We're almost halfway through January, which means you still have time to fall under the spell of January magic—not the magic that compels you to commit to a list of resolutions, but the magic that charms you into committing to a creative project. There are so many wonderful ones to choose from: Project 365. Twelve photos on the 12th day of each month (which happens to be today, hint hint). A once-a-week photo challenge. My own project? Committing to a weekly blog post called "Ten on Tuesday" for the entire year, where I sit down and list ten things I'm thinking about on...Tuesdays.
Projects are fun. They keep us accountable and motivated to create. I've recently read three project-related books that I wanted to share with you today; they aren't scrapbooking books, exactly, but I think you'll find them to be fantastic resources and springboards for your own ideas. Before you know it, you'll have a project—or maybe even 52 projects—up your sleeve!
A Year of Mornings is based on a straightforward concept: two blog-friends committed to taking a photo in the morning each day for a year, stitching them together, and posting the pair each day on a blog, which was later turned into this book. The photos are simple, personal, and interesting to look at (my only complaint is that the book design didn't present all the photo pairs at the same size, so some of them were harder to study). If you've completed a month-long photo-a-day or the full-fledged Project 365, you know it can be difficult to achieve a daily photo. The authors acknowledge this—and even though their project is missing some photos, it doesn't take away from their accomplishment (nor should it take away from yours, if you miss a day or two or more). The beauty of their project is that they embarked on it together. There are so many variations on this idea that you could try with a friend. You're already thinking about it, aren't you?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi's 52 Projects is a quick-read with long-lasting impact. Based on the notion that life is more fun and rewarding when you plan (and sometimes plot) a little regular creativity, he makes a convincing case for the benefits of making your own list of 52 projects. Some of the ideas he provides are never going to make it on my list, but even some of those got my wheels turning about something else I could try. Many of his suggestions are memory-keeping ones; he has some great ideas for what to do with old photographs and ephemera, and even better ideas for journaling (and by default, page ideas). He is a friend to scrapbooking, indeed—I was especially thrilled to read #7 on his list of 52 additional resources at the end of the book, where he suggests readers check out Simple Scrapbooks magazine. : ) It's money well-spent to add this to your reference shelf. Also, be sure to explore his site, and dig into the archives and links.
And finally, Listography: Your Life in Lists. This is the first in a series of spin-off guided journals (you'll also find titles geared toward music, love, the calendar, etc.). It's not necessarily ground-breaking material—I don't know about you, but I've been making lists since I first started writing—but the guided, fill-in format is kind of fun, the topics aren't necessarily ones I would have thought up on my own, and the illustrations are quirky and entertaining. Books like this make excellent resources for scrapbookers, because the sole purpose is to help you get your story down on paper. A worthy goal, I think we can all agree. A fun bonus: the creators of this series also run a free website where you can digitize, customize, and categorize your lists (publicly or privately). A list of 52 projects, anyone?