No Is For Wimps: Creative Summer Camp

Being non-wimpy at Camp Mighty with Erica.
Some of you remember an online literary magazine that I ran a few years back called No Is For Wimps. NIFW published every two weeks; each issue had 5 pieces of art in it, ranging from poems to songs to photos... and lots in-between. We had an "Ask the Pseudo Expert" column which featured posts from lifeguards and entomologists and ornithologists that I met randomly in bars or through friends.

It was bizarre and I totally loved publishing it with my buddy Matt. But soon the stress of bimonthly publishing and hunting down artists and editing the whole operation was too much. Around that time I started at Arc90 and was busier than I had been before... and so NIFW stopped.

Some of you have asked me about it. It means a lot that four years later, people still remember that little publication. And so when I made my Life List last fall, I included a dream for NIFW as item number 66:

66. Create an online community around No Is For Wimps.

I chose it as one of the things I wanted to do in the year ahead and though I've had a number of coffees and lunches and brainstorms with friends, it hasn't gotten off the ground. I don't miraculously have more time than I used to and though I know a number of people who might want to contribute, I know how quickly you run through those connections when you're publishing regularly.

Two weeks ago, the universe melded together an idea in the 4 train on my way home, something that now seems so obvious that I can't understand why I didn't think of it before: NIFW is becoming an online school.

Well, let me back that train up. I'm messing around with the idea of teaching online courses involving creative projects under the NIFW brand. I'm experimenting this summer with the first course, called Creative Summer Camp. And depending on what I learn from that, we'll see where it goes.

I love projects. (Duh.) I love teaching, but not in traditional settings. I love helping people get organized, get motivated or just understand themselves a little bit better. I also, thanks to my career in technology, love the Internet.

What I'm getting at is, I think this is going to be A LOT OF FUN for me. It never occurred to me that tackling #66 on my Life List did NOT involve publishing a literary magazine. That's what I assumed I'd meant by "create an online community"... but here I am, seeing a completely new way to do that, one that does not rely on the coordination that the old, impossible project used to.

So here's the scoop. I'm taking six people, the first six who sign up, who decide to take a chance this summer to do something a little different, a little funky, hopefully a lot fun. These six people will be charged zero dollars each. And we'll try this out -- you'll get to work on a creative project, I'll get to know you and coach you and learn a bunch from the experience.

If you'd like to be one of the six, go register on the NIFW site. I would seriously love to have you.

P.S. Don't be a wimp.
P.P.S. If Chris didn't have it on his Life List, he can now claim "inspire and encourage my wife in her latest project and design/code her a kick-ass launch site." Cause he did. Thanks, love.


Tara Bradway said...

that's awesome!!

Jen said...

Thanks, Tara!! :)

Erica said...

I second Tara ... awesome idea! I would totally sign up if we weren't in the US for 3 weeks in JUly and moving in August!

Jen said...

@E-- totally understand, but dates are June 4-July 13 in case that helps :)

Erica said...

PERFECT! We leave for Paris on July 10th. I've just signed up, I can't wait!

Matthew Targarona said...

Yeah Buddy!