Many scrapbookers find it difficult to create consistently, including me! In this episode I share six of the ways I help myself stay motivates, finish projects, and feel satisfied. You’ll hear about decisions I’ve made personally and professionally to find more joy in the hobby. I’m also introducing SPARKED, a new free workshop to kick-start your own journey in scrapbooking consistently.
[00:00:00] Jennifer Wilson: As I've been thinking about how common this challenge is, I really wanted to help as many people as possible make progress.
[00:00:11] Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking.
[00:00:23] This is episode 226. In this episode, I am chatting with you solo, sharing six ways I help myself scrapbook consistently, as well as a brand new class I created just for you.
[00:00:40] Well, here we are, friends. I have a ton of new episodes in the queue. I had some really fabulous conversations earlier this summer, but I took a little pause to completely focus on finishing a big project. [00:01:00] And that's what I'll be talking about with you at the end of this, what I expect to be, short episode.
[00:01:06] I really want to start off by talking about this problem I see among so many scrapbookers. And that is this idea of creating consistently.
[00:01:19] Now we all might have our own definitions of what that means, from a few times a month to every single day.
[00:01:28] And you've heard a variety of those from our guests on the podcast, but whatever your definition is, we seem to all be chasing or moving towards this ideal place of feeling like we are staying connected and productive in our hobbies. I was already working on this project when I sent out our mid year survey, and it was [00:02:00] helpful and affirming to hear that this is the challenge that so many of you are facing.
[00:02:08] And I wasn't surprised because creating consistently is certainly something that I have struggled with as well. I am not the most prolific scrapbooker in the entire world. I would never be able to be one of those people you see on 3, 4, 5, 6 creative teams and I've interviewed many of them here on the show.
[00:02:33] That's just not how my brain works and that's totally okay, but I still, I desire this greater level of consistency and have put effort into achieving it. So before we go into more of what this project is that I've, that I've really spent the first half of July on almost exclusively, and really in the first half of this year, I was [00:03:00] taking steps towards this point, but I really want to just talk a little bit about some of the solutions that I have implemented that have helped me scrapbook more consistently, that have helped me finish all of my December Daily projects through 2022, that helped me finish a giant, I think it's 264 page, photo book from 2021, that have helped me rearrange all of my layouts into a new album system, and really just support me and feeling satisfied with my hobby.
[00:03:41] And so I have six different things here and I probably could list so many more but I wanted to just share a selection because these are the types of things that we talk about every day inside of our community. These are the things we talk about here on the [00:04:00] podcast, and I really want today's conversation to leave you with this desire to start taking action on these ideas.
[00:04:10] So number one might actually be the hardest. But it is the most transformational, and that is committing the time. Now, I know we can all say that, and we probably all put things on our calendar that we don't do, but when you put an appointment to, say, get your hair cut, or go to the dentist, or take your child to the doctor, or even go on a date with your partner, you do those things.
[00:04:38] So why do we skip over the dates that we make with ourself? I have committed the time by putting a time on the calendar in which I've invited others to join me to scrapbook and be productive. And this is a strategy that many of our members have used as well by being volunteer [00:05:00] crop hosts. Now I attend additional crops as well, just as a participant, but the events that I host are how I commit time to showing up because I've put it out there, it's on the calendar.
[00:05:12] And, you know, barring any unforeseen illness or injury, I'm going to show up and I'm going to do something.
[00:05:19] Number two is being more intentional with my photography. And here's what this means. I'm taking the majority of my photos on my phone. I enjoy both stepping back and being part of the moment as well as capturing a really wonderful reaction or smile.
[00:05:43] I love in the moment, candid shots. I am always thinking about, am I going to want to delete this later? We have the ability to take so many photos today. We have to actually be our own kind of moderators of the input. Because [00:06:00] otherwise, that becomes that many more images we'll have to sort through later.
[00:06:06] So I really feel like I have been more intentional overall with how I approach photography. I let others take more pictures than I have in the past, even if I know their camera is a lot older than mine and that's okay. I'd rather have the memory I'd rather be in the memory than have 40 options of the perfect shot taken myself. So I think that perspective on photography makes it easier to manage my photos which in turn makes it easier to then scrapbook them.
[00:06:39] The more barriers I can eliminate from my process, the easier it is to stay connected to it. So I don't have to ever fight with myself to, to get going.
[00:06:51] Number three is leaning on tools that I already have. And I don't mean my Silhouette or my [00:07:00] Minc or my We Are Memory Keepers Cinch.
[00:07:05] I'm not talking about those kind of tools. I am talking about the things I have. We're going to use things as an abstract here. That help me go from blank page to completed layout. And for the most part, that's sketches or scraplifting. Or just finding a design direction. We have inside of our membership almost 700 sketches and digital templates and so I have made an intentional effort to use them. In the past I would actually do the opposite. I would make an intentional effort not to use them so that my layouts could be used for new sketches, but I realized that actually was hindering my own productivity, which connects to another solution I will share here. And so I really like [00:08:00] to lean on what I have at my disposal and use those things as starting points.
[00:08:05] Whether it's a sketch, or a story prompt, or a challenge in our community, or a challenge in another community, I love being part of the broader scrapbooking community. I love using, say for example, Shimelle's Best of Both Worlds sketches, I'll put together my own little kit or even use a kit that I've purchased and follow along with one of hers.
[00:08:27] And just having some of those choices made for me helps me jump in much, much quicker than if I'm starting from scratch.
[00:08:38] Now the connecting point that I just mentioned is that I have made really conscious decisions for the bulk of my business, for at least the past 10, 11 years, that the business was not going to ever be dependent on my creative,[00:09:00] scrapbook specific, output.
[00:09:03] Yes, there is creative output in terms of writing, and all the things that I do as a business owner, but my personal scrapbooking is not the backbone of the business. And I realize this particular solution applies to those of you who are in similar positions as me, or even those maybe who've been thinking about starting your own business.
[00:09:29] But I would say that has been one important foundation for staying consistent, staying connected, staying excited and inspired, and not getting burnt out on the hobby.
[00:09:45] Number five. This is kind of a three parter. Every year I host a Planning Party, and our next Planning Party will be coming up in late October this year and it's at this time I think [00:10:00] about what I've done, what's working well, what's not, and what I might want to do next year. I sit on it through the holiday season, start making some tweaks, pay attention to what's going on in the world. And then in January, I kind of firm up some plans. Now, I have been able to scrapbook more consistently by not overplanning. I have reduced the things that I say that I'm going to do.
[00:10:29] It doesn't mean that I don't have lots of ideas or things that I want to do. There's always more things that I want to do. Um, anytime I see something that somebody else creates, every time I record a new podcast episode with a guest, there's always more ideas. But the actual plans that I put on paper, I try to do three or four per year of.
[00:10:52] These are the big rocks. These are the things that I know for sure I want to get done. Because I know [00:11:00] that the layouts I'm inspired to create. We'll fill in around that, and I know there's going to be something that I don't even know exists in October or January that I can't plan for. Something new that's really fun, really exciting, a class, a new product, a whole new, like, system of doing things is going to pop up, and I might want to try it.
[00:11:24] So I find it really important and really helpful to leave space for that new fun thing. And then also as part of this one I always like to start my planning with what I know. Is there a big trip that's planned out? A big milestone event in our family? A project that I might do every single year? I always start the planning with the knowns, add on the wants, and then save space for what might come.
[00:11:59] And so with [00:12:00] that there often isn't much space for the, 'oh, that would be really cool to do' type of project. Maybe sometimes I get inspired to do that one in a weekend and pull it all together, but that doesn't mean it makes it to my plan for what I really want to achieve in the year. And then finally, and perhaps most significantly, I surround myself with productive people.
[00:12:28] I, you know, there's so many sayings out there about how you start to behave like the people that you surround yourself with. When I am chatting with fellow scrapbookers, when I'm hanging out in our community, when I am engaging with everything else that's happening, there's this natural sense of motivation, of joy.
[00:12:55] Of reconnection with this hobby, and I really hope that just [00:13:00] listening to this podcast, uh, offers some of that to you as well. So those are six ways that I support myself in creating consistently, and I want you to know that If this is a struggle that you have, you are definitely not alone. There are so many of us that love this hobby, we think about it, we buy the things, we take the photos, but for one reason or another, or often multiple reasons, it's a little bit harder for us to get to our tables, to get to our computers, to actually get things going.
[00:13:42] And when we use these strategies, we can make it a little bit easier on ourself.
[00:13:48] So, let's transition here to this big project that I've been working on. If you don't know, the primary line of business at Simple Scrapper for us is [00:14:00] our membership. Once in a while we might have another type of offer, but really what we are is a membership community.
[00:14:07] The very best of what we create is inside of that membership. I've been doing Simple Scrapper since I bought the domain in November 2008. I was sitting in the corner of my bedroom with my cat, hiding out from my busy, noisy, new blended family, probably watching Lost on TV, and... I could not have predicted where we have come in that time, but I knew there was something there.
[00:14:37] I knew there was this need to help scrapbookers find their way because I was trying to find mine and there weren't the resources that I thought there should be. And so it's been listening to all of you over the years, and particularly since this podcast began and [00:15:00] hearing how you want to feel that sense of creative joy.
[00:15:06] You want to feel productive. You want to feel successful and that you're getting your money's worth of the things that you've purchased. And so what I've done is I have put together a brand new workshop. And it's free.
[00:15:24] And we are calling it SPARKED, because SPARKED is that sweet spot where creative joy and productivity meet.
[00:15:34] It's where everything that you do in your scrapbooking hobby fills you up and fits your life right now. There's a 50 minute video training, which you can pause and return to later if you need to. A really simple workbook to help you follow along and keep track of some of your takeaway ideas. And you, of course, [00:16:00] get some access to me.
[00:16:01] I am available by email or Instagram direct message if you have questions or kind of follow up commentary on the class itself. As I've been thinking about how common this challenge is I really wanted to help as many people as possible make progress. When you start using the three core strategies that I teach in this workshop, you can completely transform how your hobby fits into your life.
[00:16:37] I use these strategies, our members do, so I know they work and I'm excited to share them with you. SPARKED is now available and you just have to go to simplescrapper.com/sparked to sign up and get access to the free training. And as always, please remember that [00:17:00] you have permission to scrapbook your way.
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