This post was originally published on December 12, 2011. For an updated perspective, visit Project Life + Library of Memories.
I've had something on my mind and its taken until now to articulate it. My opinion might be unpopular, but I'm guessing there are some of you who feel the same way. If you have an opinion, I'd love if you left a comment.
I am just not that into Project Life*.
There, I said it. I like the products (they are very attractive), I like the concept of documenting the everyday and I like how it is getting more people to tell their stories. But I am not in love. Perhaps more importantly, I don't think its particularly simple.
Let me back up with some context for my opinion.
For the past few years, documenting 'the everyday' has been a focus within the scrapbooking industry. I am 110% for elevating the little stories of our lives and celebrating them as ardently as the big events. Concepts like Project 365/52, Week in the Life, the Memory Logbook, even SMASH books have helped us see our worlds through a lens of beauty and wonder. They help us capture what makes up our lives and be grateful for what we have.
We created blog posts, made photo books and designed scrapbook pages about both the mundane and the small things in life. At the same time, we were all celebrating photo freedom with Stacy Julian and waving the flag of non-chronological scrapbooking. And then Project Life changed all that.
Suddenly we were spending time printing photos and documenting all the little details, worrying about staying caught up with each week's pages (or fretting about being so far behind). One could say we regressed into old habits, allowing the (natural) craving for structure to add unnecessary burden to our lives.
While there is certainly value in this extent of memory keeping, it makes me wonder if we've gone too far. Project Life tends to emphasizes the surficial details of our days, but there is so much more to life than 'the everyday'. For those who only do Project Life, will those important stories that benefit from a bit of time and reflection ever get documented? For those who can't keep up, will we lose them forever as scrapbookers?
* I am defining Project Life here as the most common implementation of 2 pages per week - using the products from Becky Higgins or not. Certainly, not everyone is following this implementation and I do value that the products and general approach are flexible.