As all things tend to do, my scrapbooking trends towards disorder and lack of focus as time goes on. Thus I intentionally reign myself in every few months with a personal check-in.
During this time I'll look at my planning workbook (included with our membership) and see how my progress measures up with my plans. I'll evaluate, adjust, and move forward.
I love knowing where I'm at, but there's an additional element of query I've been craving. Every so often I find myself whispering a very big question in my own ear:
What would you do if you could start from scratch?
To be honest, the answer to this question scares me a little. But I don't let that stop me from listening to the answer. I lean in, feeling brave, as I discover what inner me has to say.
I have found that my craving for less complication and more simplicity directs my response. I try to use this question to guide small shifts in my projects and overall direction.
What I Would Do Differently
For context, let me first state that I'm currently creating 3-5 layouts and a 3-4 pocket pages each month. I'm also working on my photo library and finishing older projects.
Every time I've asked myself this huge, loaded question there is one answer that always bubbles up: photo books. If I could start from scratch today, I would probably create multiple photo books each year, but not about the current year.
They would be curated explorations of time + context with just words and photos. Maybe I would include some digital stamps for embellishment, but I would probably not do any traditional scrapbooking.
For example, I would like to create a photo book for pre-baby life, 2007-2011. It would focus on what my life was like after meeting my husband but before I had Emily. Since I'm starting from scratch, I wouldn't worry that I already have dozens of layouts on this topic.
Focusing on retrospective photo books and not right now memory keeping would create more space for routine photo library maintenance and sharing of those current images with family. I also wouldn't have any concern about how much I'm shopping vs. how much I'm scrapping with those supplies.
The problem with this scenario is that I do really enjoy the process of creating with my hands. This is why I transitioned from digital to paper scrapbooking in 2011. I would miss it if I only created photo books.
What I Will Do Differently
The more I really think about this question, the more I realize the work I still need to do in simplifying my process. Given that I'm not a super-prolific scrapbooker, I don't think my current project list needs to be changed too much.
What I need is to do is create more space for this work on photo books. Clearly they hold a significance in my conscience as an efficient, effective means to get stories documented in a beautiful way.
I'm not sure yet how this will play out, but I couldn't wait to share this question with you. It is one simple sentence with a potentially profound impact on simplifying your scrapbooking.
So now it's your turn... what would you do if you could start from scratch?