This year it seems like everyone in the scrapbooking world is doing Project Life, which is a concept of weekly scrapbooking. Each week, you print your photos and make a layout covering that week's details, using divided sheet protectors for speed and cute embellishments for, well, cuteness. You put photos, journaling, and bits of ephemera in the little pockets, all with the goal of capturing your everyday life.
I admire the many people who are able to accomplish this, but Project Life is not my thing. (Just as the December Daily thing isn't.) Not because I don't believe in capturing the everyday stuff—I do. But. One of the benefits of reaching my advanced age (I turn 40 this year!) is that I am finally beginning to know myself, and I know this: I wouldn't stick with the Project Life approach. I'd fizzle out in a month or so and then be left with all those supplies to feel guilty over.
Plus, I don't want to stop scrapbooking the way I already scrapbook. I do a lot of everyday-moments stuff in my albums. I write on my blog. And in my journal. AND I do my W.E.D. notebook. It is enough for me.
Perhaps some of you are thinking—W.E.D.? What is that? You can read more about it here. In essence, it is exactly what it stands for: Write Every Day. There is just enough space in the notebook to write one image per day. What was most memorable about that day? I jot it down. Sometimes it takes me three minutes. Sometimes I have a lot to say so it takes me eight minutes and very small handwriting. One of my good friends who did this last year told me that the small space makes it easier for her to stay consistent, not because of laziness but because of guilt elimination. You can only fit one image or moment in the space—so you fit it and feel satisfied.
And, I know: it doesn't seem as fun as Project Life or other similar projects. It's not, somehow, as sexy. But now that I've done it for two years I can tell you this: it is meaningful.
I have put down little snippets of my life on paper. The funny things and the frustrating things and the beautiful things. My W.E.D. notebooks are resources for scrapbook journaling. They are a family archive. They are my memory's back up.
And they are simple.
I don't have to print anything. I don't have to Photoshop pictures. I don't have to cut, glue, trim, or measure. I just open my little side table drawer, get out my WED notebook and pen, and then write. Sometimes I do stick a few things down—a movie ticket, a receipt, a scrap of something. Sometimes I sketch something and then write about it (and the writing always includes an apology for my dismal sketching skills).
Last year, between Ragnar and the Hobble Creek Half, I somehow fell off my W.E.D. goals. (I think I got out of the habit because I slept away from home for Ragnar.) I didn't write anything for those two months. Now, flipping through my notebook, I feel a sense of loss: what didn't I write down those days that I have now lost? I can't get them back. Which makes me more determined this year to do better.
Except, here it is, February 2 and I only printed my W.E.D. notebook YESTERDAY. I know---fail. Somehow January got away from me. My 2011 notebook has been covered with sticky notes of stuff I wanted to add when i finally did get it printed. BUT! It is. Finally printed, that is. This year I also made one for each of my boys to use. None of them are excited but I'm hoping I can perhaps ignite their interest somehow.
If you want to make your own W.E.D. notebook, here is a PDF you can print:
Don't worry about missing January. Maybe, if you still remember, jot down a few impressions from the earlier days of this week. You could even skip printing January to save paper! Print the pages double sided, so that the first week is printed on the back side of the title page—that way, the margins will be correct for when you have it bound. I use a sheet of double-sided patterned paper on top of the title page, and then I have my copy store put a plastic cover and back on it, then spiral bind everything together.
It works. It's functional. It keeps me (usually) dedicated to watching for moments and, thus, more involved in my life. It's one of the things that make me happy right now, and yes: I do love it!
Are you doing any year-long projects?