This is a guest post by Aud Neal, who creates amazing art for her Audacious Designs store and shares her life with us at her Be AUDacious blog. I love reading Aud’s outdoor exploits, seeing her beautiful kids and reading all about her favorite books. Oh, and I LOVE her designs! -JSW

1207656_10869204Wikipedia defines manifesto as “a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature, but may also be life stance related. However, manifestos related to religious belief are rather referred to as credo.”

This isn’t a word that I find in my daily vocabulary, but after reading Andrea’s blog post about her summer manifesto, I’m thinking it should be. What a gorgeous piece of writing! The details, the emotion, the self-reflection – this is something worth holding on to, which is what scrapbooking, for me, is all about.

It’s not too late to write your own summer manifesto, and that’s exactly what I’d like to challenge you to do. But before you start thinking, “Oh no, I can’t write something like that!” I want to reassure you: Yes, you can. You can, and you should. And I’ve got a simple technique that’s going to help you get started.

If you look more closely at Andrea’s manifesto, you’ll see that it’s nothing more than a series of specific THINGS that she vows to do this summer. It’s about attitudes and senses and emotions and actions, and it’s all wrapped up in a very conversational package. Yes, if you aren’t used to journaling, it could look like an extensive piece of writing, but there’s a simple way to approach it.

Word association. This is one of my go-to techniques when it comes to journaling. Here’s how I do it:

  • Put your topic (in this case, ours is “summer”) at the top of your paper or your word document.
  • Below that, start listing all the things that you associate with that topic. Don’t stop to censor yourself – just write them all down. You can edit and organize them later.
  • If you find yourself getting stuck, here are some subtopics to think about: favorite activities, favorite locations, childhood memories, your five senses (sounds, smells, tastes, textures, sights), summertime music, changes you make in your daily routine, changes you make in decorating your house.
  • If you are still stuck, go read Andrea’s manifesto again. It’s a guarantee that something in hers will spark your own mind and give you something more to write about.

I’d love to see your summer manifesto layouts. In fact, if you create a layout using your summer manifesto and link it here, I’ll send you a coupon for 50% any purchase in my store. Have your layouts linked up by one week from today (by June 28, 2009) to qualify.