’d love to see a sponsor get behind this one and really make the day special.
You can find out the full details of NatStatWeek over on their website, including the latest news of the newest sponsors. If you’re interested in sponsoring them, please do get in touch with them – or let me know and I can put you in touch. It’s not long left now till the fantastic week is upon us so it’s definitely time to get involved now.
What you need to join National Stationery Week?
Absolutely nothing. National Stationery Week is open to everyone. If you want to connect with other likeminded people or companies, you can follow the week on social media. You could definitely do something locally, though and hold your own event! There’s so many options.
Find out more about National Stationery Week on their website. I will also share more about the week closer to the time.
But before that, let’s talk about some April Challenges:
There’s a variety of different stationery related or themed ‘challenges’ this month that I am excited to share with you. Whether you want to write a letter to others, reflect and journal for yourself or perhaps work on that novel you’ve always wanted to write, there is a challenge appropriate for you.
But April has already started, is it too late to join in?
Honestly? No. Most of the challenges I am going go speak about are ones that you can easily join in at any time. I would recommend just going in and changing your ‘goal’. For example, if the challenge is to do something every day for the full 30 days, you can either catch up and just do the whole thirty in the remaining days OR you could simply aim to do one a day for the rest of the days. I personally would suggest just doing less but starting today.
It is better to start where you are than to delay doing it simply because it has already started. So without further ado, let’s crack onto the list of stationery related April Challenges…
National Journal Writing Month
Four times a year, the NaJoWriMo challenge prompts you to journal every single day. I only recently found out about it but I love the idea. I started journalling more regularly in February this year and so far, I have really enjoyed the experience. It’s been an outlet for my emotions, allowing me to release the negative ones and savour the more positive ones.
National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo) takes place in January, April, July and October every year. Each time, they select a different theme, offering you a different topic to focus on if you wanted to. This month’s theme is Personal Renewal Through Journal Writing.
The website is full of information that you can access. Some of it is free, through their newsletters or a free course whilst others need to be purchased. Personally, I have only accessed their free resources for now so I cannot tell you anything about the paid options, other than the fact that they exist. Regardless of what resources you access, the idea behind the challenge is what inspired me to write this post.
I have started journalling much more regularly since February this year. I can recall having a diary at various stages in my life from perhaps the age of 8-9. However, I usually started it for a week and then stopped it – or I would have it for months but only write in there a handful of times. This year, I wanted to actually put the pen to the paper more often and actively tried to do it on a regular basis. And honestly, I think it’s been a really helpful exercise for me.
I’m about halfway through the journal that I set out to use two months ago. I have not written it in daily but I will try to actively do it much more. This month, I am going to try and journal daily – even if it is just a few lines or five minutes of writing before bed. For me, journalling has offered me an outlet for my emotions. It has allowed me to release some of the negative emotions I have felt over the months, like particular incidents of being frustrated by something. But more than that, it has also allowed me to savour the positive moments and potentially relive them as I reread them later on.
What you need to journal:
Honestly? All you really need is…
– Something to write on
– Something to write with
– and about ten minutes.
You can definitely journal in more or less time, as you see fit but I think I spend around five to ten minutes journalling. For this challenge, you could definitely use a digital journal but since I’m a stationery addict and I think writing things by hand actually is much more powerful, I would highly recommend a notebook and pen.
Find out more about NaJoWriMo and start journalling now.
The Write_On Campaign
Every year since 2014, the Write On Campaign encourages people all over the world to write more letters. The idea is simple: thirty letters in thirty days. This campaign is particularly aimed at people in USA or Canada, I believe, where you can even get a free pack of goodies to get you started. I have, sadly, never had a pack as I’m not based in either of those countries. However, I love the campaign and its push to write more letters. There can never be enough letterwriting, in my point of view so every campaign that encourages it is a good one in my eyes.
I have spoken a lot about letterwriting and the benefits to it. I have written quite a few letters to people over the past few months, determined to write more than I did before. It has been really quite therapeutic, to be honest. There have been times when I needed to talk to someone but it was the middle of the night and no one was awake. At those times, writing down my feelings and thoughts to someone really helped. Even if I never sent the letter in the end, the simple act of writing it helped.
Receiving a letter is a really lovely experience. It shows that someone took some time out of their day to personally write to you. You are worth that extra bit of effort and money spent on it and that’s a really nice feeling.
What you need to write letters:
– Something to write on
– Something to write with
– Someone to write to
– An address & postal stamp to send it to them (or hand-deliver it)
– And about ten minutes or so.
If you’re not sure who to write to, why not write a letter to someone who could use a smile? I spoke about From Me To You, which is a charity that encourages people to write to patients with cancer. By writing this letter, you could be helping to brighten someone’s day.
Find out more about the #Write_On Campaign and start writing letters today.
Now you may have heard of ‘National Novel Writing Month’, also known as “NaNoWriMo”. This is a monster challenge that inspired many other challenges. The main challenge takes place in November, where you have to write 50,000 words throughout the month. Last year, I got close to completing it but fell short by a few thousand towards the end. I have seen a lot of people do it though.
Camp Nanowrimo (also known as Camp Nano) is the easier, more laid back version of that. Of course, you can actually make it much harder if you wanted to. However, Camp Nano takes place every April and July. It allows you to set your own goal. You can aim for a more laidback word count, perhaps 30,000. However, you can also set your goal in minutes, hours, lines or pages! Whatever is easiest for you.
This year, I have decided to take part in Camp for the first time. My goal is to write 30 pages, which so far as worked out pretty slowly. I definitely need to put in more time and dedication towards these pages but it’s getting there. On average, I do around 500 words per page, in the default size 11 text that my Google Drive is set to. So the average word count would only be around 15,000. I think that is definitely doable and much more relaxing than attempting to do the full 50K in a month – alongside all of the other challenges that I’ll be taking part in.
I am definitely behind my target but I am fairly confident that this challenge is one that I will be able to complete. With a bit of time and dedication, I am sure that this one will be possible.
What you need to write novels, stories, blog posts:
To take part in Camp Nano, technically you do not actually need any stationery. However, I count writing a novel or book as stationery. I also love to plan for these things using stationery so personally, I am counting this challenge in the stationery addicts category.
A lot of the work could be done online. Some people do actually choose to hand write their own challenge though!
Find out more about Camp Nano. If you’re taking part, feel free to add me as a friend. My username is reemofpaper.
The 100 Day Project is back for the sixth time this year. This challenge encourages you to pick up any creativity project that you want for one hundred days straight. It started on the 2nd April 2019 so I’ll be starting about a week behind. However, I plan to just do it for a week longer. You can literally start this challenge whenever you want and just do it for one hundred days.
I really like this project as it implores you to be creative but it’s not limited to just a particular type of art. You could, for example, do oil paintings, knit, write poetry or do woodwork. It’s so versatile!
Personally, I am thinking of using it to encourage wellbeing for myself. There are many mental health benefits of doing art, as you may know. With this challenge, alongside the #StationerySelfCare list that I have, I think I am going to focus on crafting and lettering my way through #The100DayProject. I’ll put together a proper list of what I plan to do for this project soon.
Other Instagram Challenges
Is it just me or are there a bunch of fun photo challenges over on Instagram every month? There are probably a lot of them, in all honesty. However, one of them stood out to me and I’ll probably try and take part in this if I get some time.
The challenge is #30Inks30Days by Ink Journal, which is all about using different inks and fountain pens for thirty days. I really love this one as it lets you play with the full collection of inks and pens that you have. If you are anything like me, you will have a bunch of inks stocked up but you don’t get to use them all that often. I tend to constantly find myself reaching for the same ones. I am not sure if I have thirty different ones but I could probably get close, to be fair. So I should probably try to use them a bit more!
Instagram challenges are very popular. I have seen a few different ones this month and there always seem to be more. Do you know of any great stationery related ones? Please feel free to share them in the comments!
It’s not too late to start
Remember that it’s not too late to start. Take it easy and set an easier goal, if you want to take part in one of the challenges. It’s best not to get stressed about these challenges – they are all there for fun. It is meant to inspire you to be a bit creative, spend more time connecting with others or perhaps just reflecting on your own life.
Are you already taking part in any of these challenges? Excited about National Stationery Week? Got any other stationery related challenges that I missed off? Comment below and let me know!
Remember there’s a giveaway: If you’re into crafting, remember that I have a giveaway going on. Find out more here if you are interested in winning a bundle of glue and tapes.