Yep, I haven’t even posted the first layout of my December Daily (you can check it out below) and I’m gonna talk about pacing yourself. I know it’s a week after the fact that people have begun and that a lot of lovely bloggers out in blogger land (Ali included) have been doing daily posts. I too had the best of intentions to post every couple of days because I know I work on a slower schedule. But apparently with this project my version of slower is quite a bit slower. I’m totally okay with that. There are so many reasons why keeping up with daily layouts/posts from the get go is just not a realistic option for me and I’m hoping that by sharing my why you might find a little encouragement not to quit before you begin, if you, like me, have only just pulled your first layout(s) together or still want to start. I need time to mull things over: design-wise, story-wise, just life-in-general-wise I like to take my time. I’m process driven and find my joy in the details and doing things over a period of time. Like I explained about my Journaling process, sometimes the fermenting produces better results. The lead up to Christmas and the anticipation and planning of it all is just about the most enjoyable thing ever for me. It’s the same with my December Daily.
Sometimes our expectations are at odds with our reality: I plotted my post schedule, I made my foundation pages and cover, and I gave myself a set of parameters to help me get off on the right foot. But working with a blog in mind is a new adventure for me and in reality I’m still working this thing out. My current reality is that my previous way of batch processing tasks for DD doesn’t work with a strict posting schedule. Ultimately my expectations were just unrealistic for how I operate. I haven’t had a December Daily yet that I wasn’t still working on in January, so you think that’s be a pretty good indicator right there. By all means aim high, but be realistic and adjust if necessary even if you have to do it right off the bat.Challenge your ideas: I have to admit I got a little stuck on my first page, I chose the paper with the Christmas tree on it because I know that December 1st is always the day that we break out the Christmas boxes and decorate the tree (well our first tree anyway). But then after I’d taken my photos, I wasn’t sure that the decorating story was the one I wanted to go with. It seemed a little redundant and like I do it every year. Closer inspection of my previous albums showed that this was not the case. Sure it featured heavily in one but for the others I only really mentioned it in passing.
Know what is most important to your story-telling: The other story I could have gone with was a conversation that led to our workers pulling out my previous December Daily’s and spending quite a bit of time perusing them. I loved this on so many levels. The fact that my husband sent them to look things up in my albums to prove his point, the fact that they spent so long looking at and enjoying the work that I’d done, and the fact that it was another way of sharing our culture and traditions with them. The thing is though that this year was also the first year that both my boys were actually able to help with the decorating and were excited to do it with me. While the first story was a good one, it was really all about me. If you take a look around here you’ll know I’m certainly not opposed to scrapping about myself but for December Daily I like the focus to be more family centric. Decorating the house, is not a tradition without reason, but the new spin on it was something that I wanted to document and therefore the thing I went with because it fit with my values and focus for this album.Creative problem solving sometimes means you need to take a step back: Like I said that tree was causing me problems. Design-wise it needed to be considered when choosing my photos and my layout options. Part of why I don’t do the pocket page thing with my December Daily either is because I prefer more space to move things around and don’t like being tied to such a specific design. It can be quicker to just slip photos in pockets but when I have things that don’t move like the tree or a pocket set-up. It interrupts my process. Moving things around is just part of the joy for me. It sparks things in my brain that doesn’t happen any other way and usually ends up with me being much happier with the result. In this case I couldn’t figure out how to make it feel part of the design and not just a boring random element off to the side, so I walked away from it for a bit and moved on to the next layout.
Break it down even more if you have too: Finding my story helped my narrow my photos and finding my photos helped me narrow down my colour options but after deciding on that cluster of elements to the left I still wasn’t feeling the love for the tree. It wasn’t till a few days later that I saw my solution. My son had a sticker sheet lying on my desk that I realized would work great for anchoring the colours in my photos and other elements to the tree if I used them like Christmas decorations. Problem solved, page done. Working through these issues really helped me get into the game and last night I was able to prep and print five days worth of photos so maybe I’ll end up posting to my plan and maybe not. Whatever the case I’m just going to work with it and enjoy it along the way.
I hope this helped you out if your starting off stuck too. Got any pointers on how you do your DD process that works for you?