Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creative block

Creative block.....arrrrrgh.....
We all get it. We all hate it. We all have to deal with it, and it causes frustration along the way. For me it happens the most for me when I have too many things on my plate. If there's one thing I know about myself is that I need regular intervals of creative activity in my life. It can come in the form of music, writing, decorating in my house, painting, photography, or scrapbooking (which is my favorite). When I get too much stuff on my plate, I feel that need for creativity in my soul the most, but I rarely make the opportunity to do so. All in all, it makes me pretty grumpy.

My Paper Note Inbox 3

I'm in that place right now, too much on the to do list, and not enough getting crossed off. No posts on the blog....no glue or paint on my hands...no photos on the camera waiting to be edited... I'm looking at my calendar for a chunk of time that I can make an appointment with myself to get doing what I love to do, but often, when I do make that time for myself, I get overwhelmed at what to do. So many projects, so much inspiration, so little time....and unfortunately nothing substantial gets done! Aggravation on top of aggravation!

Sometimes it's not just the getting started that gets me, it's knowing how much it would take to get finished. Let's take my daughter's baby book. All the scrapbook layouts are in a box. Yep. A box. I was working on the pictures from the last few months of her first year when I discovered digital scrapbooking. Suddenly, I didn't have any desire to hold a glue stick, but I already had the pictures printed and supplies and embellishments purchased. I have even gone through and listed how many layouts I have left. Do you want to know how many? 8. Only 8. What's keeping me from getting them done....well....part of it is the frustration that I had with paper scrapping that I don't have with digital scrapping - never running out of letter stickers, not leaving a mess on the table when I have to stop scrapping to pick up my kids at school...I could go on, but I won't.

So what's a girl to do? There are a few things.
I set a timer. I have to have a deadline. I work the best under pressure. So I turn on the timer and attack my to do list. If I get stuff checked off, I'm more likely to not feel guilty for doing something creative for me. You need to know that sometimes this approach backfires on me. When I push myself so hard, sometimes I just don't have the energy to be creative.

Ticking Time

Another thing I do is look back at some works in progress. We all have them... I'll open up all the layouts on my computer for a book that's not quite done - like the Christmas scrapbook I've been working on for 2 years now, or the "Funny things my kids say" album that only has a few layouts in it. Sometimes that inspires me to try something to add to that album, or sometimes it just reminds me why I like scrapping.

One of my favorite things to do is to accept a challenge. Many digital scrapbook sites have a forum where members will challenge each other - either with new techniques, themes, or ideas - and sometimes the challenges are just random. One website I've been stalking recently is the Digi Dares. Each week, they post a challenge, and when you complete the "dare," you post your results in a gallery and link to it when you comment. Each week they choose a winner.

My favorite challenge is a speed scrap. My favorite place to speed scrap is Scrap Matters. They tend to have a speed scrap every week, sometimes twice a week, and most of the time they fall at times when I can participate. This is how it works. A host compiles a set of directions to complete a layout, and over the space of an hour, they will post those directions one at a time using either a chat room or a forum. Most of the time, you'll have 6 or 7 directions total and you'll get a new step every ten minutes. So at the end of an hour, you'll have a whole layout done! Now you're probably thinking, "Ten minutes per step?!? That's a lot of time!" Not so much! You're not in charge of the steps! And most of the time you're chatting it up with the other people in the chat room! It's a fun thing to do. When you're done with your layout, you can post it in a gallery, and check out what everyone else did with the same directions as you had. Sometimes you'll be amazed at how people interpret the same steps differently.

As I was thinking about Creative Block, I decided it would be nice to hear what some of the people from the scrapping community have to say about creative block. So over the next few days, you'll hear some perspectives from other inspiring people about how they get past their creative block. See you tomorrow for our first interview!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:In my car....

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