It’s a rainy, quiet weekend here at home, and on paper, the planets seem perfectly aligned for getting a few layouts done. The kids are occupied, the house is in order, work is caught up, there’s even ready made lunch in the fridge for everyone to grab- but I am having a hard time getting motivated. When I opened my photo folder of 10 thousand files, and sat in my room piled high with supplies, I got a serious case of analysis paralysis. There were just so many choices, and its been awhile since I have scrapped, so the “to-do” list of subjects was a little overwhelming. Where to start? End of school? Summer? oh Lord- summer itself had about 10 subcategories… and don’t get me started on how behind in Project Life I am… and then it happened- my scrap happy time was suddenly a bummer.
I was determined to pull myself out of this funk though, and wanted to get at the root of it. Why was I unable to just start? It wasn’t that I had too many supplies or photos- because, really, looking through all those made me feel happy and inspired. I discovered my stress wall popped up when I tried to decide which was the “right” story to start with. I had a scrapbooking drill sergeant in my head trying to triage my creativity, and those two don’t really play happily together in open field. Truth be told though, the sergeant did have a valid point. It is important to have some sort of rhyme and reason to the layout process. But she was just yelling so loud, I couldn’t get anything started, and was stressed out even trying.
So, here’s what I did. I pulled out a stack of index cards and on each one, jotted down a layout idea. I used my photo photo gallery- and started at the beginning of the month. Just one month at a time- and only one month. As I scrolled thru, and as a photo hit me- I wrote that idea down. Sometimes it was a milestone, like, last day of school. Sometimes it was just a story behind the photo. In one month’s photos, I had about 15 stories to tell. Now, I could take these cards and use them as a framework for Project Life for the month- and also see which stories I wanted to dedicate to a larger layout. The very best part though, was now that I had these ideas down, I could also freestyle a story guilt free. Having a “organized” story bank set me free to just tell any story I wanted. It was like I had a safety net of ideas- nothing would get lost, I had a road map to follow, and that allowed my mind to wander. A little planning was all I needed.
Many times I have heard advice to start with the most recent photos and work backwards- and this definitely has merit when you are motivated to scrap but don’t know where to start. But I was in a different rut- I just couldn’t get excited to scrap because it seemed like a chore. Something on my to-do list as opposed to a creative outlet that fills my bucket. The combination of organization + freestyle is what worked for me this time around, and got me #scraphappy once again!