Simple Inspiration: Try Looking at Things a Different Way

by Lain Ehmann on January 27, 2011

This week, I’m sharing inspiration tips and tricks and behind-the-scenes info about February’s Layout a Day (LOAD) challenge. There’s still time to join in the fun if you’re ready for the challenge of a lifetime! Sign up for LOAD 211 here.

Do you remember when you fell in love with scrapbooking? Do you remember when you fell OUT of love with scrapbooking? I do.

I remember the first time I hit a scrapbooking “wall.” It was while I was staring at a pile of Christmas photos, about 3 years after I started scrapbooking. Up until that point, I’d been a chronological scrapbooker, working systematically through my photos. I worked on January before February before March before… well, you get the idea.

I was up to December’s pictures, but as I looked at those photos of kids opening presents and photos of Christmas cookies and photos of decorations, all I could think was, “I really don’t want to do this.”

I just did NOT want to scrapbook another Christmas page. I was DONE with Christmas, having dutifully documented our Christmases from the two previous years. But if I skipped those photos and moved on to something more appealing, wouldn’t I be breaking the rules, kind of like eating my dessert before finishing my green beans? (I still believed in the Scrapbooking Police back in those days).

I finally realized that I could scrap the way I wanted to scrap, and no one could tell me I was doing it “wrong” or that I wasn’t “allowed” to skip around. And as time moved on and I discovered Stacy Julian, a whole new perspective was revealed; I could combine photos from different years on a page. I could skip whole months entirely. I could scrapbook some photos over and over while never touching others. And it was all okay!

Wow! What a revelation! My energy returned, and as one after one my self-imposed scrapbooking “rules” shriveled up and blew away, I fell in love with this hobby over and over again.

In fact, every time I sit down to scrapbook, I fall in love again — IF I’m coming from a place of possibility rather than a place of “must do” or restriction.

So now, before I start creating, I try to empty my mind of any ideas of what “has” to happen. Then I start with what I want to convey, and then I think about how I can approach the topic. And how else I can approach it. And how else, and how else, and how else. I try to think about things a different way — a unique way, a way that is entirely “me.”

And while I can’t do this every time I write a blog post or scrapbook a photo or write a story, I have found that the times when I go out of the expected norm are the times that I feel like the real “me” is shining through.

So if your energy is waning or scrapbooking isn’t as exciting or fun as it used to be, ask yourself what unspoken rules you’re placing on yourself. Then one by one, break those rules. It’ll feelgood — I promise.

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