WPT #41: Write Your Own Rules

by | Productivity Advice | 6 comments

It’s hard not to play that game.

You see incredible pocket pages and extraordinary layouts, so you play the comparison game.

Your projects just don’t look like that.

One of my more popular video posts last year was Snowflakes, Not Sheep, in which I offered permission to not follow along when “everyone” is doing a certain project.

In this week’s pep talk I want to extend that permission to the products, styles, and approaches you use in scrapbooking.


Last week I shared how I cobble together inspiration to create something new. You can use a similar strategy to write your own rules for scrapbooking and even stop playing the comparison game.

Let’s use a dating analogy. In dating, there’s something that brings you to the table… a simple attraction.

But as you get to know someone better, you figure out which parts of that person are compatible with you. If there’s a good match, you keep them around.

Scrapbooking, especially in the inspiration-overloaded online world, is like dating. For each project you look at, there’s an initial visual appeal that draws you in.

Under the surface there are story ideas, color combinations, technique examples, composition strategies, and more. When you begin to break it down and start asking “What do I like about this?” you can define the products, styles, and approaches that really get you excited.

From Pinterest to our own Spark magazine, the information you consume can help you craft your own unique rule book as a scrapbooker. Then, as you train your eye to look past just the prettiness, you can train your mind to stop comparing your one-of-a-kind style to anyone else’s.

The Weekly Pep Talk shares one strategy to help you simplify scrapbooking and focus on what matters most. 

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Deborah Van Leer

    Thank you. This is something I have been mulling over, particularly with my renewed focus on scrapbooking through Simple Scrapper and Big Picture Scrapbooking events. I have been very conscious of the whole Project Life movement and the focus on recording everyday life, but I know the backlog of pictures I have to organize/scrapbook. I also know that the over-riding reason for my scrapbooking is the creativity aspect..
    I am now accepting that I will attempt to organize and store my photos and memorabilia, but my scrapbooking will be of scattered moments in time with the creativity of producing a beautiful (to me) layout being the focus for me. I hope that in the future my pages will give pleasure, and stir memories, and interesting as it may be to see/know more, there is probably a limit to the amount of time/interest people will have in looking back.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      You’ve raised a lot of interesting and important points here Deborah, namely that what you’re getting out of it does and perhaps should trump the future value. We’re all inherently interested in our own pleasure, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It can be what keeps you healthy and happy.

    • Chris George

      Deborah, you have hit the nail on the head!

      Of late, I had been seriously questioning the amount of time that I put into scrapping, as opposed to the time/interest other people will have in it.

      Then a couple of days after Christmas my brother, who lives overseas, paid a brief visit. I showed him my “Days We Celebrate” album, seeing as he & his kids figure quite a lot in it. He skimmed through it, closed it up & said “it’s good”. Admittedly my brother is a man of few words, but his comment left me feeling deflated.

      However, it has cemented my resolve to scrap less.

  2. Juliakay

    This conversation, and others like it, always bring Karen Grunberg to mind. I once heard her in one of the PRT episodes speaking so frankly of her utter conviction that her sons would *not* care deeply for the albums she has labored over. This idea struck me at first as being very sad, but then I understood the wisdom that Karen had unearthed…the art has to be for the artist, not the audience. If the only thing that compels me to stick it out in my craft room is the accolades of my family and friends, I am dearly wasting my time. But those moments become for me, like Karen, a time of self exposure, evolution, and therapy. And if “my people” like it, that’s the icing and cherries 🙂 Create for YOU.
    Furthermore, I only spend enough time in galleries or pinterest or tutorials to gain some skills and get the itch. Then, unplug and let it flow…

    • Jennifer Wilson

      While I do 100% agree with you, I do think there is an additional important perspective.. perhaps particularly for those with girls. I know that from a very young age I looked through our photo albums again and again, and that some of my memories were only formed from my mother giving that photo a story. While I do love the process and certainly spend more time than I would on a photo album, I do like to see my scrapbooking as a way to create albums my daughter will look through… albums that give her a strong sense of identity and value of self. While yes she can look through photos on the computer, the act of choosing our favorites helps to honor both the memory and the photograph itself. I scrap for me and for her.

  3. Chris George

    Great advice girls!

    I only have one child, a son. He is in his 30’s and he has no intention of marrying (he works to travel), which means that I will probably never be a Grandmother 🙁



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