Welcome to Part 2 in my series of Srapper’s Block articles.
In Part 1, we discussed photos and different tips and strategies to help get past common issues. Today, we are going to talk about journaling.
There are many opinions out there about journaling on scrapbook pages. Some feel that heartfelt journaling should be on every page created. If you are a good writer and it is your focus, that’s fantastic. Journal to your hearts content. I personally don’t think that’s realistic for everyone and some of my pages don’t have journaling.
But most of our pages are going to have words in some form or another. If you struggle to get the words on your page, it might be stopping you from getting other pages done.
If photos are the focal point of our pages, journaling tends to be the heart of the page. Here are several common problems and ideas to overcome these stumbling blocks.
The Words Won’t Come
You’re in the middle of creating a layout and you want to add some journaling. No matter you think up, it just doesn’t feel right. It’s frustrating because you want the journaling to be as special as the layout.
What can you do?
- Just start writing. Ignore your inner critic. It doesn’t have to be perfect. At first, what you write doesn’t even have to be the story you end up with on your page. Just get the flow going and then start thinking about your photos and what you really want to communicate about them.
- If photos are bringing up a particular emotion, it might be good to get your feelings out first. Write about what you are feeling or what you would say to the person in a separate document that no one will ever see. Once the emotion is out, turn your attention to the story and start the journaling that you will include on your page.
- Start listing all the traits about the person in your photo. Once you have a good group of words, take a few traits and start writing. As you write, a perfect story idea may naturally come out.
- If a full-blown story does not come, use list journaling or retell a conversation.
You have no story
You’ve got a new photo of you and your husband, taken at a friend’s wedding. You’ll document the wedding on another layout. This photo deserves its own layout and you want the journaling to be something more meaningful than “here’s a great photo of us at so-and-so’s wedding”.
What can you do?
- Go through your phone select some fun texts that you sent back and forth to each other one day.
- Get him involved and do a “He Said/She Said” layout about some subject that you have differing opinions on
- Create a compare and contrast layout about how long it takes you to get ready for events vs. how long it takes him to get ready for events.
- Just because a photo was taken during an particular event does not mean you have to use that photo only in that context. Maybe that wedding brings up feelings about your own wedding and you journal about how strong your relationship is today.
You’ve forgotten the details
You just put together an adorable layout layout of your daughter with photos in her new outfit. You’ve had this layout in mind ever since she put on that outfit and said….. Oh darn, she said the cutest thing…. What did she say that was so cute?!?
What can you do?
- Keep a notebook handy and record these things when they happen. You don’t have to copy it word for word, just use a few trigger keywords and the jist of what was said. It’ll take all of 2 minutes and you’ll have the notes you need to complete your journaling.
- Ask for feedback. You can’t remember the details but maybe another family member will. If their response isn’t what you wanted, maybe it will trigger an idea for something even better.
- What do you know about that photo? What comes to mind when you look at it? Maybe you don’t know the who, what, where and when, but you can write about how the photo makes you feel.
Another idea? When you are in the mood to write, think about other stories you want to tell. Write as much as you can in that space of time. Even if it’s only bullet points or main ideas. Then later, when you go to create that page, the journaling is already done or at least started for you. It’s never a waste of time to have a list of stories you want to tell. You’ll get to them all eventually.
Sometimes, all it takes to get the warm fuzzies over journaling again is to do something different. Here are a few ideas to make the journaling on your page a little more creative.
- Add sticker words into a block of journaling. As you write, look through an assortment of sticker words and include one every few lines. It breaks up the block and it’s fun to do.
- You can do the same thing with word stamps. Nichol Magouirk shows you exactly how to do it in this video.
- Create tags and pockets for your journaling. Who says it always has to take front and center? As long as you record the details, it’s OK to tuck the journaling behind the photo or in a pocket.
So, what is your favorite tip for overcoming your own writer’s block?