I think it’s pretty well documented that my favorite part of scrapbooking is the journaling. I love using words as much as I love using my supplies. (Actually…dare I confess, just a little bit more!) But that doesn’t mean that the words always come easily for me. You know that feeling when you have something important and true that you want to say, but you can’t quite get there? Or your words feel flat and obvious?
I was struggling with that the other day, when I was making a layout about my son Nathan’s basketball experiences. I wrote my journaling…but it felt fairly blah and it didn’t quite say what I wanted. It was mostly cliches and, actually, it didn’t say much of anything. But I kept writing and backspacing and not quite finding the words.
So I used a technique that you, too, might want to add to your writing tools: I ignored it.
Sometimes—especially when you’re stuck on something—your creative mind needs to work in the background. Even when you’re not consciously thinking about a creative problem you’re encountering, your subconscious mind continues processing. Do a task that isn’t related to the thing you’re stuck on, and you might just find that when you come back, you’ve found the solution.
Working past a little block like this means you’ll be writing a second draft of your journaling. I know, that might seem like overkill, spending all that time on journaling, but it’s worth it to dig past your first thoughts into something deeper!
Some things you can do when you’re ignoring your first draft:
- Take a nap. Studies have shown that a nap helps invigorate your right brain (the hemisphere more involved with creativity). I almost never need an excuse for a nap, but that’s a pretty good one!
- Do something creative in a different way. Writing is a different creative process than, say, painting a background, stamping a title, or making an embellishment.
- Use your body. Go for a run or a walk, clean your kitchen, pull some weeds in your flower beds. This distracts your brain just enough that it can work on the other problem without you really noticing.
- Get outside! A little fresh air and sunshine might be just the thing you need.
Here are my two different drafts, the first one my uninspired and flat one (whenever I start a piece of journaling with the words “It was,” I know I’m in for some writing trouble), the second the one that felt better to me.
Here’s the layout I made with the journaling: